Lizzi Mann is a South East London based multi-disciplinary artist that specialises in painting, printmaking and woven textiles. Her visual language is informed by shapes found in both the natural and built environments of her surroundings.
What was your first proper job and what path have you taken since?
The village newspaper round was my first real job at 14 (shout out to Nutbourne Post Office) and I’ve worked ever since including jobs at a dog kennels, the local co-op and all the years of weekend retail work that followed. Since graduating from my Illustration BA I’ve worked for several independent brands and galleries as a project manager. I am now a freelance consultant and full time artist!
What inspired you to be an artist?
My parents for the freedom of play and constant supply of craft materials and glitter glue in our house growing up. But most importantly all of the inspirational friends I’ve met along the way that are doing what they love and motivate me on a daily basis.
Who inspires you?
My go to artists for inspiration are Brent Wadden, Sister Corita Kent, Anni Albers, Bridget Riley and William Crozier.
Do you have a daily ritual?
Let the daylight in, put some music on and make sure I go outside.
Do you have a top tip tool that helps you with productivity?
Lists, notes and try to stick to a routine. I make an extensive to do list at the start of the week that really helps to clear my head of various projects I have on the go, and this helps me prioritise what to do each day. No matter how small the task I find it really helps to have it written down in front of me.
How do you overcome creative lulls?
I try not to be too hard on myself for not making constantly or force myself to sit at my desk if there are no ideas there. For me it’s important to keep observing different surroundings, go for a bike ride, talk to a friend or watch a film.
What are your preferred mediums to work with and do you have any tools / equipment that you just can’t live without?
From a practical point I can’t work without my weaving loom, gouache paints and the perfect flat end paintbrushes. But on a personal level a pocket sketchbook and a black fine line pen. It’s the place all my ideas start and I think my best work happens in those little pages.
What's your approach to managing technology whilst you’re in the creative groove of things e.g. emails and social media?
I make a conscious point of not taking my laptop into my studio space, that way I can separate admin time from the creative groove. I also set up a screen time limit on social media that definitely helps the hours of scrolling (but we all now how easy that is to turn off).
What’s the best lesson you’ve learnt?
My wise friend taught me the phrase ‘Future Lizzi can deal with that’ and it’s the lesson I’m living by at the moment. There’s no point worrying about what might happen down the line, focus on the present day and do what feels right for you at the time.
What's your proudest career achievement?
Having the confidence to leave a full time job and focus on my studio practice has been the biggest achievement so far. It was a long time coming and a lot of hard work in the middle but I’m proud of myself for taking the risk.
What’s it been like collaborating with Jorelle?
It’s been so great! I love how collaborative the whole process is from choosing initial artworks to deciding of final colours. The positivity and support has really pushed me out of my comfort zone to work in a medium I hadn’t considered before.
How have you found working with a different medium?
I’ve found the process very meditative; painting 3d forms involves so much more movement than when painting on paper and I’ve enjoyed learning how to work around the curved surfaces. I think it will inform other areas of my practice going forward now that I have seen my paintings in a more sculptural setting.