22-year-old illustrator Emily Fluen brings together two things you might have gathered we love here at Old Tat; girls and cats. Using her mixed media works, the London-based promotes a sense of femininity married with the notion of “never taking anything too seriously.” Naturally, it was love at first sight when she presented us with her lampshade creation, graced with colourful cat-riding chicks. We talk about the search for playfulness and colour that is inherent in all of us. In her own words, Emily Fluen has got some serious ‘cattitude’.
What were the inspiration for your lampshade pieces and why this material over something else?
I made one originally for my friends birthday present a few years ago and it all started from there. I started to source and paint lots of different lampshades, from vintage ones to new ones, all different shapes and sizes. Now I make them for people to order. I love the idea of them sitting in someone’s home, bringing some extra colour and playfulness to that persons life. They are real statement pieces and something that the owner will hopefully be able to keep forever.
What kind of people would have them in their homes?
I think someone that isn’t afraid of colour, humour or cats. My style is very eclectic and I like to make things that aren’t too serious and would make people laugh. I just make things that I like and hope that other people will enjoy them too!
What can you see them next to on the mantelpiece?
If it was my mantelpiece they would be next to some framed photos, weird china cat statues and some other useless stuff I have collected. I think they are also great stand-alone pieces though. Think of them as a painting and a lamp in one.
Tell us about the ladies riding the cats. Who are they? The cats all look a little sad? Why?
The ladies are inspired by friendships and the people around me. Even though the cats appear a bit sad, they are strong and playful and never take life too seriously. The cats are just sad because their coats aren’t colourful enough.
What do cats mean to you?
I have always been surrounded by cats my whole life and so I naturally fall in love with every one I meet. I am a great animal-lover and think that they bring a certain happiness to the world that humans maybe can’t.
You attribute femininity as one of your influences. How do cats relate?
Femininity plays a big part of my work and I try to show all sides of this through the women I draw. I think that the cat is the perfect companion and just as strong as the women riding them.
Cat Lampshades by Emily Fluen www.emilyfluen.com
Words by Alice Freeman