We are really pleased to have Naomi’s music-inspired graphic work represented at Brighton Craftaganza’s Summer event. It is fresh and full of life, two qualities we feel must be represented in our craft market to show the public some of the many reasons why products from local designer-makers are so much better than mass produced items.
Please introduce yourself….
Hi – I’m Naomi, also known as Rebel Diamond, and I’m a mixed media artist & graphic designer.
My work is mixed media 2D: so drawing, painting, digital art, collage and gold leaf and is very much inspired by live music / lyrics and follows a playing card theme. At the moment are in 4 sets (King, Queen, Jack for each suit) plus a Joker. There are playing card canvases that are are framed originals, same size limited edition,hand finished, canvas prints, smaller A3 mounted paper prints and postcard prints
There are also some limited edition screen prints of ram skulls and some ‘rock hands’ drawings and prints.
Where and when do you design and make your products?
I also work as a graphic designer and so I try and split my time between the corporate design work I do and my own art. I work from an industrial unit on the South Coast.
How long have you been selling your wares and how did it begin?
I had been producing some flyers to promote my graphics work I do for Band Branding. I wanted to put something nice on the back of the flyer so that it might encourage people to keep it and I thought about my name Rebel Diamond and how it could be used. I came to the conclusion that it could be based on a playing cards because of the ‘Diamond’ part of the name and I knocked up a very basic playing card design. I enjoyed designing it so much that I thought I would explore the playing card theme further.
I am a huge music fan; although am sadly not musical myself! I wanted all the playing cards to follow a live music theme and I think my music inspired canvases are my way of trying to be involved in music and the live music experience in some way. I love how intense music can be and how someone you will probably never meet can make you feel such heightened emotion.
I’m trying my hardest to capture the emotion of live music performances & songs on a canvas. At the moment I don’t seem to be able to separate my two big loves of music and art, one always seems to influence the other. When I’m not working on pieces that feature musicians then I am experimenting with type and lyrics and always try to include these in my work. Lyrics heavily influence me and they have played a big part in my playing card canvases, both in the initial idea for the piece and also often in the collage that I add at the end.
What drew you to the Brighton area, if you are not a ‘native’?
I was fortunate enough to go to school in Brighton and I love the way Brighton is like a mini condensed London in so many ways. I always compare the North Lanes to Shoreditch and Camden, the South Lanes to Kensington, Western Road and West Street to Oxford Street and Leicester Square and Hove to Chelsea. It’s such a buzzy place and has so much life and creativity that you can’t help but to be inspired by it.
Any other crafty disciplines you like to practice?
I recently brushed up my screen printing skills so I hope to utilise that some more and I am hoping to dig out my sewing box again and start customising some t-shirts. My degree was in textiles and fashion so I would like to bring that into my art somehow.
What inspires the things you make?
Music is my main inspiration at the moment, especially lyrics. For as long as I can remember I have always read the lyrics in the CD inlays and on record sleeves. All my family are from Liverpool / Merseyside and I remember reading all the lyrics to The Beatles songs on my dads record sleeves when I was tiny. ‘Across The Universe’ is one of my favourites lyrically. I love words – I am always scribbling down sentences that I think are witty or powerful or quotes and lines of poetry that mean something to me. But I think for me, lyrics have always been something that stay with me the most because they have the added impact of the instruments, vocals etc behind them. I like language and words and think they can be so powerful. But to me nothing quite beats some marvellous lyrics set to a powerful piece of music.
Not so much of a motto but more of a ‘take heed’ or warning I guess, that I always seem to have in the forefront of my mind (and it’s a lyric of course!).
“Before you cross the road please take my hand, life is what happens to you while you’re busy making other plans’” – John Lennon ‘Beautiful Boy’
Thank you a million Naomi, we love that quote!!