BY: NELLE HORSLEY, OISELLE DESIGNER
I was first introduced to Filippa's work through a dear friend. We have an ongoing thread through Instagram's "direct messaging" that goes something like this: (send a post of an artist's painting) "That's cool." (Sends back a post of a designer's just released dress) "Whoaaa you'd look good in that". You get the picture. When she sent me a post of Filippa's, my response was something like "WOW WHAT. WHO IS THAT??"
It's not very often that an artist's work goes straight to your core. Filippa has had an uncanny ability to so eloquently capture the feeling of strength and sisterhood - concepts we hold so close to our heart at Oiselle. It's my honor to introduce Filippa Edghill to the Oiselle community!
NELLE: TELL US A LITTLE ABOUT YOUR JOURNEY TO BECOMING A FREELANCE ARTIST... WHAT DOES A TYPICAL DAY LOOK LIKE?
FILIPPA: I started out doing freelance work when I was a teenager but it was mostly on the side of other jobs. I started to be full time freelance about 3 years ago by ending a full time job and leaping into independence under the wing of a long term project that gave me some safety and stability for a smooth start. I think that beginning gave me confidence to continue. Now a typical day for me is balancing my hours between collaborations and my own paintings. I try to collaborate a lot with brands, other artists or organizations because it lets me work together with other other people and new visions. I love the freedom of just being a painter but it gets boring to always be on my own and its refreshing to have to dress up for a meeting, or at least from the waist up seeing most of my meetings are over Skype. I live in a small seaside town and life here is very good but slow so most of my work is taking place across oceans through my screen. Which is so interesting and hard to explain to my grandmother. Over the past year, I've been lucky to work together with some really inspiring, almost always female, brands.
N: WHAT INSPIRES YOUR ART?
F: I think a lot about energies and how to visualize them. Inspiration comes from women I see on the beach, science podcasts, interactions with the ocean and my own experiences of being a young woman.
Photo by: Serena Lutton
N: YOUR REPRESENTATION OF BODIES IS INCREDIBLE. DOES BEING AN ATHLETE SHAPE HOW YOU PORTRAY THE FEMALE BODY? IN WHAT WAYS?
F: My two hobbies are surfing and painting and I'm lucky that there is movement in at least one of them because they consume my life completely. I think surfing does shape the way I envision beautiful female bodies because unlike a lot of other sports the body types of the top performing athletes in surfing are super varied. In the water, you might see a tight six pack paddle out next to a gray haired curvy woman and there is no way of telling who is going to make your jaw drop. In surfing , it doesn't matter if you look amazing in a swimsuit, if you don't move with grace or power or both in the water, you won’t turn heads. Beauty is more defined by individuality and style and I think it opens up for an interesting variety that really inspires me.
N: WHAT DO YOU HOPE OTHERS SEE IN YOUR ART?
F: Themselves hopefully or someone they know. A mother, a sister, a lover or anybody that they consider to be strong and vulnerable which simply is to be beautifully human. If two people see a body that I've painted and one finds it resembling the spectrum of femininity and one finds it just plain sexy, I'll chalk it up as a win. That’s exactly it right, that form and figure trigger a different thought in different people because we've lived different experiences.
Photo by: Julien Binch
N: WHEN WORKING TOGETHER ON THIS PROJECT, WE AT OISELLE HAD SOME PRETTY SPECIFIC CONCEPTS FOR YOU TO WORK ON FOR THIS COLLECTION. I LOVED HAVING CONVERSATIONS ABOUT BEING AN AHTLETE AND LIFTING EACH OTHER UP AS WOMEN - WE REALLY CONNECTED ON THAT! WAS THERE ANY CONCEPT OR SPECIFIC DESIGN THAT PARTICULARLY RESONATED WITH YOU? DO YOU HAVE A FAVORITE PIECE IN THE LINE?
F: It was very interesting for me to work on this collection because I've always been quite intimidated by sports, performance and working out. Movement happens to be a part of surfing but other than that I've always been the girl to say no to anything that involves physical performance because I'm super intimidated by it. Working with Oiselle has really made me see another side to athleticism. To get to know that sports don't have to be all about winning but rather about sisterhood and self fulfillment is so eye opening to me. That the fact that you can kick ass is just a cherry on the cake. It was so cool to go back and forth and mix our experiences to make the art pieces of the collection. The girls I worked with are super progressive and embracing all the realities of womanhood which is so rare for all brands but especially ones making gear for fitness. I always felt that the fitness world hated women. And I hated it back. But now I have gotten quite inspired, even so much that I dusted of a pair of running sneakers. I wait until it's completely dark outside, plug in loud music, take my dog and hit the beach. I run until I'm too hot and then I just float in the ocean. I feel that it is MY energy that is moving my spirit and body. Not the energy, undercover pressure, of someone else. I think my favorite piece is Heads up Wings Out because it embodies this feeling for me.
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