Today I am excited to introduce you to an artist who makes some truly unique home decorations. Her name is Cicely Siller and she is based in North Carolina. Cicely works under the brand name Thrive and Prosper, exploring unusual material combinations, blending them into something special!
Cicely mixes bold concrete shapes with organic Shibori patterns, flexibility of reed and cotton ropes. All of which come together in beautiful baskets and planters. Artist also brings words into the creative process, by adding some cheerful, clever phrases she gives unique tone to her plain concrete planters.
To see more works from Thrive and Prosper please visit artist’s website and Etsy shop. And don’t forget to follow Cicely’s Instagram account, which is full of beautiful photographs of her creative process.
And now my favourite part… let’s meet the artist!
What do we need to know about you?
My name is Cicely and I run thrive and prosper. I was born in the Netherlands and grew up in Germany. I currently live in North Carolina. I love working with concrete and natural materials.
What are your daily inspirations? What motivates you?
I walk about four miles a day with a friend and my two year old. It gives me plenty of time to share, laugh and observe what’s around me. What motivates me is the need to create. My mind goes a million miles a minute, but when I create it relaxes me, it puts me at ease. The challenge of finding a simple way to do something different inspires me to do what I do. In reality, simplicity is deceiving. I’ve learned that in order to make things seem simple it takes a very well thought out process to accomplish it. I guess that’s the fun of it.
Describe your creative process. What is your favourite part of it?
My creative process starts with an idea. Nine out of ten times, my aha moment happens in the shower (I take really long showers). Then I scour the internet to see if it’s been done before. If not, then I proceed. If yes, then I figure out how to do it better. Then comes a lot of brainstorming and mock ups. In terms of my baskets, the actual set up of the mold is the longest, most frustrating part of the whole process. Once, that’s complete, I mix and hand pour concrete into a mold that already has the reed attached. I wait a few days for the concrete to cure, remove the basket from the mold and then begin the weaving process. It sounds simple, but the process is actually quite complex. My favorite part is when I’ve figured it out and I have a final product that I’m happy with.
How does your work space look like? What do you like about it? What would you change?
My workspace is a work in progress. We just moved from Germany to North Carolina in January and I’m still trying to figure out what will work best for me. It’s currently located in the front room of our house. It’s full of Ikea, prototypes, wall hangings, a ridiculous amount of craft supplies and odds and ends. Concrete is something best done outside, so the next step will be to move my workspace outdoors.
Describe your typical day.
My typical day starts at 5.30 am, I get up and walk my two dogs, Dami and Ares. They’re Podencos and need a ridiculous amount of exercise. Then, I make sure the 15 year old hasn’t fallen back to sleep and get my six year old up and ready for school. I see him off on the bus and then feed the dogs and wake up the two year old and prepare for a walk. It’s about 10 by the time we are done. My two year old and I eat a snack and play until lunch. We then eat lunch together and afterwards she goes down for nap. I get to squeeze in some creative time between noon and three. And then the rest of the day is homework, chores, dinner, playground and a little more creative time after the kids go to bed at eight.
Your tips for fresh artists, designers and makers
Never ever give up! I still don’t know what I want to be when I grow up, so I keep trying new things and when you find something you love, give it your all. Do not pay attention to the naysayers. Listen to your heart and figure it out. Don’t be afraid to fail, just make sure you learn something from it. I don’t do well with long, detailed plans. Jumping in with both feet works just fine, just be sure to enjoy the ride!
All the images used in this post belong to the artist.