I am delighted that I have been asked to join the Creative Nottingham team, as I love, love, LOVE Nottingham and can’t wait to highlight some of the many artistic and cultural happenings in and around the city.
My name is Bea Roberts and I am a painter and illustrator, knitting pattern designer, maker …… mainly! I say mainly, because I do loads of things, quite often at the same time.
Apart from my main pursuits, I enjoy loads of other artsy, crafty subjects, I play the whistle, bodhran, triangle and sometimes the glockenspiel ……… I’m not marvellous on the glockenspiel, I’ll be honest. I have played for several Morris Dance teams, and I even busked once, something which I would love to do again, if I can get enough other players together to share the blame!
I studied fashion knitwear at Nottingham Trent University, way back when it was Trent Polytechnic. (I’m showing my age now.) For a number of years after graduation I worked as a freelance knitting pattern designer for magazines such as Machine Knitting News, Modern Machine Knitting, Profitable Machine Knitting, Machine Knitting Monthly, as well as designing patterns for yarn companies.
These days, I paint a lot more and sell online and in a couple of galleries. I would like to show in more galleries, but I have a bad dose of something which many other artists suffer from – Scaredofrejection-itis, which sort of prevents me from approaching many outlets because I’m a scaredy cat! I also sell my instantly downloadable knitting and crochet patterns on Etsy. Here’s a bit more about me ……..
1; Who are you – Name, Business Name, Based in….
Bea Roberts – Nottingham
2; What brought you to Nottingham?
I have wanted to come back to Nottingham for years, and in 2014 I got my wish (32 years later!)
3; What keeps you in Nottingham?
The culture and arts scene, shops, music, the theatres, the immediately apparent friendliness of the people ……….. there’s nothing not to like really. I am certain I will never move away again.
4; What makes you different to other creative people in Nottingham? (eg:- What is your business specialism, what makes you unique as a person)
I am a Renaissance woman – into many different things. I am an artist, a designer and maker. I paint fine art abstract work, I do illustrations, as well as funky, quirky folk art style paintings. I also have a range of retro style hand cut, pop / op art inspired collages which are great for mid-century style interiors. I knit, crochet and sew, and design and sell my own machine knit and crochet patterns. When I’m not doing all this, you will find me up to my elbows in papier mache, making hand rolled paper beads, which I often turn into finished jewellery pieces. I also play music with friends and two Morris Dance teams. PHEW!
5; Where do you see yourself in 5 years time? (future business & creative plans)
You do not plan that far ahead when you’re my age – anything could happen. I’m happy to go with the flow.
6; What do you wish you had more time for?
I would love to bring out a range of high fashion, funky, clothing for dolls. Don’t know if I’ll ever get that one off the ground!
7; What keeps you awake at night?
Nothing keeps me awake, I go to sleep fine, but wake up really, really early.
8; What do you think is Nottingham’s best kept secret?
I haven’t been back in Nottingham long enough to find, and experience them all yet, I’m sure.
9; What would you like to see more of in Nottingham?
I would love there to be a World Music festival, similar to Musicport or Womad. That would make my life complete. If anyone is thinking of organising one, put me down as a volunteer!
10; What Big thing (project or event) are you currently working on?
Not one particular big event, just lots of smaller ones. I have just submitted some paintings to the Nottingham Open for the first time, so I am waiting to see whether any of my pieces get chosen to be exhibited. Most imminently, I have to frame up some artworks for ‘A Room Full Of Butterflies’ gallery in Sherwood. I am also continuing to add knitting patterns to my Beaknitting Etsy shop inventory. Last, but not least, my newest project is blogging for Creative Nottingham Website.