Women Who Create / Ali Lewry-Beale. Hi Folks! This week I am super excited to have Ali of hello DODO, the dream team design duo on the ‘Women Who Create Things’ slot! This is your chance to be totally inspired by Ali & Jam’s amazing biz skill, brilliant designs and some of the loveliest and most colourful social media in my feed. Thanks so much for joining me on the blog guys!
Tell us a little about your background…
I’ve always been a very creative person but not particularly talented at drawing or painting so when I was younger I struggled to understand what it was I should be doing. At college I took up photography and completely fell in love! I was totally suited to wandering around on my own with my camera and then printing up my work in the darkroom. I went on to study photography at uni where I met (my now husband) Jam who was studying Graphic Design. It wasn’t until after finishing uni and travelling Europe that we began toying with the idea of working on a project together and decided to teach ourselves screen printing. And that’s how hello DODO was born!
Do you have creative habits or rituals within your work that help you stay focused and happy?
I’m a great list maker! I always have to have a notebook on the go with lists of what needs doing and what ideas to work on next. Our notebooks would look like a great scribbled mess to anyone else but I definitely need them to keep myself sane and focused. Even at our most hectic times I need to feel like there’s new, exciting things that we’re working to achieve.
What two things can’t you live without?
It’s a sad thing to say but I definitely couldn’t live without my iPhone! And a bit more lo-fi, my squeegee!
What is your biggest source of inspiration?
I do find inspiration everywhere in everyday life! It’s definitely a lot easier to feel inspired if you’re able to occasionally escape the routine though, even if just for a short walk. Animals ALWAYS inspire us and we usually get lots of ideas after a trip to the zoo!
What is the meaning of ‘craft’ to you?
To me craft means using a special skill you have learnt to create something awesome and unique. I think I feel a little extra proud of our business because we taught ourselves screen printing from scratch and we do everything ourselves from our home studio.
If you could collaborate on a creative project or idea with anyone… who would it be & why?
Ooh….good question!! I’m currently completely obsessed with the work of graphic designer and Miffy creator Dick Bruna, he’s wonderful! He has such a lovely face.
Do you have a favourite piece of equipment that inspires your day to day process?
Ok I’m going a bit left-field here and saying the kettle! Without coffee NOTHING would get done!
What is the best thing about running your business/working for yourself?
After years of slaving away in rubbish retail jobs and dreaming of quitting, running my own business is literally AMAZING! Just knowing that I’m doing it for myself is hugely satisfying.
What is your proudest creative moment in your journey so far?
Last year we exhibited at Pick Me Up, the graphic arts festival at Somerset House which was a real life dream come true. I still pinch myself that it actually happened!