Friday 14 September 2012

Celebrating UK Artists 10: Sian Fair

Welcome to the next interview celebrating the talents of British artists in the field of scrapbooking, photography, mixed-media, art journaling, feltmaking and quilting.  Some names you may know and some may not be so familiar but they are all hugely talented.

*Brief Bio
 What can I tell you? I've been married for about half a lifetime and we have a son and a daughter and a very tall house in the city. My Grandma taught me to knit when I was five and I've been making things ever since. I currently write for the UK scrapbook magazine Scrap365 .

*Who or what are your creative influences?  And why?
 I’m influenced by anyone who doesn’t take themselves too seriously; anyone who happily owns up to mistakes and “starter” pieces and projects which didn’t go to plan; anyone who says “at least I tried”. I am just as likely to be influenced by attitude as I am by art.

*What is your preferred medium of creativity?   What appeals to you about this?
I love making all kinds of things in any way I know how; but I guess, for the moment, scrapbooking has my heart. It’s the perfect way for me to bring together my favourite preoccupations – telling stories, taking pictures, talking about history, and making it all look good. Yes, I could do all of that without the cutting and sticking and arranging and prettifying; but this way I get to do it all at the same time.

*What other areas of creativity do you dabble in?
I sew. I knit. I love to decorate. Over the years I’ve made 1/12th scale miniatures, cross stitched, created soft toys and earrings for craft fairs..I’ll have a go at anything involving colour, fabric or yarn of any kind.

*What is one of your earliest creative memories?
Sitting at a little low table in the kitchen, cutting out paper dolls. I must have been about three. I still find cutting paper a very soothing and relaxing thing to do.

*Pablo Picasso said: “Every child is an artist. The problem is how to remain an artist once we grow up.”   How did you find this transition worked in your life?
Well, I have to say I don’t really see myself as an artist. I’ve certainly never had any training (although I watched a lot of Blue Peter as a child!). I’m just somebody who likes to make stuff. I’m lucky in that I was brought up in a family of makers; and I married a man whose three sisters all love creating just as much as I do. We have been together since we were both nineteen and in all the time since we met, he has never once asked me why I’m making something instead of buying it. It would never occur to him. That’s the way he was brought up too. That has really helped. We have grown into adulthood, making things together.

*How did you find your creative style?
I don’t know if I have one! I’ve been making things for so long now that lots of different styles have come and gone around me. I buy fabrics and trimmings and papers when I see something I like rather than with a specific project in mind, so I always have something “me” on hand to work with.

*Which is your favourite technique?
Using stitching or distressing to create texture on my pages. And layering up embellishments to make you take a closer look. I like to add journaling you have to seek out and little clues about the meaning of the page so you have to work a little to find it all.

*Favourite quote(s)?
“I did then what I knew how to do. Now that I know better, I do better.”
- Maya Angelou

*Favourite art gallery or museum?
My family are very used to being dragged round every handy museum when we are on holiday! My favourite is always a “living history” exhibition which recreates a scene from the past, building up the atmosphere with lots of details. I guess that’s what I try to do in my scrapbook pages too. Last summer I was lucky enough to visit Bergen Open Air Museum, Norway; and, closer to home another favourite is Blist Hills Victorian Town.

*Favourite book?

“Ulverton” by Adam Thorpe

Where you can find Sian

If you were able to ask Sian anything what would you ask?  Please add your question to the comments below.

See you next Friday for an interview with Lin Brown.


  1. Sian it's so nice getting to know you through your blog and here too you have filled in some gaps.
    I love your style clean and crisp I would call it.

  2. Thank you Bernice for this most interesting interview with Sian. A great set of questions and answers. What a delightful way to celebrate UK Artists.

  3. I agree with Mary, this filled in a little Sian history for me too. I just described your style to friends as "light and airy".

  4. Bernice - what a great idea to celebrate different UK artists.

    Oh hello Sian - so fun to see this come up on FB and see you! :)

  5. Lovely interview!

  6. A fascinating interview with the pages you've showcased here.

  7. Love all your pages, Sian, especially that Crumbs one. And your own inimitable way of not taking yourself too seriously either :).

  8. Loved reading this Sian :) I also love the quote that you picked as your favourite.

  9. Lovely interview and information you got from great questions. I too love that quote, I haven't heard it since uni, my roommate studied Maya Angelou and Toni Morrison for her dissertation.

  10. This was a fun read! I enjoyed reading Sian's answers to some very interesting questions. And yes, Sian, you do have your own style, admired by many including me ;)

  11. Beautiful pages, so full of details with lovely colours and awesome design. Great to get to know Sian better!

  12. Great interview! The thing I found most interesting was the types of museums that interest you. There's some great ones like that in the states - especially one in Detroit, Michigan. I would ask Sian:
    "What do you want to pass on to your children in the creative department?"

  13. Hi everyone!

    That's a great question Rinda. Simply, I would love them to know that nobody makes something perfectly the first time they try, that trying is better than always wondering and that if you don't make mistakes, you'll never make anything.

  14. A lovely insight into Sian's world. I love museums of any kind, its my place to get lost and dream!

  15. It's lovely to read your interview Sian, lovely pages as ever and I especially like the one about letters. And I agree, everyone has to start and we sometimes learn more from mistakes than at any other time. We should celebrate them!

  16. I enjoyed this Bernice/Sian...I do love getting to find out little extra bits about people!!
    Alison xx

  17. Great interview - absolutely love the layouts :-)

  18. Great interview. I always enjoy learning more about my favorite blogging friends!


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