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Meet the Maker - Angela Bartoli
What do you do?
I am a little bit of a crafting chaos! I have so many different ways of working that I am a little bit like a Pandoras box.
I sculpt, paint, draw, felt, illustrate and craft. I am unable to sit still and am usually creating/designing from the moment I get up to the moment I put my head back down on a pillow at night.
My main interest lies within creating whimsical decorations/toys aimed at both adults and children. I love to create characters that I can develop across all of my skill set and having a background in children’s publications, this has become a spin off from all of those years illustrating! I love to bring characters alive off the page and am always exploring new ideas and techniques.
How did you get started?
I originally trained as an illustrator and spent 5 years freelancing following university working with clients such as Penguin books, Harrods of London, Ladybird books, Templar publishing, Scholastic and Oxford publishing amongst others.
I happened to stumble my way into teaching which was never planned and spent ten years working with SEN children. I am deeply passionate about ensuring that all children are immersed in a creative education that enables all learners to succeed in their own way. I love to combine my products with my experience, understanding and knowledge of learning resources that I know will appeal to young children.
Originally, I stepped away from teaching temporarily in order to work on my art and began to take commissions as a wildlife and pet portrait artist. I happened to find a set of wooden peg dolls in an art store one day and had the idea of making my very close friend, who was undergoing chemotherapy, a set of family pegs in order to cheer her up… thus pickle peeps was born! Like most things in my life, it wasn’t planned, but it has been an amazing journey so far…
Is this your full time job?
It is my primary job but I do still teach children with emotional difficulties 2 days a week.
Where do you create?
I like to create in my studio which overlooks my garden. I enjoy the sound of the birds and the flow of the fountain in my garden pond. When the sun is out the light floods into my room, and it is one of the most peaceful places on earth! I generally have a dog…or three by my feet and we can spend hours in there undisturbed by the rest of the world.
Tea or coffee?
Tea…although I do love the occasional latte
Where is your favourite local place?
I would have to say Stanhope… purely because I spent many summers there as a child swimming in the river and exploring the area for wildlife.