We are very fond of the Dandelion Clock Shop girls Emily & Rebekah, because they are together ‘one of a kind’. They both take time out of their ‘real’ lives to produce beautifully crafted shows for families. And then, they don’t stop there, they always create a themed workshop around their show for all the little hands to create their very own works of art.
They actually describe their work rather beautifully “…
Starting with the smallest seeds of an idea, we want to spread our love of great stories with fun and engaging performances that pop up in unexpected and familiar places. Using interactive storytelling, puppetry, animation and live music we create intricate little worlds brimming with imagination and tall tales of far away lands and tea & cake loving characters. Each story we tell comes with a special craft workshop, because everyone likes to go away covered in glitter and beaming from ear to ear clutching a handmade gift.”
Their latest show Three Little Piggies, is a retelling of the classic tale with a lot of invention. After the show the audience can make colourful piggy banks to take home. It’s suitable for ages 3-7.
They both are clever people, which is why they appear in our Wednesday feature, and one of them (Emily) has sweetly put head to keyboard and shared a Q+A with us about how she became so very clever. To read more about their stories have a look on their lovely website here.
Why & how did you choose your career in design, or how did you launch the company
I kind of just stumbled into the theatre world. I’ve always tried to follow my heart and push myself in areas that I really enjoy and feel passionate about, Theatre and the Arts became just that. I picked up Drama & Theatre Studies as an extra AS level,despite not having experienced any of it at school. I really enjoyed the creativity and ability to be completely imaginative with how you can stage performances so much that I ended up gaining a Masters at the University of Kent, specialising in scenography.
After spending a summer at Edinburgh Fringe watching terrible shows that were meant to be rather good, I felt truly disappointed and decided to take matters into my own hands. I approached my friend Rebekah Whitty, a budding arts facilitator and children’s workshop leader and pitched the idea of creating a children’s theatre company together. Not long after that Dandelion Clock Shop took off with our first Christmas show ‘Harry and the Snowman’ a festive story about a snowman that keeps losing his nose, and the little boy that wonders why.
Did you enjoy art at school, and who or what inspired you when you were younger?
I’ve always enjoyed art and drawing from a very young age. Good books, friends, family and teachers are the most inspiring resources you can have as a child. Looking back, it’s the praise and positivity that I got for my artwork and creativity that has really stuck with me and has ultimately led me down this path and into this industry.
What were your favourite books as a child ?
I was quite the book worm as a kid and would read absolutely everything. My parents had bought us an amazing set of children’s encyclopedias which were brimming full of stories and fables which I really loved and read over and over. It was the stories that went off on fantastical adventures that really captivated me, and anything with an intricate illustration always stuck with me.
Who are your top 3 artists/ designers, and why ?
I don’t really have a top 3 of artists or designers, mainly because there’s so many to choose from!
What is your favourite place for a weekend day out?
Coffee Shops. They are the best place for everything, namely amazing coffee and deliciously tempting cakes. I always try to find the most interesting independent coffee houses as the staff know their beans, but they also make great places for creatives like myself to get on with some work in a great atmosphere.
Where would you love to spend a free afternoon, and why?
London is full of amazing free things that happen all the time, from art exhibitions, junk markets, food fairs to even just spending time in a gorgeous park and having a picnic. We’re pretty much spoilt for choice, so it would just depend on what exciting thing was happening that day.
Which art books, websites, or magazines to you love, and recommend to our budding creative youngsters ?
Pinterest. I am a complete addict! It’s like opening up a catalogue of incredibly inspiring, beautiful and creative work for you to just absorb at your leisure. Hours of my life have been stolen by this site.
What do you use for inspiration with your work ?
I take my inspiration from the everyday. From the absolutely mundane to the intricate details that often go unnoticed. There’s a lot of interesting stuff out there that tells us a lot about ourselves and what shapes our world.
What creative tools, can you not live without ?
Ideas pop into my head all the time. So having a pen at the bottom of my bag is a definite must. The amount of scribbled ideas or drawings I’ve done on the back of scraps of paper is countless.
Can you leave us one creative secret to share please ?
Collaborate. Sharing that wealth of experience and knowledge and adding it all into that creative mix is worth more than a pot of gold.
What success, exhibition or just plain fantasy would you like to have achieved in 5 years time ?
Doing anything in the Arts is always a tough struggle, so with a bit of luck and hard graft Dandelion Clock Shop will be a well established theatre company in 5 years time. The plans and ideas we have for the future are incredibly exciting and I can’t wait to get everyone involved and see the fun and joy we will be bringing to families and communities around London!
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