Knock Knock, who’s there?

What’s your craft background & how did you choose your shop name?

I’ve always been creative, since I was a weird little kid who sat in the corner drawing and writing, and made a book about my baby brother being born. I’ve always been a collector and a hoarder – convinced that things will come in useful one day. My first collage in the style I tend to work with now was created whilst I was studying fine art in Chester, inspired by Joseph Cornell. I’ve always had conflicting interests in the sickly sweet and the sinister (there can be such a fine line between the two), and this is what I often depict in my art.

My shop name was the result of various online aliases. Friends used to say I looked like the character Emily Strange – so ‘Emma Strange’. I then went through all the various sayings that involve my surname –Lord (see Q3!), and eventually settled on strangelord. And I am pretty strange some would say, so it’s quite befitting.

Are you a full time craftsperson or do you have other jobs too?

I have worked full time in arts previously – as an artist in residence at a comprehensive school with visual arts specialist status. This ignited in me an already glimmering interest in working with young people. I now work full time as a young people’s Information, Advice and Guidance Worker, and my art/creativity remains a means of expression and a coping mechanism for life’s stresses. When working with young people these can be manifold I tell you!

If someone wrote a biography about you, what would the title be?

I like plays on my surname – there’s a lot! So maybe Good Lord!, Oh Lordy!, Lording it up… I get sick of people asking me to buy them a Mercedes Benz!

What was your favourite TV programme as a kid?

Willo the Wisp! I used to go to my Grandma Dalton’s every day when my mum was at work, and I’d pretend I was Mavis the Fat Fairy. Grandma would be the Twit or Evil Edna. When I was a little older my brother and I used to love Bitsa, especially the end bit where they’d get all the random stuff from the numbered boxes and make something out of it. Very Dada! That’s kind of what I do with my art now.

If you were to be invited to a celebrity’s house for dinner who would it be and what gift(s) would you take them from your shop?

My dream is to meet the Queen. I don’t know what she’d make of my work. I’d give her my kitsch and colourful collage ‘Fed Up’, because I bet she gets fed up of all her regal duties. And I’m sure the happy stars would bring a smile to her face.

Just as divalicious, but more the queen of grunge, Courtney Love is my idol. That woman has been through a lot! I’m not sure I’d get tea or cucumber sandwiches round her gaff, but ‘…and all the stars were just like little fish’ is named after a line from her grunge pop anthem ‘Violet’, so I’m sure she’d appreciate the homage, and my use of a picture from a child’s colouring book would probably appeal to her interests in naive imagery, just waiting to be corrupted.

How do you promote yourself?

Not well enough! These things take time, which I never have quite enough of.

I have my Folksy shop…   I tweet…   And I blog when I can…

As well as my minor online presence (!) I like to get involved in art shows and exhibitions. For me it’s so exciting to see my work displayed publicly for people to see. I’ve exhibited at the Great Sheffield Art Show, Holmfirth Art Week, and more recently in a small privately owned gallery in my home town of Doncaster.

If you were stuck on a desert island and were allowed to take one new crafting project with you based on something you admire in another shop, what would it be?

I LOVE sketch books. The way all my ideas are kept privately until someone ventures to open the pages. With a pretty sketch book and a handful of pencils I could doodle and drivel to my little hearts content. Maybe I could work out how to make adhesive from coconuts or something so I could collage in some shells or palm leaves.

Niche Handmade has some gorgeous note books and journals that would be just the ticket, especially the Alice ones. I’ve always felt an affinity with her. The strange company she keeps, and the constant curiosity…

What couldn’t you do without?

My cats. I do have a favourite but I won’t say in case they get upset. And strong glue.

What’s your favourite or most inspirational place?

Bed is a rather nice place isn’t it? Not really what I’d call inspirational though.

I’m inspired by literally everything –seeing a particular colour combination, finding an image on a flyer or in a magazine, idly browsing the haberdashery stalls at Doncaster market, or the delights displayed in the various charity shops.

I’m also inspired by seeing other artists’ work. ‘Peter Blake: About Collage’ at Tate Liverpool in 2000 and ‘Surrealism: Desire Unbound’ at Tate Modern (2001/02) made the most lasting impact.

And then there’s Paris…everyone must visit Paris at least once in their life –the Manets in Musée D’Orsay, the Catacombs (abandon hope all ye who enter…), the dead celebrities in Père-Lachaise, the department stores, the doll museum at Montmatre… magical! I made a box collage for my partner to commemorate the best holiday ever, which we spent in Paris together.

What’s the best piece of advice you’ve been given?

In relation to art? Or in general? My mum often says there are no right or wrong decisions, just different paths we can follow and deal with the consequences as we go along. I suppose that can be applied to my life and my work equally. I often agonise over things way too much.

What question would you like to ask to yourself? And then answer it if you can!

If I were to sit, or stand still for long enough (which happens NEVER! It allows too much time for thinking…), would I be tempted to collage myself with beads, or buttons, or trinkets?

The answer is quite possibly yes. And it’d make for a smashing self portrait I reckon!

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THANK YOU EMMA for taking time out to share some of your inspirations and fabulous collage pieces with us. I love the self portrait idea, that would look spectacular!

Emma has lots of original pieces of artwork to browse through in her Folksy shop Stangelord – give yourself a treat and pop over there!


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4 Responses to “Knock Knock, who’s there?”


  1. 1 strangelord 11/04/2010 at 2:46 pm

    Thanks for featuring me Shaz. Love the pics you added in too. I HAVE to find Willo the Wisp on DVD!

  2. 2 Olly 11/04/2010 at 7:01 pm

    So interesting, thank you for this! I really like these interviews that you do 🙂

  3. 3 Lynsey aka Swirlyarts 13/04/2010 at 11:28 am

    Oh I love the work of Strangelord 🙂 When I get some money to spend I am heading over there!

  4. 4 Fee 13/04/2010 at 12:42 pm

    Aww, thanks so much for the mention! Fantastic interview too 🙂


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