Mibo is a company based in an old stable tucked away a stone's throw from the seafront in Hove.
"We started up back in 2001 with the aim of creating well designed, lasting products for the home. From humble beginnings selling lampshades at Old Spitalfields Market we soon found ourselves with orders from stores such as Liberty and the Conran shop. Since then Mibo has expanded its range, more recently developing make-at-home products for children (also very popular with adults!) which encourage them to develop their motor skills and give a quite thrilling satisfaction of turning something initially 2D into something fabulously 3D. We have also just teamed up with French company Coq en Pate to create a range of childrens' accessories."
Can you give us some key steps in your artistic career?
I studied theatre design which led to a career in set decoration, this led to me to start thinking about designing homewares; this was the start of Mibo and from there is has slowly changed into much more of a kids brand.
What led you to illustration ?
I think living in the country as a teenager with not much to do – I used to spend a lot of time painting, imaging myself as an artist…
A memory of one of your first childhood drawings which you were proud of and why?
I remembered designing a pattern at school when I was about 7. I was called in to see the headmistress so I nervously walked to her office thinking that I had done something wrong. Instead she just congratulated me on the design and it was put on display.
Your graphic universe is full of animals. What has driven this choice?
Again, I think growing up in the country has given me a huge affinity with nature. I am so intrigued and amazed but the natural world, by evolution, by how all these diverse creatures have managed to survive for hundreds of thousands of years. I find it all so mind boggling and I hope through my work to bring this wonder to the next generation. It is more precious now than ever.
We meet around a common sensitivity for ecology. What is your way to make
things change in your everyday life ?
My mother grew up during the second world war when food supplies were scarce and so she has always detested waste. I am like this as well. I cannot bear the fact that some much food gets thrown away in the UK and so I am very precise about what I buy and what I use and try not to let anything end up in the bin.
Why did you accept to be published by Coq en Pâte ?
It is rare to meet another company who share almost precisely the same principles and aesthetic values. It is easy to work in partnership when these things are in place.
If you were an animal : I would be an albatross just to glide above the world and see what’s going on
If you were a color : Bright yellow – the colour of the sun, hope, light
If you were a form : I cannot decide between and egg shape and a sphere – maybe a sphere I think, a perfect shape.
If you were a painting or a famous drawing ?
I went to see a show of Matisse’s cut outs the other day and remembered how much I liked them when I was studying art. Maybe his colours/patterns influenced me. And I love how he used such massive scissors to cut out the paper, but with such ease.
We love Mibo’s make-them-yourself paper animals (all made in the UK using recycled paper and vegetable inks) with their subtle combination of characterful shapes and geometric patterns.