Summer Collection Launch at Stackwood

Last Friday night was a fruity delight. People came (incredible) and were generous (we love you all) and enjoyed an eve of lovely music, playful art, and a free bar (thanks Little Creatures!). It was the night of the Sun and Flower Studios x Ash Frost Art Summer Collection launch and we had spent all day running around, shuffling the space several times until it felt right.

Inspired by summer, picnics, and lazy afternoons, the collection is called ‘Fruit Salad', and features bright hues, playful textures, and fruity motifs.

It’s tempting to say we always knew we could pull this off, but the reality is that Ashleigh (of Ash Frost Art) and I spent way too much time feeling nervous. We had never shared our art with others on this scale before, and we had never put on an event like this one. What if no one showed up? What if they hated the art? What if we were a hot mess and had nothing ready?

It is so scary to give yourself a deadline and event for sharing your creativity. Deadlines are very real. Sometimes they can just become stress and exhaustion and spending money on things you do not need to try and sell art which does not feel authentic. Throughout the process Ash and I kept reminding ourselves why we were doing this and continue to have fun and be playful with our creations. We genuinely enjoyed making the things we made, and I hope that this is reflected in the work.

Making does not have to be a chore, and deadlines do not have to be anxiety inducing. For me, the best part about a deadline was the way it forced me to let go of perfection. Lack of deadline can mean that your work is never done, and there is always something to improve on or make more of. Whilst I went in to the launch with less stock than I would have liked, and had to leave behind a few unfinished ideas, it was freeing to accept the creations I had made, embracing it as it was. They were cute. I liked them. It was enough.

In our interview with RTR (which you can listen to here at 1 hour 11 minutes into the show) we were scared we would be asked to explain our work on a deep, metaphorical level. The reality is that our work isn’t particularly deep or metaphorical. We like fruit. We like making art about fruit. It is fun, okay! That’s about as artsy philosophical as it gets. Rather than be insecure about this fact, we decided to embrace it and make things we love. Both of us have had issues with health lately, and making art has been a bit of a lifesaver during this time. We wanted to make things filled us with light and joy.

Thanks to our beautiful, lovely, supportive friends, we managed to actually enjoy the night. Great conversations, greeting people, and taste-testing the punch, all responsibilities we took very seriously. Without extra support these nights can often feel like a massive chore, juggling customer service with sales and bartender duties while mixing the sound desk. We are so grateful to everyone who assisted and want to let them know how appreciated they are.

Thanks so much to Stackwood for providing such an amazing venue. It gave our work a sense of class and professionalism to display it in such a beautiful space.

Thank you to Little Creatures Brewery for your generous donation of beers to our event.

Alex, Liam, and Thom you were amazing sales assistants and emotional support. Serving buyers, taking orders, and processing entry fees, all tasks you took on with flair and friendliness. We absolutely could not have done this without you.

Emma, for your amazing music, beautiful photos, and the belief we could pull this off. Thank you so much for building us up and blessing the exhibition-goers with your magical music. If anyone heard Emma performing as Daisies Net on the night and would like to hear more, you can here.

Our set up team, Emilie (doubling as amazing photographer for initial pictures), Lizzie (thanks for the car hire too)!, Iven (also supplier of delicious bread), and Tobyn (the best bartender/ sound tech in the history of forever), for making the space look incredible and being patient with us completely change the room around (more than once).

Thank you to our friends and family for showing up on the night and being so generous and supportive. We are so grateful to be able to call this night a success and feel so encouraged to make and create more.

If you missed the night, it does not mean you have to miss out on the collection! Check out my online store for your fruity fix!

Leah Vlatko