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Meet Helen Wilson of Witch and Watchman in North East Los Angeles (Elysian Valley)

Today we’d like to introduce you to Helen Wilson.

So, before we jump into specific questions, why don’t you give us some details about you and your story.
I started Witch and Watchman in 2014 when I was living in London, UK. I studied Fine Art at Central Saint Martins and upon graduating decided I was ‘done’ with the art world, it just wasn’t making any sense to me. However, after spending time in a ‘full-time job’ working as a graphic designer, I found myself painting in all my spare time. I finally decided to become an artist full time (well, with a couple of part-time jobs) so moved into a warehouse with four other people and got a studio in Hackney, East London. Although life was pretty good, I wasn’t really earning any money. A friend who was a print designer said it was her dream to design her own prints and upholster furniture in her own fabrics. This gave me a brainwave that I should re-appropriate my painting and design wallpaper instead, albeit, all hand-painted on oil on canvas. So Amazonia became my first design.

Realizing that this business idea might actually work, I moved to Berlin (cheaper and amazingly cool) so I could really concentrate on getting it off the ground.

In 2017, I moved to Los Angeles where I now call home, I live in North East LA and have a lovely studio in the Elysian Valley, next to the Los Angeles River.

My designs draw on many inspirations, either just ‘visions’ that pop into my head or pictures from magazines, fairy tales, artists I love, fashion designers I love, the movies and film and tv sets, anything really! I guess you could say I’m going for a modern take on Chinoiserie. I paint everything in oil on canvas, put the design together in photoshop. It is then digitally printed onto wallpaper and fabric in the UK.

We’re always bombarded by how great it is to pursue your passion, etc – but we’ve spoken with enough people to know that it’s not always easy. Overall, would you say things have been easy for you?
Not smooth but not too bumpy, my first design did really well so that gave me a good start. Making decisions based on what other companies who do a similar thing do was a mistake I made. It can be tempting when you design prints to put them on everything. I discovered that producing oven gloves takes up time and money and there really isn’t any money in oven gloves. There are often technical problems printing fabric but other than that it has been relatively smooth. Having said that it’s a mini struggle every day!

We’d love to hear more about your work and what you are currently focused on. What else should we know?
I do everything, design the product, design the website, take the photographs, do my own graphic design, creating marketing materials, do my own sales. I try to concentrate on the most important things like the website and designing the product and sales! Unfortunately, social media gets left to last!

What were you like growing up?
Fairly shy and introverted. I loved making model houses and watching Hollywood films from the 1940’s and 50’s.

Pricing:

  • Wallpaper – $370 / roll
  • Fabric – $134 / yard
  • Samples $7 / each
  • Shipping – FREE

Contact Info:


Image Credit:

Helen ZB Wilson

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