Artist Interview: Pot Bound
Iz Durose is a local creative of whom owns and runs 'Pot Bound', a retail space that features houseplants, bespoke painted pots and local artists work. Iz also delves into teaching, holding classes for children and the recent 'Sip and paint' workshops that are held in Abingdon Street Market.
We had the pleasure of asking a few questions, delving into her brilliant work within the local community and art scene right on our door step!
'Just keep going. Even when you’ve got no work, no customers, no opportunities, just don’t stop making and creating. I say to a lot of people that ask me this question, you have to want ‘it’ more than you want anything. You have to want it so much that no matter what happens in your life, you still want it.'
'Every event is packed, every post is shared, every achievement is celebrated and that’s what it’s all about. Every single person wants to see the town thrive, see their people thrive and see everyone succeed and that is the most heartwarming thing I’ve ever been part of. It makes me emotional just thinking about it!'
Q: Can you tell us about your artistic background?
I’ve always loved the arts in all of its forms and I’m very lucky to have parents that took me to galleries, theatres, shows, gigs and events from a really young age, so the love has always been there and been encouraged. I put on my first exhibition at 14 highlighting the issue of homelessness in Blackpool and raising money for the Big Issue, and in doing so started my photography business that went on to win multiple awards by the time I was 16. I went to Blackpool 6th to do my A-Levels, where I studied Fine Art, Photography and Drama & Theatre studies, and it was here that I could really explore the love I have for all things creative. I started my blog, I went to every music and art event I could get to (or sneak into!) and my passion for the creative community really started to blossom. I went on to do my Foundation year at Blackpool & Fylde college and was blessed with passionate, supportive and insightful tutors that taught me lessons I carry with me today. Whilst finishing this course, lockdown hit and like many others I was left wondering what would happen with my career. I decided, instead of going to University like I planned, I was going to spend at least a year trying to ‘be an artist’ and this is where my business Pot Bound was born! I've spent the past 3 years working full time as an artist. I opened my shop, became a ‘go-to’ for creative workshops and have become part of the most beautiful creative community.
Q: We love your contribution to art in the local community! What would you say is the most rewarding part?
I've been talking about creating a community for as long as I can remember. I was always desperate to ‘find my people’, to bring them together and for us all to help, work and support each other. The community in Blackpool has been building for years now, and we’re finally at a point where it’s so strong and so supportive and it’s really beautiful. The most rewarding part is being surrounded by incredible, kind, talented and supportive people every single day. Everyone wants everyone to do well and it shows. Every event is packed, every post is shared, every achievement is celebrated and that’s what it’s all about. Every single person wants to see the town thrive, see their people thrive and see everyone succeed and that is the most heartwarming thing I’ve ever been part of. It makes me emotional just thinking about it!
Q: What art materials could you not live without?
Wall paint! It sounds so strange, and it’s my worst kept secret, but I paint my pots with regular Valspar wall paint. Terracotta is porous, as are walls, and so wall paint is actually the best paint to work with on the pots. There’s no visible brush strokes, it blends beautifully, the colours are one flat colour, it dries insanely quickly and it’s cheap! Honestly at this point I just want one of those big colour mixers that they have at B&Q and I would be sorted for life! I would also have to say posca pens. My pots are always lined with posca pens and I go through hundreds of pens in a year. So if Posca is reading and would like to sponsor me that would be ace!
Q: With running the New Sip and paint Workshops, do you find yourself leaning towards teaching in your career going forward?
Yes absolutely. I’ve been told before that I’m a good teacher but starting my workshops, and especially the paint and sip, I am super confident in my teaching abilities. I love it. One of my customers told me you can tell how much I genuinely love teaching people and it’s so true. I think I have the ability to make complicated processes incredibly simple because I had to figure it out myself. I always say I’m actually terrible at drawing and painting but I found all these hacks to make it really simple and there’s nothing I love more than seeing the ‘oh my god I GET it’ look on people’s faces.
Q: What made you decide to open your own shop rather than venture into E-commerce?
Fate. I started selling online originally, through Facebook and Instagram, and I did the local farmers market a couple of times. I was actually looking for a studio space for a little while, because my parents couldn’t deal with all the pots and plants taking over our conservatory and kitchen all the time! I put a plea out that if anyone heard of anything to give me a shout and a friend told me there was a charity shop closing down below his flat and he could give me the landlord's number. I went and had a look the next week and saw the vision instantly. The universe gifted me the shop, 100%. I didn’t know how I’d afford it, the business had only been official for a month when I said yes but I just knew it would all work out. I’m grateful everyday for the blessing, and for the trust I had in the Universe.
Q: Could you tell us some fun facts people may not know about you?
Well a lot of the fun things about me come through in the business, like my love of all things spiritual and the Universe, or my love of theatre, music and going to galleries. I suppose a fun fact is everything in my life gets personalised. If you’ve seen me out ‘n’ about then you’ve probably seen me in my denim jacket filled with badges and patches. My laptop is filled with stickers. All my trainers have to be some kind of funky and I love wearing clothes that are bright and out there. I just love making things my own! People also might not know that I’m queer and that I’m incredibly proud to be out. I do a lot for the LGBTQ+ community, and below being an artist it’s one of the things I love most about myself and my life.
Q: Do you have any advice to any young creatives wanting to find a space in the industry?
I’m only 22 myself and so I totally get how big and scary it can feel trying to find your space but my advice would be to make the space, don’t wait for it to show up for you. All of the people you think are awesome, and would love to work with, or talk to, are just people. Usually they’re sound and would love nothing more than to chat with you so you’ve gotta be bold and put yourself in situations where you’re mingling with the crowd. Generally though- Work hard. Know who you are, or at least who you might want to be. Be confident. Be supportive. Find your people. Ask for help from people you admire. Say yes to every opportunity because you never know who you might meet or what you might learn. Just keep making work too. Just keep going. Even when you’ve got no work, no customers, no opportunities, just don’t stop making and creating. I say to a lot of people that ask me this question, you have to want ‘it’ more than you want anything. You have to want it so much that no matter what happens in your life, you still want it. I want to be an artist. I want to be an artist so bad that if I had no money, no home, no job, no income, nothing, but I was still an artist, I would be happy. There’s a reason most people don’t make it. It’s hard being a creative. It’s arguably one of the hardest things you could choose to be. You have to be the 1% that would rather die than be anything but a creative. You have to want it that hard. So if you do want it that hard, just keep going and the universe will put you where you’re meant to be.
Q: Thank you so much for your time! We would love to know if you have any exciting future plans or projects in the making?
Thank you for asking me ! Yes I have so many events coming up, workshops and a BIG move !! I’m working on an event with some of the most amazing girls in the area; Daisy Atkinson (voice of an angel, you’ve probably seen her play and if you haven’t you are missing out big time), Becky Davies, Grumpy Girl Graphics (incredibly talented graphic artist who makes the funniest and funkiest artwork I’ve ever seen), Amber Grace (social media expert, insane content creator and all round babe), and Caprice Minto (owner of Capri Club, maker of the most insane festival, swimwear and alternative clothing),We are putting on a ‘Shop Small’ event October 8th at Abingdon Street Market with some amazing local designers, customisers, artists, and charities to encourage people to shop more sustainably and embrace customising their own garms to make them truly their own. It’s gonna be ace with DJs, good people, good food and an absolute vibe so if anyone’s around we’d love to see you down there!
Be sure to follow and find out more about Izzy and her endeavours with Pot Bound: