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We recently conducted a fascinating sit-down interview with Deborah, discussing a wide variety of topics from the tantalising treats on offer for customers who attend her workshops to events in the near future for The Silver Zebra. This month, we delve back into Deborah’s childhood and explore her introduction to the world of art, and how this led her to the path the Cheshire native finds herself on today.“As a child, I always wanted to create”, she beams, radiating a glowing passion for her craft. This sentiment is arguably still widely popular within children today.
Deborah goes on to share colourful anecdotes of enhancing her mother’s cookbooks with the illustrations of her imagination. From as early as the age of 2, Deborah would find her canvas in the form of the pages of her mother’s cookbooks.
“Not that she wanted them drawing in, mind!” she laughs, as a sheepish look spreads across her face, not unlike the one she presumably wore as a child caught in the act.
Memories of being artistic in childhood conjures images of cheap paints and awful, nylon scrubby brushes. Even at the age of 4, Deborah saw through the veil of naivety cast over children, realising that she couldn’t harness her ability with a collection of nylon strands. She describes how she’d exclaim “I can’t paint with this!”, which often resulted in a trip down to the local art shop with her mother to buy a higher quality brush for Deborah to utilise in her painting. Throughout her childhood, Deborah also created using a variety of disciplines; she became a regular painter, and often found herself occupied by candle making kits, pottery sets and badge making kits.
“Looking back, I can see it and it’s obvious, but at the time I didn’t!” she exclaims.
Creativity is a fluent force in Deborah’s family; her Nan was one of the painters for children’s construction brand, Meccano, in its native Liverpool where the brand began. Deborah’s Nan would often utilise the paint brushes bought for Deborah, with the two sharing a love of art and creation. Embodying the notion that “the apple never falls far from the tree”, Deborah’s father also worked in glass for a number of years.
Deborah reflects on her childhood in her latest artistic venture, “Octon”, which she regrettably can’t say much about. In the past few weeks, the Cheshire native has been posting a series of fascinating teaser images, which have undoubtedly left her thousands of Twitter followers scratching their heads in anticipation. She simply shared that the collection is based on another childhood memory, exuberantly citing “it’s nostalgic – it’s very exciting.” However, the cat is very much sealed firmly in the bag until May 20th and 21st, when the collection will be launched at Simply Cheshire 2017, held at the picturesque grounds of Arley Hall in Cheshire, as well as being exhibited at long time collaborators with Deborah, Bang & Olufsen.
Imploring others to follow in her footsteps, Deborah is a passionate advocate for supporting creativity in children.“Not everybody has to be academic, that’s not to say they’re not going to be successful”, she states, raising global business entrepreneur Richard Branson of Virgin fame as an example, who at the age of 16, dropped out of school, largely due to severe dyslexia.
Deborah adds, “I think schools could do to look at children more individually, rather than trying to put them in boxes. I appreciate that they only have a certain amount of resources and time and a curriculum to stick to, but I do think we should be in a world where we can look at education from a more creative point of view. There's an abundance of creative careers, now more than ever because of the internet, technology and the digital world we all live in. I think these children can be very easily spotted at a young age, and I think that should be developed, encouraged, rather than trying to steer them into another direction because it fits in with the syllabus. That said, we still need our Maths and English", she laughs. "I don't want to give anyone an excuse to bail out of a good foundation in education!"
The Silver Zebrawill be exhibiting at Simply Cheshire on May 20th and 21st, held at Arley Hall, Arley, Northwich, CW9 6NA. Tickets can be bought from here: http://simplycheshire.co.uk/tickets/
Deborah is a resident artist at Bang & Olufsen Wilmslow with work available to purchase or commission http://stores.bang-olufsen.com/great-britain/bang-olufsen-of-wilmslow/
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The Silver Zebra