My name is Lizzie Spikes and I am a Welsh artist and illustrator and the creative half of the business partnership that created and runs Driftwood Designs. I studied fine art and sceneography at degree level and my work today is largely driven by my interest in communicating my visual interpretations of ideas, facts, words, places and feelings to others.
Becky’s business minded approach along with her eye for design and detail is just what is needed to compliment my creative energy and Driftwood Designs enables me to dream up and design new ways of bringing my painting and illustration into accessible forms and everyday life. It has always been important to Becky and I that my work is financially accessible and by creating homewares, cards and prints that feature new illustrations we are incorporating art into everyday life. I love that people have oven gloves with my painted Mackerel swimming along them and lampshades covered in multi-coloured hearts that warm their rooms. I take delight in developing new ways of bringing my art and ideas into people’s lives and the fact that we are now running a successful brand and a business that supports us and employs others is a wonderful thing.
I like to paint and draw in all media (except oil paints which I’m yet to master) and on all surfaces. I particularly like to fashion canvasses from recycled wood and driftwood and to paint on collaged paper surfaces. I find the pre-existing shapes, form and textures of driftwood inspiring and far less daunting than a pristine white canvas. I like acrylic inks- their fluidity is good on the sometimes uneven driftwood and their colours are strong and vibrant.
I love what I do and feel immensely lucky to be able to spend my days painting, illustrating, product sourcing and designing, marketing, listening to audiobooks and spending time with a team of wonderful strong women.
My name is Becky Barratt and I take care of the ‘business’ side of driftwood Designs. I really enjoy growing the business and developing new products with Lizzie and taking care of the finer details so that Lizzie’s work is showcased on products that are the best they can be.
I was born in Machynlleth and went to school in Aberystwyth where Lizzie and I met. I studied in Birmingham and lived in London and Manchester. As soon as I had my first child I couldn’t imagine her growing up anywhere other than home, and moved back to Aberystwyth soon after.
Lizzie created a piece for our new home in Talybont and we got chatting. I had left a business that I had set up in Manchester in which I was an agent for TV crews and began to wonder if I could use the skills I had developed to be an artist agent…..and thankfully Lizzie was happy for me to give it a go. I had always seen the potential in Lizzie’s work and was very grateful that she was willing to give me a chance to try build and expand the business that she had created. Agent soon became business partner when we realised the potential for growth. We could barely keep up! From the outset we agreed on the direction, ethos and qualities we wanted for Driftwood Designs.
In the early days we both had little ones at home with us so we would grab small amounts of time to find suppliers and trade customers, develop products and a website and also pack and post orders. The main hub was my kitchen table for a while and we had boxes of stock in every room of the house. We moved to a cabin in my garden which we out grew in a year and then to Queens Yard. In 2017 we opened the shop on Eastgate in Aberystwyth and 3 years later we moved to a bigger brighter space in Pier Street. The space we have here allows us to fulfil our trade and online orders all under the same roof as the shop which helps create a really happy, busy work environment. We all help each other. I continue to be inspired by Lizzie, our team and our customers and thoroughly love what I do.