It is always a good idea to talk to a stranger at a party, because otherwise I never would have discovered Fee Fee La Fou. It was at the Next Shoebox party and it was Fiona who actually designed and created the neon Jukebox that was centre stage of the event. Fiona is the owner of Fee Fee La Fou HQ which opened in October 2011 on Dalston Junction High street. FFLFHQ is a bijou shop full of curiosities, where Fee sells her own work and a curated selection of work of other Artists and Designers. I met with her at the HQ to talk about her, the space, and finding inspiration.
Talk us through your pathway from being an Artist to running the HQ?
Are there particular artists in residence we should be looking out for?
What advice would you give to aspiring Artists, Illustrators Creatives to get out there?
I see a lot of frustrated people coming in who want to be creative or who think about being creative. I always say keep a discipline of practicing your craft, and protect that time to make.
Fight to keep practicing because it can get rusty, you can’t lose it, but it needs to be something you keep doing.
Be patient, we are so used to having everything right now, we need to slow down and realise it will take time.
Don’t be afraid to go back to education, it’s never too late, and take risks.
Make sure you are active on social media, and create a strategy.
Research and think about at least 10 people or brands you want to work with, look at what they do, and how it can fit in with what you do. Keep pitching.
Collaborate with people as there are so many different perspectives.
Pick up the phone. At my ad agency there was no email you had to call everyone, there is something about that personal touch
Where do you see yourself in 5 years?
Dalston felt really right at the time, there is still this vibe that is just so electric and the culture clash that just goes on, which is so exciting. Originally I was thinking where else in the world really, I have always been excited about Japan. I won a painting scholarship so got to travel there, it would be a dream setting up that space, as the Harajuku district & culture in Japan is what I am interested in, and obviously New York; but I think the realities of running a store like this, as an Artist, as a maker there are constraints, and restraint I have to consider.
The most exciting thing at this point I see about this shop is that it has become a platform. The world is changing the way we are making things differently. This is more of a brand, we do illustration projects, we do live and storytelling events, it is the off shoots where people are learning about the store. I cultivate my fine art practice, working and collaborating with other brands, spotting a niche and balancing the digital element, but still holding on to a handmade craft. I am developing a ceramics project of our Circus characters, so watch this space.