Interview and writing: Jonathan Moore and Catherine Moore
Images: marklordphotography.co.uk and Carol Lake
Let’s face it, life can be hard! At Moore and Moore Living, Catherine and I are always looking for a greater understanding of how people are creatively building and sustaining a connected life with the things that matter most to them. When we met Carol, we were struck by her intimate relationship with nature that has evolved with her creativity on a beautiful and spiritual journey. We love to think that her gentle humility and openness has been a nurturing vehicle for her incredible creative talents to unfold and evolve with such integrity and love over the years. Carol gave us plenty of food for thought and we hope you will get as much from the following interview and Carol’s work as we have!
Seasons and the botanical inspire the beautiful paintings of Artist & Designer Carol Lake. Carol’s work has been used on textile products internationally for brands including Ted Baker, Nina Campbell, Debenhams, Designers Guild, Next, Sanderson, Laura Ashley, and Lulu Guinness (the list goes on). You may have even seen her interior design of Norwich’s Haggle Restaurant or spotted her textiles in the series Friends and Sex and the City!
Carol now lives in North Norfolk and sells her work from her inspiring shop space Studio at 91, which is located on Upper St Giles Street in Norwich. As you enter the shop, you are struck by smell of Cire Trudon candles and the sight of wood and mirrored walls, which have been inherited from the premises’ former life as a chocolate shop and are now filled with botanical luxuries. Moving through into the back of the shop, you pass beautiful and tactile textile products. You then enter what is, personally, my favorite part, which you might never know was there from outside, a light filled artists studio/kitchen/shop which looks out on a courtyard - which I can only really describe as splendid! Throughout this space, you get a sense that every element has been curated with love to make a sacred little ecosystem which nourishes and inspires.
MML: What’s the craic and what are you grateful for today?
Carol Lake: I am blessed and all my dreams have come true.
MML: The botanical and the qualities of paint seem to be recurring sources of inspiration and conversation in your work and life, and for many people before you. What is it that has kept this fascination alive for you?
CL: I was born loving nature and can’t imagine there being any other way of being.
MML: What is it that you hope your work brings to the world?
CL: To help others feel special.
MML: How would you describe yourself in three words?
C: Perfectionist; passionate; serene.
MML: What is one of the best pieces of advice you have been given?
C: Whatever you want for yourself, you should want for other people; there’s enough to go round.
MML: Loving oneself is a ongoing process as we journey though life. What has helped you deal with your internal critic when approaching a new creative project?
C: Having a shop has given me great confidence and allows me to hear people loving my work. My internal critic often raises its head though but, maybe, with age and experience, it has mellowed ..( hence the perfectionism ).. I used to think everyone else could visualise what I could visualise.. but it slowly dawned on me that maybe they couldn’t and I had a particular talent for colour, light and space .
MML: What do nature and the seasons mean to you?
CL: Everything ...just everything.
MML: Has the transition from London to Norfolk life influenced the creative direction of your work and business?
CL: Yes ..affordability ...then visibility. Better to be a bigger fish in a smaller pond. I wouldn’t have got to design the Turkish restaurant “Haggle”, if in London.
MML: What sources of inspiration do you return to regularly?
CL: Flowers ...flowers ..and flowers .
MML: What internal or external elements do you see as particularly important for creating and enjoying your personal and professional life?
CL: Quiet ..peace ..and physical environment. I have to create beauty all around me (hence serene).