5 minutes with artist Rebecca Kaye

Hi Rebecca, thanks for giving us 5 minutes. So tell us a little bit about yourself? You’re Welsh right, living in Edinburgh?
I was born in North Wales and came to Edinburgh for work. Edinburgh is a lovely city and Scotland in general is amazing. Every time I discover a new place I keep thinking it won’t get any better but it does.

And why the bikes and design?
I’ve been interested in drawing and design for as long as I can remember. When I started making prints, I did most of my thinking time during long cycles so it was inevitable the two would cross.



Who have you worked with in the past?
I’ve been pretty lucky to spend a lot of my time making my own work but I’ve also had some great commissions from the likes The Ride Journal and Channel 4. A few highlights from last year were the collaboration with ARTCRANK and Velib (the Parisian bike hire scheme), being involved in Vulpine’s Newspaper club and holding a screenprinting workshop at the V&A.

There is something special about your working colour palette, it’s very recognisable. We loved your thirty days of cycling too. Are you going to complete another month this year?
Definitely. It’s a great initiative to get people out on their bikes. I love cycling but I tend to go out on long rides and so if I don’t have an hour spare I may not go out. Thirty days made me take advantage of the 5 minutes here and there, even if it was just a ride around the block – it was great. Even the smallest of rides clears the mind.



What was your first bike you owned then?
My first new bike was a pink Raleigh racer. It was around the time everybody was getting mountain bikes but I loved the racer.

And what do you ride now?
It depends what I’m riding. I have a Condor Fratello for long rides and my very lovely Donhou fixed gear for shorter rides to give me a good workout.

Does your riding influence your creativity and art?
My riding clears my mind to help my creativity and art so it does influence me in that sense. Just being in the outdoors in general influences my work, whether it’s walking in the mountains or catching waves.

Why do you think art and typography resonates so strongly with the cycling fraternity?
For me, I think it’s more that bikes resonate with the art and typography fraternity. All sorts of people like to ride whether they’re designers or not but I do think designers are into their bikes!

What is your favourite or most popular work and why?
My most popular is my UCI world tour series. I really enjoyed working on that too as it was a year long project. My favourite individual piece of work is my ‘track cyclist’. I like my work to have a strong idea as well as being well executed and I feel I achieved that with the ‘track cyclist’.



What else do you get upto for kicks?
Anything outdoors related – walking, cycling or surfing finished off with good coffee (and a brownie).

Where can people buy your work and where can we meet you over 2014?
I have some work in a few shops and galleries dotted around the UK but the best place to see everything is online (rebeccajkaye.com). Failing that, I’ll be at the London Bike Show in February and The Handmade Bicycle Show (formerly Bristol Bespoked) in April as one part of OramKaye with Anthony Oram.

We’ll be ordering a few prints soon… Lastly what’s next for the Miss Kaye?
I’ve just started a new project called Middle of Nowhere (middleofnowhere.cc) documenting a few of my routes. I’m hoping to spend a bit more time on that this year to see where I can take it.



Tell us more…
I hope the site will be used as a bit of inspiration to find some great places close to your home. The places I’m listing so far are all in Scotland but I’m hoping to include a few places in England and Wales soon.

What was your inspiration to produce that site?
I’m still discovering a lot of places in Scotland for the first time but every time I visit somewhere new I’m amazed. The scenery is breathtaking and I can’t believe how untouched it is. The places are remote but you can’t help but feel that if it were in a different country people would be shouting from the rooftops about it. So this is my attempt to start shouting.

So might we make something cool for 2014?
A middle of nowhere and nowhere fast collaboration would be very nice! Definitely – I would love to! Watch this space…



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