Meet Adrienne Honeyman from Ebby and Flo
Adrienne Honeyman is an artist based in Scotland who sells under the banner of Ebby and Flo. Her subject matter moves effortlessly from atmospheric Scottish landscapes through the spiritual to two whimsical characters called Morag and Russ, then back to architectural sketches. Here she tells the story of her creative journey to fellow Folksy seller Jenny Jones from Polarstar Pottery…
To celebrate being our featured maker, Adrienne is offering free postage on everything in her Folksy shop for the whole January 2023.
Happy New Year, Adrienne! Perhaps you would like to introduce yourself?
And a happy new year to yourself and to everyone reading this. I’m no good at introducing myself, so I asked friends who used words that I failed to come up with. They said I was a loving, caring, on-the-go, fun creative person (bribes seem to work). As an artist I’m the angst-ridden, messy, chaotic, not-good-enough with bursts of wow that’s good, maybe I am an ok, artist.
I work from home but I think it would be better described as I live in my studio. I work in the kitchen and the living room but I also have a small separate room where I paint and make jewellery, and a room dedicated to everything related to printing my work.
I have what I call ‘my office’. When I tell my friends I’m in my office they know I’m sitting in my car at the best spot by the harbour in Arbroath. I do a lot of drawing and idea thinking there.
Do you have any new creative plans for 2023?
I have creative ideas all the time but plans are a different story! I’m great at making but planning and promoting myself is not my strong point.
I will be introducing my new range of hand-painted, eco-conscious, wooden jewellery which will have free postage while I am the featured maker. I will also be creating original artwork with all my hand-painted papers that have been piling up.
How did Ebby and Flo get started?
Well… it’s a story! Art & Design was my favourite subject at school and after achieving my higher in it, I went on to do my city and guilds in sign writing, a dying trade now.
I lost touch with my creativity bringing up my children and working full time in nursing and social work. However, it came back through tragic circumstances after a car crash and the subsequent PTSD that my daughter suffered. I would sit with her and we would design jewellery. From there I gave up my job due to burnout and went back to higher education to achieve a diploma in jewellery design. This time period sparked my imagination and creativity and I also had a supportive lecturer who saw something in me that I didn’t. From there my business was born.
Where does the name ‘Ebby and Flo’ come from?
I changed my business name a couple of times and the third change it became Ebby and Flo. This was borne out of my alter ego. I attended murder mystery parties with my friend either as Fanny and Pru, or Ebby and Flo. I thought the latter would be more fitting for the name of my creative business as it also fits in with my coastal living by the sea.
Your mixed media prints have amazing textures and varied styles. Can you tell us more about how you create them and the different media you use?
I was diagnosed two years ago, as an adult, with ADHD. I like to jump from different styles as I don’t like to do the same thing for long periods. This is why you will see colourful pieces before I jump to darker monotones. I enjoy creating whimsical pieces like my ladies with quotes, then I need a change and start drawing architectural buildings like my lighthouses and castles of Scotland.
I love textures, colours and patterns – they catch my eye in daily life. Rust is a big favourite of mine and zooming in close up with my camera, you can find a textural landscape and colours of heather, gorse and bracken. Tree bark is another interesting find. For a little fun, instead of Where’s Wally, go to my Folksy shop to find where the tree bark is hiding.
The majority of my art is made up from gel prints which I photograph and manipulate on an app called ‘Procreate’. I get my textural elements by creating my own textures using pieces I find around the home or foraging botanicals while out for a walk. The picture below shows how I turned polystyrene plates by drawing into them with a ball point pen, to create patterns for pulling my prints.
What might you be doing on a typical day in your studio?
There is no typical day in my studio and no plans. It’s something I struggle with. I could have a total burnout day caused by no sleep and busy brain not shutting down or I could be ready to focus on painting or cutting wood, drawing on my iPad, creating designs on my gel plate, free-motion sewing on my machine, drawing pyrography with my hot iron pen. I can be enamelling on my copper bowls in the kiln or making jewellery, hand dyeing aluminium or making papier-mâché sculptures. What you see on my Folksy shop is only a small part of my creative designs.
Where do you draw your inspiration from?
Pinterest is a great place to spark ideas but like Alice in Wonderland you can go down a rabbit hole and be there for ages. Then it’s trial and error to see if the plan in my head works. I’m inspired when I go to art galleries, museums and exhibitions. I tend to go with my like-minded creative friend and we can chat about our ideas over coffee.
I’m drawn to colourful things around me and also rustic, old worn-out pieces. You will see my artwork can be very colourful but I also like to feature vintage ephemera in my work too.
Your work often features two characters called Morag and Russ. Do they have a real-life inspiration?
Morag is based on myself and Russ is based on my childhood dog. I’ve struggled with my weight for a long time and instead of continuing to get upset with myself, I decided to embrace the bigger me and promote a positive image of enjoying life without boundaries through Morag. Weight and body image held me back for a long time. I have recently celebrated a 2 stone weight loss. Woohoo! But I still very much resonate and always see myself as Morag. Russ is my true loyal friend who is always there for me and enjoys adventures too.
I always like to create a Morag and Russ adventure in between projects I have. Morag is also famous! She is up on huge panels within the St James shopping centre in Edinburgh, as I was asked to design panels featuring Edinburgh landmarks with an eco message.
Do you tend to work on your own or do you like to collaborate with other artists?
I work on my own, which can be lonely at times and lacking in motivation. I would be up for working in collaboration with other artists and makers. I like a multi-media approach so I would like to work on projects involving different skills that other makers have. So if any makers out there are up for a collaboration I’m happy to chat and see where we can take our ideas.
What do you like about Folksy?
I love the ethos of Folksy and their values. It feels like a real family spirit. I like the fact there’s no unethical cheap imported products sold here. It’s handcrafted work by local artists and makers. It’s about supporting local and small businesses.
When I need help there are always makers on Folksy Clubhouse that know answers or make suggestions. The support from the Folksy team is always helpful. I have no problems recommending Folksy to anyone thinking of starting their own shop.
Enjoy free postage on all art by Ebby and Flo for the whole of January 2023.