Morwenna Farrell thrifts vintage clothes and screen-prints her illustrations all over them. Here, she explains why she decided to combine all her loves, into a one-of-a-kind clothing brand
In the wise words of Sheryl Crow, ‘Every day is a winding road, I get a little bit closer’. This song speaks to me so clearly! So many twists and turns are thrown at you in life and you don’t always get to do what you love when you are younger, but I think that has made my journey so much more interesting and has made me appreciate it all so much more.
When did you realise you wanted to be an illustrator? And how has it evolved?
When I started university, as a mature student is when I knew this is what I want to do forever! After spending so many years not doing what I love there was no way I was going to let it go after wishing for it for all these years but never believing in myself.
Art has always been there throughout my childhood and crept into my office jobs I had when I was in my early 20s, but I didn’t have much confidence in it to ever believe it could be a career path.
My work has evolved naturally since leaving university I didn’t have a clear plan, all I knew was that I was, and still am loving every second of making and creating, and I’ve have been lucky enough to find a way to work for me that combines my loves of vintage, fashion, history and screen-printing, drawing, and my love of making music and soaking it all up to create one of a kind clothing for everyone.
Similary, when did you have the idea for marrying up your illustrations with vintage clothing?
Probably just after university when I spent Fridays volunteering at Print to the People (a screen-printing non-profit company that was in Norwich), I started experimenting with my own clothes, clothing that was a bit dull or a bit old and needed a revamp.
Looking back though it has probably always been there, I used to upcycle clothes when I was younger, and my mum used to make us the coolest fancy-dress outfits, we didn’t have heaps of money, but my mum was always thrifty and I’ve always loved vintage, that feeling when you find a special piece that no one else has is the best feeling.
How would you describe your style?
Hmmm that’s such a hard question, I would say eclectic, a mix of all the things I love all lovingly hand drawn.
How was everything looking for you at the start of the pandemic and have you had to adapt in anyway?
At the start of the pandemic, I think like everyone I was terrified of health/work/ moving house and the general panic a pandemic might have on your wellbeing and those that you love.
Work wise, I had just finished my Spring Summer range and had a pop-up shop already booked, so months and months of planning and making all there ready to go.
So, I decided to host my first virtual LOCKDOWN LAUNCH. And actually, I realised how that made it more accessible for those that don’t live in the UK and also it is amazing what you can pull out the bag in a week.
We turned the house into a kind of pop-up shop, me and my husband modelled the clothes and set up backdrops and I was manically listing 160 items on my Etsy shop, it was a really great way to see what you can do to make a positive out of a crappy situation by adapting to a new way of working!
How important is it to you to be as sustainable as possible? You also offer screen printed eco T-shirts?
It is at the heart of everything I do, my main work is upcycling vintage, I hand source all my collections especially for my upcoming ranges, whether they have a hole or a missing button or perhaps a mark on them I do all I can to bring them back to life.
I carefully think how to print onto them which design is made for which item and then make them into wearable one of kind pieces for everyone!
And, yes, my T-shirts are from a brand called Earth Positive, made in manufacturing facilities powered by green renewable energy, from low-impact raw materials. It is very important to me where my clothing comes from, I then hand screen-print them at home in my basement using non-toxic eco inks, and I make them in small batches!
My packaging is also very thought about: paper bags and paper envelopes, or I reuse packaging where possible, and my clothing tags are all hand printed by me and made from vintage sheets or materials.
What do you do in your spare time?
In my spare time I love to draw, write and play guitar with my pal Lee. We started a band last year called The Molee Shakes, which was a dream venture.
And have lots of walks and adventures with my husband and lots of hugs with my two black cats.
What are your hopes and dreams for the future?
To be happy and love what I do and enjoy where the adventure takes me…. and to keep on making music, do more catwalk shows and have lots of holidays exploring new places!
Featured image picture credit: Kerry Curl (@kerrycurl)