We talk to local artist Tamalia Reeves about opening her new 'art sanctuary' studio space, hosting creative workshops and an upcoming outdoor Summer Solstice evening of music and creativity
Tell us a little about your work and your new art sanctuary space.
I’m a local artist and designer passionate about, and experienced in, using creativity for wellbeing.
I run an art studio in Caversham called MADEbyTamalia that holds workshops and classes for adults and children - we run everything from terrariums and macrame, to printmaking, painting and art-and-nature clubs for kids. My studio space is very whimsical and has been curated with a collection of handmade, foraged, second-hand, up-cycled and repurposed curios and eccentricities.
What made you decide to start your creative business?
Since leaving University I’ve worked as an illustrator, graphic designer and school teacher – but felt I had never really found my creative groove. Then one day my world as I knew it fell apart. My marriage broke down and so did I. To help me navigate this difficult time in my life I turned to my art which gave me comfort and helped me slowly rebuild.
Freshly armed with the realisation that I needed to live a more mindful life, and wanting to share my creative skills and knowledge with others, I decided to create MADEbyTamalia – a colourful, warm and welcoming art studio, where others could escape the rat race and indulge in some well-deserved creative ’me time.’
Where do you find inspiration and new ideas?
I’m a keen walker so spend a huge amount of time in nature. Trees, wildlife and organic forms inspire a lot of my creative projects. I’m also an avid collector of ‘interesting things’ - aka junk. I’m fascinated about finding beauty in broken and unwanted objects and combining that with my love of all things ethereal, I end up with some reinvented pieces of ’interesting art’
Describe your typical working day.
I’m not a morning person at all so I’m rarely seen in the studio before 9am. Most of the time, I am busy prepping workshops or meeting with fellow artists to discuss creative projects. At the moment, my days are filled with organising a big summer art party we have on 21st June (this will be a covid-safe, outdoor event). I usually unwind in the evening with some yoga, a boxset and then a good book before bed.
What's your biggest highlight and challenge to date?
Biggest Challenge: My new business was forced to close due to the COVID-19 pandemic
Biggest Highlight: During the first COVID-19 lockdown I was accepted to take part in a project funded by the National Lottery and Art Council UK delivering a series of videos connecting artists with the community. My project, called ‘Mindful Mini Makes,’ aimed to help children and isolated adults navigate the loneliness of the pandemic by connecting them safely through the power of art.
Nugget of wisdom you can share with your fellow Creative Ducks?
This quote from Pablo Picasso is one of my favourites and resonates hugely with me about the impact that art can have on healing and wellbeing. “Art washes away from the soul the dust of everyday life”
Where can we find out more?
Creative workshops can be booked online at: www.madebytamalia.co.uk
Find out more about the studio and events space here: www.creativspaces.co.uk