B and B blog
B&B interview interior designer Ayesha Bibi April 13, 2020 12:00
Ayesha Bibi has intrigued us from the word go with her fabulous colourful instagram stream. We love her look so much she even became a creative muse!
What year were you born?
I was the unplanned ninth child born to my parents during Early Spring of Nineteen Eighty One.
Where are you from? Do you still live there or have you moved on somewhere else?
I am from the Northamptonshire district, I have lived in various places in the UK, London, Surrey, 3 or 4 parts of Warwickshire and now based in Birmingham. Essentially a "traveller" (not sure if this is the correct term to use these days) but its what i have been called by my very loving nieces and nephews (all 14 of them).
Tell us a bit about your background…
Mama and papa are both native tigers from Bangladesh, I am the youngest of the siblings, my parents came to the UK to enable my brothers and sister better educational prospects, naturally they did as they were asked and created "academic" careers out of their lives. I was the unplanned mishap/delinquent (studied Fine Art) whom occurred here in the UK, probably when my mother least wanted another little terror around her ankles at 44. My father was a baker in the UK, but a landowner/farmer/property developer back in Bangladesh, where he has now returned to continue his work despite being 87.
What did you want to be when you grew up?
As a child (secretly maybe even now), I was that kid that wanted to be an astronaut and go into space, or at least space travel, most of this obsession probably stemmed from watching things like "Button Moon", "Mork and Mindy" and "The Jetsons". Not to mention various sci-fi comics. Eeek.
What sort of music did you listen to when you were younger, and has that influenced your work in anyway?
Having older siblings i was introduced to lots of different types of music, i'd say the only genres i could not cope with, were probably heavy metal and jungle (way too much for my sensory overload issues), it definitely influences my work, often sets the tone when i'm working on something. Preferences are still the same pretty much, Electro, Rock, Folk, Soul, Hip Hop, Jazz. Music is life.
Do you identify with any tribe?
Hmmmm, i'd have to say if we are going tribal, certainly that dweeby gamer - skater girl, and i'd still be skating if i were still intact and LOVE ACID HOUSE.
What did you do before becoming an artist/creative?
Throughout school I knew that i was never going to be an academic like any of my siblings, though i had no issues with these subjects, I was constantly obsessed with creating virtual worlds, regardless of the subject, my topic somehow always became fantasy. I studied Fine Art at University, despite my mums grievances with this, and fear that i'd never get a "real" job. This time gave me so much scope to play with my thoughts and figure out what i wanted to do. I was lucky enough to go straight into a creative industry.
Do you work alone or are in you in a partnership/creative collective?
I work with a mixture of creative and non creative folk, I have worked as an interior designer from day dot, but work across the board in developing/mentoring creatives businesses, this can range from wearable items, furniture, music publications, bands, photographers and videographers.
Do you have a style that you stick to or has it changed over the years?
In terms of style, I think my personal style has pretty much remained the same. The styles presented to a client can really vary dependant on their lifestyle and needs. My personal style is as whacky as you like.
How did you develop your signature style?
In terms of my signature style when it comes to interiors, it has developed through my experiences and travels, and probably also my colourful asian background. If I had to describe it, I would say that it is a concoction of Control Vs Complete Madness, Streamlined but a Chaotic Organisation.... that would be also be a good way to describe my brain. Eeek.
What medium do you work in? What is your design process?
I am an old fashioned pen and paper girl, I love to draw concepts freehand and handle raw materials, this will later turn into realisations and actual spaces of course. But you may find yourself with a pretty watercolour painting of an original thought.
Do you have a favourite piece of work that you have done so far, and why do you like it?
I cannot say I have a favourite piece of work that I have created as such, over the years I have had some amazing experiences and clients, I get so much joy and pleasure to realise someone else's thoughts and emotions into reality. For me this is the EXHILARATION.
Who is the person behind the persona?
I guess i am pretty much what you see is what you get, so no hidden agenda, sometimes needs a verbal filter. Eeek.
Who are your heroes?
My personal heroes, are definitely my parents, they are both massively creative, loving and kind hippies, from a young age i learnt so many crafts with them that have certainly favoured me in adulthood. From making bamboo baskets to constructing shacks.
Creative heroes, we could be here a long time... two that stand out for me, are Zaha Hadid, for being a total badass rule maker in architecture and design (shoe design OMFG!!), and Anish Kapoor for his sheer intensities of pigments and scope of his installation and conceptual art.
I might add a third here, Damien Hirst - anything/anyone that plays with space and dominance does incredible things to my soul.
What has been your career defining moment?
I am actually going to say, this was my son, the moment he was conceived my life changed forever, somehow now I was to be the lone parent of an unborn child. Therefore have spent the last ten years creating a world tailored just for us. Some sacrifices have come with undreamt of rewards. During this time, some parts of my interiors side of work has had to be put on hold, thus, a time to exercise and draw upon other creative skills I am lucky enough to have, such as photography and languages.
Where do you see yourself in 5 years’ time?
At this point, I feel like our life is at a really nice pivotal moment, I am currently in the process of continuing to write a book I started three years ago, so it would be nice to get this published at some stage. Also re-instating my interiors business and connecting back into the pool of amazing design and designers.
Have you got any advice for other artists/creatives?
My advice to artists and creatives, would be to always believe in your passion, you may come up against set backs throughout your career, whether it be personal or professional, remain true to yourself and remember the people who helped you along the way, always pay respect, because it reaps dividends.
Here is a picture of her by Lisa:
Three head bird wallpaper March 12, 2019 12:00
This wallpaper has been an ongoing project for a few years. I took an image of a sparrow and wanted it to look wooden, like an ancient tree. There were a lot of attempts to make it look right and I ended up discarding it for ages, something wasn't right about it. Recently I was going through my archive and came across this image again. I had a fresh mind and a clearer idea where I wanted it to go and it finally paid off...
Ice cream you scream wallpaper February 26, 2019 12:00
This is my favorite of the new wallpapers. I was so pleased that I could draw a rabbit that looks like a rabbit! Everything about it gives me joy as it all seems to marry so well. Mad, fun, bright and surreal.
Boom wallpaper February 19, 2019 12:00
Sometimes I put aside a chunk of time to do some sketching of any old thing that I fancy. Some of this work ends up in the bin and some of it sits on my computer under new ideas for months, even years, until I am ready to look at it again. I may not like a sketch but something about it makes me keep it. Some of my best work has come out of a drawing that I have done and forgotten, and then I revisit and realise its potential. This is when I produce my best work I feel.
Leopard fire wallpaper February 12, 2019 12:00
I have been working hard on a whole new set of designs for wallpaper and prints for the last six months or so.
I love animal prints but never attempted to do one myself until now. Whilst drawing this I was thinking of a big colourful mystical beast roaming around. I like this design because it would suit a lot of interior products too such as carpets, rugs and bedspreads. Ideas are flowing...
Havering Resident August 2016 article August 3, 2016 12:00
Thanks to Sara Odeen-Isbister, editor of Havering Resident, for this fabulous piece on Brennan & Burch and our New Forest wall painted as part of Colour in Romford project.
Grand opening of a very small office May 13, 2015 12:00
Finally got round to painting and sprucing up one of the B&B offices. Feeling very pleased with ourselves. Almost felt like smashing a champagne bottle against the wall to launch it!
Irish Times write up October 28, 2014 15:06
Alanna Gallagher has written a nice little piece about us in the Interiors section of Irish Times online.
Love the fact it was mentioned that Lisa has a bit of Irish in her (oo er missus!).
She included a picture of our new Let the Music Play utility rocking chair lovingly restored by Out of the Dark.