Fellow magazine hoarders will remember beautiful, collectible Amelia’s Magazine well. One of her early notebooks is still on my desk, so it is a delight to finally have a reason to interview Amelia Gregory, now a mum of two little peaches.
Amelia has moved on from publishing her illustration-rich print magazine to her website, books and a new book; Amelia’s Colourful Colouring Companion: Adult Coloring Book. She’s funding this latest piece via Kickstarter, so if you would like to see the new book come out, it’s time to pitch in a fiver or so.
Amelia’s family situation changed recently, becoming a single mum for the first time. My own mum was single for a good portion of our childhood, and at the time I took it for granted that she was capable, that nothing was really amiss, as all kids do. But now as a parent, and especially on those tough days, or when I’m reminded that I have an awkward commute that makes it impossible to rush to the nursery if illness strikes, I more than admire people who do it on their own.
But if distraction is a great parenting technique, then it’s also a great life technique in general, and what could be a more wholesome one than a great big book of colouring in.
Who makes up your family?
I am a newly single mother of two small children. My three and a half year old son is affectionately known as Snarf, and my daughter Carys is three months old. We live in a little house just off Brick Lane in East London.
Readers might be familiar with your magazine, Amelia’s magazine, but tell us about what you’re up to now.
I’m still running the magazine, it’s just that it’s all online. Amelia’s Magazine was produced biannually in print between 2004-2008 and since then I have been posting articles online daily, and I have also published three books of illustration so far. My fourth book, Amelia’s Colourful Colouring Companion, should be published in a few weeks!
How and when did you come to put together Amelia’s Colourful Colouring Companion?
I first became interested in the adult colouring phenomenon a year ago and decided to put together a volume showcasing multiple artists in time for Christmas this year. I posted an open brief on my website and picked art from a selection of 40 artists that I thought would work well as colouring pages and covered a wide variety of themes and styles. I had my baby in August and since then I’ve been working full pelt on the book, co-ordinating and interviewing the artists involved, designing the book and managing the Kickstarter campaign to raise funds. The book should go to print the minute the campaign closes on the 23rd of November.
What does it mean to you and how does it make you feel?
It’s really important to me that this book is made because I love all the artwork that is featured in it and I’ve spent so much time on it already. Since starting Amelia’s Colourful Colouring Companion I’ve realised how much I love colouring and now I’m a bit of an evangelist – it’s a fantastic hobby, not just because it’s relaxing but also because it’s really creative. There’s nothing like breathing colour into a great piece of artwork, it really is a collaboration and it’s addictive. But I need to raise at least £8000 by the time the Kickstarter campaign closes, which is daunting and stressful. I am also looking after my kids at the same time as working so it’s pretty full on at the moment!
What is the hardest part – is it managing the kids or something else?
I think the hardest part is juggling the many things that I have going on at the moment, whether it’s dealing with the kids or dealing with my break up or dealing with the rest of the extended fallout from that. And not having very much sleep or any time to relax… and the house being a total tip. Oh and the guilt! That maybe I’m not giving my children enough attention. But I think I am! My three year old keeps telling me he’s busy with his own Kickstarter campaign which is quite amusing.
What or who is your inspo?
I find inspiration everywhere… but I am very inspired by any woman who is doing her own thing in difficult circumstances.
Being a mother is by far the hardest job I’ve ever had, and I feel like I still have so much to learn… it’s a constant ongoing process. But I love it, being a mum is also the best job ever.
Amelia’s Colourful Colouring Companion is funding now on Kickstarter and features 40 artists from all over the world.