BRAND LINES

drawing from joy

the decobike story

Ever since my mischievously playful Nanna taught me to draw stick people I’ve always loved drawing. Except for when I haven’t. There have been times when I’ve stopped drawing altogether. Like the time I became disillusioned with art school and their analytical approach to being creative, or when my daughter was born and for a good long while just putting on a pair of matching socks felt like all the visual achievement I was capable of, or perhaps most crushingly when I found myself in an ill-suited office job attempting to be a proper grown up. But interestingly, each of these creative slumps have been followed by cosmic reminders that I am only truly me when I am making art.

After I quit studying art I travelled through the magical country of Mexico instead. As fate would have it, the landscape, culture and people provided a tangible antidote to viewing art solely by the brain disconnected from everything else. Mexico is such a sensual place where the vivid colours, smells and textures in the murals, food and textiles forced me to experience everything with my full being. The experience retaught me what my Nanna had many years earlier; art is to be whole heartedly felt, not systematically picked apart by the intellect.

Some lessons have to be relearned many times it seems. Somewhere along the line the serious business of being a busy adult took over and once more I fell out of the habit of drawing. But then, after all the sleepless nights, my daughter gradually reminded me of the gift of being creative as we embarked on the enchanted journey of drawing together. She reminded me how to be present and enjoy the immersive experience of making art for fun. As we giggled drawing animals cycling down mountains or woodland creatures cooking marshmallows over campfires I remembered how much I loved drawing for the simple joy of it and a part of me clicked back into place.

So I decided to be brave and set up my own art business where I could take my dreams a little more seriously and myself a whole lot less seriously. What started out as designing and decorating kids bedrooms with bespoke furniture and murals turned into prints and commissions and eventually evolved into what you see now. I’m sure my little business will continue to change as new projects pop up and capture my imagination – at the moment I have plans for a children’s book and a series of musical animal paintings. As psychologists point out the opposite of play is not work but depression, so for me decobike is more than a job – it is about unashamedly celebrating playfulness. I hope you enjoy the results as much as I have creating them,

James