I saw Helena’s studio in Sneinton Market when I went to the CQ event in February and I really liked the vibe that it gave off, which is why I went and found her on different social media platforms to do some looking around at what exactly she creates in the studio. It also helped that she looked like a friendl human being in the photo’s of her on her social media pages, which made it easier to make that initial email to her.
Unfortunately, due to the events happening in the world, where we had organised for me to go down to her studio, the both of us decided it would be safer to carry out the visit via Whatsapp video call. Admittedly, this was very weird and strange to begin with but Helena was very patient with me and made me feel very relaxed whilst we chatted.
Helena has been creating for her business for 10 years and has been in her studio in Sneinton Market for 4 years now after wanting to expand her workspace that she had created at home, as well as using the studio space to run her own shop in the front. She also said to me that she felt Sneinton Market felt right to her because of the community of artists that also have studio’s around, as well as the friendly nature and opportunity to co-work with others. Alongside her studio in Sneinton Market, Helena also has a list of stockists that she also sells work through, something in which she has found rather helpful and positive. A full list can be found here –https://www.helenatyce.com/stockists/
Helena didn’t start out as an illustrator, she started out studying surface pattern at university and then moving on to work as an occupational therapist at a place called Liberty. This being where she started to develop her art style to what it is today, I really liked that her mentality is to create work that has a positive and motivational message – this being helped from her experience as an occupational therapist. She also said that her main inspirations derived from surrealism and nostalgia, primarily from old children’s illustrations.
She also revealed to me that she aimed to create work that would act as a positive message for her children, I really appreciated that a lot of Helena’s work was inspired by her children, for example a range of illustrated dinosuar prints and illustrated inspirational quotes/messages. For me this was right up my street and the illustrative style that Helena uses/has is something that I admire and would like to emulate within my work, alsot the occupational therapy background that Helena has is prevalent in the inspirational prints, by pairing positive imagery with positive messages.
Helena’s website – https://www.helenatyce.com/
Helena’s Instagram – https://www.instagram.com/helenatycedesigns/
I asked Helena what sort of advice she would give to someone in my position, i.e. 2nd year student starting to figure out who I am as an artist. She stressed the importance of linking up with other artists and networking, as well as making yourself aware of what is available to you, for example Helena mentioned The Big House, D2N2, New Designers, all of which provide support to new artists. She also mentioned a podcast called Creative Pep Talk, specifically episodes with Lisa Congdon, of which she has featured in a few, however, I chose this episode: https://www.creativepeptalk.com/episodes/2018/1/16/166-its-never-too-late-with-lisa-congdon, which goes on to discuss how it’s never too late to start a new career path, as well as a discussion into Lisa’s new book ‘A Glorious Freedom – Older Women Leading Extraordinary Lives’. I listened through this episode and I enjoyed the opinions that the host and Lisa had, it encouraged me to start looking around for podcasts I’d like to listen to and seek topics that I, myself, would want more information on.
Talking with Helena was an absolute delight and I really appreciate that she took the time out of her day to sit and talk with me, I am so thankful for that because it was a really positive experience and helped me immensely with my confidence. She is such a lovely lady and hopefully when the world is back to normal I will be able to visit her studio in person!