At its heart, The Colourist is a celebration, an ode to, and an exploration of colour. Colour has always been a passion of mine. I’m fascinated by how certain colours can look bland in one light and multidimensional in another, or dull next to one shade yet sing with limpid vigour next to another. There’s been so much research into colour psychology and the effect warm tones and cool tones and everything in between can have on your mood, which I love learning about. It’s one of those fields where science is catching up with instinct; interior designers have known for centuries that certain colours enhance certain moods—and the bottom line is colour brings JOY. Now, psychologists are proving it—colours are stimulating! You’re going to have to live in your home, and it should reflect your style, but it should also flatter and nurture your personality! Bring reds in to give energy, blues to promote contemplation, and yellows for optimism. I want everybody to benefit from the many powerful positive effects of good design, thoughtful use of colour, and the exhilarating, uplifting feeling one gets from having confidence in one’s interior design choices.
Each issue of The Colourist focuses on a different colour palette. I do some analysis into the history of pigment and the characteristics of the colours we’re focusing on. There are sections devoted to travel, because without travelling and learning how different cultures use paint and fabric and any other medium to express themselves, you’re only seeing a very limited view of the world. The first three issues include a free stencil, so if you’re new to the idea of upcycling and beautifying your own furniture you’ve got a fool proof way to start painting (and once you start, you won’t stop).
My favourite part of The Colourist is the step-by-steps where you can admire all the painted pieces by the best furniture artists in the world (and you will, in the proceeding 114 pages), but nothing will bring you the joy of painting your own piece. The creative fulfilment, the meditative nature of the process of painting and the pride in a good job well done is something that has to be experienced to be truly felt and understood.
The greatest thing about a bookazine over a book is that you learn so much from every issue about what’s successful, what’s useful and what really chimes with your audience. Each issue feels like it’s even better than the last. With a book, there’s a long time between writing and releasing, so it’s difficult to talk in terms of things that are current and exciting. I love using The Colourist as a collaborative pinboard for everything from art exhibitions, to up-and-coming designers, to future holiday destinations! It’s a fabulous way to keep track of the wonderful things I see. I’m constantly travelling with work, meeting the best of the best creatives in the world and now, I finally have a platform from which to share all I learn from these places and people. I have to say, of all my projects, this really is my favourite thing to work on because it’s such a positive thing to do. From cover to cover, The Colourist is a celebration…of creativity, of the brilliant individuals making beautiful things around the world and, of course, of colour.
The Colourist is about sharing my expertise, teaching people how to best exploit certain colours for certain gains and (perhaps most importantly) how to have fun whilst doing so!
I’ve written over 26 books and am constantly working on a forthcoming issue of The Colourist. The writing of each is a very different beast. Where the bookazine is very much a collaborative process between me, my team at Annie Sloan, and my stockists—friends and family who are all constantly sending inspiration from whichever corner of the globe they happen to be in—producing a book is a lonelier enterprise. Writing my books has been a much more isolated process where one fuses with one’s laptop or creative project. I’ll spend a few days painting something, then a day or so explaining step by step exactly what I did, which for someone expressive and spontaneous, can be challenging. Sometimes, you’ll do all that, and it just won’t work so you’ll have to scrap it. Knowing what to cut is so important when we’re writing The Colourist, too. You simply can’t fit in everything you want to. If you regret leaving something out, it’s the perfect motivation for your next project!
My advice for writing is the same as I give to people about painting—get stuck in! The time you can waste trying to get to a point where you’re perfectly prepared for a creative challenge is just that; time wasted. Have some gumption and go for it! The creative fulfilment of completing a painting project—or a book—is impossible to describe in words. You deserve to feel the enormous, warm gratification of a job well done, to enjoy the meditative process of working on something creative, and to be left with a finished object of greater beauty and value than what you began with! The Colourist will ready you for your journey. Bon voyage!