Known far and wide for its rich history within textile manufacturing, Kirklees has always led the way in cutting edge design and innovation, even to this very day. Through his design ‘Two Tone Textile Tilly’, artist Mike Barrett, founder of EMELBI, has brought to life our region’s industrial heritage in his own, thought-evoking way.
Here, you can find out more about Mike and his striking Snowdog design, which will be unveiled when the trail launched on Friday 2nd September.
Q: What inspired your design the most?
A: Old mills, spools of coloured yarn, stitching, buttons and let’s not forget the sheep. I wanted the design to be playful, yet impactful, and also have an urban feel to it, which is very much my style. Two Tone because each side of the dog is notably different. One is highly colourful and the other is predominantly black and white. Old meets new.
Q: What is your art background?
A: Originally from Nottingham, I’ve been working as a Visual Artist and Photographer for over 20 years. After finishing my degree in Fine Art, I came to live in Yorkshire and set up as a freelance artist. My work involves digital illustration for various clients, web-based graphics, logo and branding solutions, book cover design, private commissions and I also deliver creative workshops in schools throughout all key-stages.
My early art influences were hip-hop culture, urban street art and graffiti. I’ve always loved those bold, colourful characters and intricate, stylised typographic images. Extreme sports graphics were also a big influence especially regarding skateboard and BMX culture. These days my influences are from all aspects of art and culture. People and characters have always featured heavily in my work and continue to do so. The Snowdog, being such a recognisable character, really appealed to me as a project and I jumped at the chance of getting involved.
Q: Why were you keen to get involved in this art trail? What do you hope it achieves?
A: The Kirkwood provide incredible services for the people who need it, which is why supporting this creative programme felt so right for many reasons. I’m keen to help raise awareness of the issues those with a life limiting illness face and to spread the word about The Kirkwood who provided care to my own family members who have battled with cruel diseases. Over and above raising awareness for a good cause, I hope that my Snowdog design brings a smile to those that see it and adds a little colour to everyone’s lives.
To find out more about Mike and EMELBI, please visit emelbi.com
To find out more about The Kirkwood’s mission to support people across Kirklees living with a life limiting illness, please visit thekirkwood.org.uk