THE MASTER OF PATTERNS TELLS HER INSPIRING STORY
MY JOURNEY ByÂ Shirley Copperwhite
I was brought up in the heart of the countryside in Southern Ireland. My dad was an artist and he designed our family home in Limerick where we had a magical garden complete with orchards and a kitchen garden. My dad had his studio in our home as did my mother also an artist, so it was a given that creativity was a priority in our house. From a young age, I spent many hours drawing and creating. I was also very much inspired by my eccentric grandmother who had a flamboyant sense of style and a large collection of jewellery and ceramics. I grew up in Limerick city in the eighties when we were in the grasp of a bad recession.It was a grey and a rather dull place to live at the time. Today it is a very different place. Art was my escape, a world where things were a lot more colorful. School for me was quite a bland and mundane affair with some very austere nuns at the helm. I loved art and design so when I escaped the shackles of secondary school I studied Graphic Design at The Limerick School of Art and Design. College summers were spent in London doing whatever creative jobs I could find. It was an exciting time where inspiration was everywhere! When I graduated I worked for many years in Dublin as a graphic designer and freelance illustrator. I designed corporate identities, packaging, and brochures for a variety of high profile clients. I always had a niggle in the back of my mind that this was not really the path I wanted to keep on traveling, so I made the big decision to change direction once I saw an opportunity. A visit to Liberty's in London and a whole day spent at the V&A museum had inspired me and had sewn the seed. I started to make patterns for textiles, homewares and fashion accessories which I found I really loved! It's easy to work hard at something when your heart is really in it. I had my own vision for what I wanted to do so I started Shirley Copperwhite Designs in 2013. I am very glad I took the leap of faith.
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