One day, I just happened to be browsing Twitter looking at different creative and their work. I was very much drawn to PEJU OSHIN, a self-professed design gypsy with a quirky eye for detail. She speaks to us about expressing herself through different mediums, and shares some super helpful advice to fellow creatives.
Tell me a little bit about yourself.
I am 24 and a Londoner of Nigerian decent. Last year, I graduated with a degree in interior design. But I wouldn’t really call myself a designer full stop. I’m more of a design gypsy. I can’t stay with one thing in particular; I like to move in between the disciplines. It makes work more exciting when you use different mediums to create your final output.
Have you always been into design?
I’ve always been into art. The design aspect came later on. I’ve always loved doodling, drawing and painting. I always wanted to go to university and study something along the line of fine arts. But instead I chose to do interior design. For me, the home is a really important space, this course fostered my route into interior design.
After you finished uni, did you go straight into an interior design job?
Before I graduated, I already had an internship. I did that for around six weeks. After I did that, I was offered a job at creative recruitment agency, I worked there for three months. It was interesting as a new graduate to be able to see the competition and what’s out there.
Now you’ve stepped into your role as an interior designer, you’re working on residential spaces. What else does that entail?
It’s really broad. I’ve been doing a lot of spacial planning and furniture selection. A few times this year, I’ve designed furniture for a client from scratch.
So you call yourself a design gypsy. You’re a graphic designer, photographer and artist. Do you think you can be one without the other?
No because I’d get bored. I can’t just focus on one thing; otherwise I’d feel caged in. Whatever captures me, I have to do.
How do your design, art and photography inform each other?
My art has mostly been separate, but it’s starting to inform some of the things I’m planning for the future. I’m looking at African interior design because a lot of the work that I’ve been doing has been African inspired. I like to use photography as a visual log. If I’m going to embark on a new project, I’ll take pictures that are inspirational and remind me of that space. Last year, I went to Morocco and I did some photography out there. All the places are really vibrant and that’s something I’d like to bring into the interior work that I’ll be doing.
You said that you’ve used your photography to bank the ideas, how else do you get you ideas?
A lot of my ideas come from everyday life. I like to sit and watch everything that’s going by. I used to prefer to get on the tube as it was no hassle and I could around quickly, now I prefer to get on the bus and sit on the upper deck right at the front. Things I sometimes see seem irrelevant but in the future they always seem to come in handy. That’s why I always keep a small book with me, because when the idea comes, I can write it down. If I don’t, ill forget.
As a journalist, I know I definitely get writers block. Do you ever get design block?
Definitely. As a designer, when you have a client come to you, there’s always a deadline. It comes with the pressure of wondering whether you can be creative in time. Inspiration comes to you whenever and if it’s not there and you’ve got a deadline, then you’ve got to pull it out of the bag somehow. Sometimes I’ll have many ideas and get five pieces done in a day. Other times, it could be weeks. It’s getting a little better now because I’m making a conscious effort to keep an idea journal with me. It’s definitely challenging me to think a bit more.
You have done some amazing work from what I’ve seen on your website, do you get commissions outside of your job so you’re getting a separate income?
Now I’m starting to publicise my work a bit more, I’m getting commissions. Somebody asked me create a large giraffe for their child a few weeks ago and I’m also getting people ask me to help them with graphic design projects.
It’s a good thing. For most people, the end goal is to run their own business or have their own studio.
Your blog, London Designs A Girl, is that an extension of the work you do?
It’s definitely been about my experience of industry so far. Looking online, I couldn’t find anyone’s experiences of what it was like to be in the creative industry. If I did, it was always a vlog from someone in America. I don’t live there so that’s not going to be my experience. So I feel the blog is trying to be realistic and honest about what it is to get into industry.
So what are you currently doing?
I’m working freelance with a lady in Dalston on residential projects. On the other side of that, I’m in the process of trying to plan an exhibition, which I’d like to do before the end of the year. I’ve also got some video projects that I’m going to be putting out on YouTube and Vimeo. I really like looking at the concept of culture and how we all get along in the UK.
What advice do you have for your fellow creatives when it comes to putting work that’s close to your heart out there andnthe struggle of slow progress?
Follow your heart. I got offered a job working in creative recruitment; I did that for a few months and decided to quit without another job to go onto. It’s the best decision that I’ve ever made in my life.
Also, even if people aren’t directly coming to you and telling you how great your work is or there isn’t a big hype around it, I would definitely say keep going because you probably have a silent following. There are probably people visiting your site and sharing your links or visiting your Instagram page. Always keep your vision in mind. If it’s important to you, you’ll do it. Don’t worry if the people around you aren’t supporting you, sometimes you just have to go and find other supporters. Do what makes you happy. Yes we all need to get a cheque, but life’s to short to work a job that’s making you unhappy.
Find and Follow Peju on:
Blog: London Designs A Girl