Welcome to our latest #meetthemaker post with the eccentric Port and Lemon! Port and Lemon was started by Tracy Evans and Kate Cooke who met at an art show and discovered their mutual appreciation for each others work as well as the beach, dog walking, coastal pubs and cake! Their quirky artwork is designed and printed near the Hampshire coast. Their fun designs appeal to sailors, seaside lovers and those who aspire to coastal living. Keep reading to find out more as we caught up with Tracy …
1. Could you tell us a little bit about you, and how you came to start your business?
Port and Lemon was started in 2012 by myself and Kate. We both began our creative careers in textile design, Kate as a print designer and myself as a woven textile designer. We began exhibiting at open studios and small events selling our own designs before joining forces under the Port and Lemon label.
2. Where do you live? And how does where you work inspire you?
We live on the South Coast of the UK, Kate has been in Warsash for about 12 years and I have been in Gosport on and off for over 30 years. We are naturally very inspired by our coastal surroundings.
3. Where does your inspiration come from?
The coastal designs come from Kate’s love of sailing and from I get my inspiration from my former career in the Royal Navy.
4. When you are not creating, what do you do?
We are both married, with children and have dogs so, so much of our time is taken up with these. When we are away from the business, we both work on our own creative projects. There is a mutual love of creating great living spaces so Kate has been busy working on a new home extension and I have been renovating an old farmhouse in France.
5. What’s your favourite current piece?
The Salty Sea Dog design is the best seller and he’s probably the favourite. The design is based on Bosun, Kate’s dog, who comes to the studio everyday along with my dog Ruby. It’s a very dog friendly environment!
6. What is the most challenging aspect of your work?
It can be hard to buy British products for a competitive price so it can be a struggle to get the price points right sometimes.
7. If you had one piece of advice to give other makers, what would it be?
Keep your integrity, price your designs on what they are worth and don’t sell for less as you will undervalue yourself and also others!
8. Are there any particular artists or sculptors that inspire you?
Inspiration comes from so many artists, our favourites are Grayson Perry, Mark Hearld and Jonny Hannah, Matisse and David Hockney.
9. Describe your work in 3 words
Bold, fun, blue!
10. Without giving away any state secrets, what’s next on your design agenda?
More bespoke work would be nice. I have recently been working with the local tourist board to produce some diverse imagery to promote the area, and it would be fun to roll this out to other areas under the Port and Lemon brand.
Port and Lemon always put a smile on our faces and hope they do the same for you!
… Let us know what you think of Port and Lemon’s collection by leaving a comment below, and stay tuned for future posts on more of our wonderful artists!