Minnie La La Designs
This year we were lucky enough to have Minnie La La Designs join us at our Christmas Fair in London. We’ve caught up with the artist behind the brand, Miriam Vincent, to delve deeper into her story and discover how she ended up exhibiting with us at the Country Living Fair.
I create beautiful, happy art to hang in your home or work space. All of my work is one of a kind. It is not mass produced, no body else will have one like it hanging on their walls. I also have a great love for the outdoors and much of my inspiration comes from nature and the beautiful Welsh countryside where I live. To create my pieces I use oil paints because of the way they can be layered, creating thick, rich, sumptuous colours, that scream to be touched.
How did it all start?
After my mum died I couldn’t see any beauty in the world anywhere, I was so devastated, lost and angry that my wonderful mum had died and I just didn’t want to do anything. I even struggled to have conversations about ‘normal’ things. If I hadn’t had a young family to get out of bed in the morning for, then I’m not sure I would have, but I did, so I did. I would walk or run, whatever the weather and as I ran along the straight mile, near my home, I would scream and swear out loud at Cancer.
Cancer had already taken my mum’s life and I was dammed if it was going to take mine and my family’s as well. Slowly, I started to notice the seasons change, the striking colours of the leaves on the trees, bulbs poking up out of the soil, beauty was everywhere.
These were all the things my mum loved. Slowly, my anger changed to sadness, at type of sadness that was so deep in my being but I was also able to remember the love that my mum had given me, the times we had shared together and how lucky I was to of had a mum like her. It was then that I really started to paint, I painted without purpose, just to create, just to play with colour and I let the paint guide me, I didn’t realise I would end up painting what I did but the more I did the more I saw the beauty that surrounded me and I realised that it was also a representation of my relationship with my mum.
Bright, colourful, extravagant, (not with money but love and time), bold, beautiful, happy, joyful.
I’m becoming known as the happy artist as my work is full of life, colour and movement. There’s lots of texture in each painting. I use oil paints and love to really layer it up onto the canvas, where the trees, flowers, mountains, stars, moon or sun (all popular themes in my work) really stand out of the canvas.
You can see the pallet strokes and the different colours blending together and almost feel the movement of the great outdoors. That is also the reason now for me painting, I want others to feel happier, have their spirits lifted when they look at my work but also to bring awareness of what is on our doorstep – Mother Nature is extraordinary, and we should take the time to really look at it and be with it, study it, the power of it, if we give her time, is immense.
The story behind the name…
I’ve been called Minnie, since forever, by my folks. My friends added the La La, later and it came from our dancing days!
Where are you based?
What inspires you?
Mother Nature, the great outdoors is a constant source of inspiration – no matter what the season, there is always something amazing and magical to be found outside.
What is your creation process?
I spend a lot of time outside and I think ideas slip into my mind without me even realising – I might be struck by the incredible colours on the trees and be inspired to play with those colours on a canvas. Sometimes I sketch ideas first but mainly I let the paint guide me, whenever I seem to have a set idea in my mind, when I try to create it on to the canvas my
creative flow just gets stuck – I work in a very organic way.
What makes you, your brand or products unique?
I’m very honest and real about who I am – I’m the same with my work – it’s bright, colourful, happy work without any hidden meanings – I’m not trying to prove anything but I’m colourful in my nature and my work.
What is your next project?
I’m about to run a Wellness Art workshop for a big corporate company, that will then result in me creating a big painting for their work space.
What are your plans for the next 12 months?
More wellness workshops, with businesses, people experiencing grief, I’ve just opened, with 26 other makers and creators a gallery in Abergavenny and I have some retreats in the pipe line too.
What is your biggest achievement?
Having the courage to be an artist and to really discover what is important to me and how I navigated myself through my grief through Mother Nature and art.
What is your best-selling product?
My limited edition prints are very popular.
Your experience of your first Country Living Fair?
I was so excited to exhibit at CL, partly because I’d been to the fair 10 years previously and felt like I belonged and wanted to come back as a trader in some sort of capacity but wasn’t sure what that would be – I wasn’t an artist then – I think torn the advert out of the magazine and put it on my mood board – where it stayed for 5 years until I applied.
What do you love about Country Living Fairs?
The wide variety of traders, the buzz, the thrill, talking to stall holders and punters.
Your three top tips for crafters and makers…
Stay true to what you believe, keep at it, if you don’t succeed at first find another way to do it, don’t give up.
Any advice for fledgling businesses…
I have a business mentor with Business Wales and that is invaluable – it’s really great to have somebody to talk things through – surround yourself with good people who believe in you but will be honest as well.