Working from home as a designer maker during lockdown
We are week 836 of the UK lockdown (week 7 really, but it seems way longer) and the past 2 weeks have been particularly difficult for me.
I’m working from home (again) and the problem is that I struggle with being alone all day and I can’t easily get into “work mode” when I’m at home. I tend to do things that are not important (and not challenging) instead of what I should really be doing - plus I always think I can squeeze in a few house cleaning tasks and still have a productive work day.
Let me tell you that it’s not possible, you need to choose, work or house cleaning.
As a handbag designer maker, I have a lot of equipment, therefore I couldn't move everything home and I had to adapt my activity during the lockdown.
My idea when the lockdown started was to work on different projects not requiring my leather working gears.
You might have read my interview "Creatives In Lockdown" on this subject on TheGoodApparel. I recommend to check them out by the way, they are a new ethical online shop and they stock cool ethical brands. I particularly love their selection of Holiday Romance swimwear, they are made from regenerated fishing nets and are beautiful!
Following the success of my hand-painted bags and leather accessories, I’ve been wanting to develop new ranges of patterned items. The lockdown was the perfect occasion for me to start working on these new products, because I don't usually have much free time to develop new ranges.
My lockdown projects were going to be:
- Starting to work on a small clothing collection that includes printed fabrics,
- Designing and launching a few printed t-shirts,
- Developing a wall art range (prints AND paintings),
- Do my tax return - like if the above was not enough!
Let me add that although I briefly learnt to digitally design fabric prints when I was a fashion student (a million years ago it seems), it is taking me some time to master it and to translate the hand-painted style from my leather accessories into digital prints.
I’m always amazed at how quickly I think I’ll complete something I’ve never done before.
My naive self thought I could make all these projects before the end of the lockdown - which I assumed would be over in 6 weeks max.
The reality is that I feel frustrated because I’ve completed none of these projects, I only started working on them. I feel guilty even if I know now that doing all these projects in such a small time frame was completely unrealistic.
Most of us had great expectations for the lockdown: starting yoga, go for a run every day, learn a language, renovate the house, cook healthy meals…
Whatever our goals were, I have the impression it has been hard for all of us to achieve them and I think it’s ok. It’s a difficult time, not a good time to focus on learning something or be productive.
I’m trying to think positively now. Maybe the project we should be working on at the moment is accepting that we are not perfect, we are only human and we are enough as we are.
Painting on art paper
Anyway, I’ve started working on the clothing collection, that’s a good thing. I hope I will be able to have it ready it in September, fingers crossed!
I’ve also worked on prints. I designed prints for t-shirts (placement prints) and I’m also working on prints for my garment collection (all over prints).
I’ve done some paintings and I started developing (even more) prints for my wall art project.
AND I almost forgot that I worked on new earring designs that will possibly be made of laser cut acrylic.
Just by writing this I realise even more the amount of work it represents!
I hope I’ll be able to release some artworks and wall prints within the next few weeks and t-shirts very soon too hopefully.
To keep up to date of the releases, follow me on Instagram @klesofficial.
If you’re after a good deal, check out the Sale product category, there are some Samples and Seconds handbags and other goodies available at reduced prices. The special lockdown 20% discount is still going (and valid on most sales items), just subscribe to the newsletter to receive your discount code.
That’s all for today, try to stay positive, be kind to yourselves and stay safe.