Meet the Future Creatives Tutor: René de Lange
René de Lange has always loved art. She recalls spending her childhood “immersed in a dream world of collage, painting and drawing animals.” Now an accomplished Print Designer with an extensive portfolio, René is keen to share her passion for the arts with young people.
We caught up with the inspiring artist to find out more about her work and discuss the local arts scene in her hometown of Brighton.
As a child, René loved going to art club after school, working with papier-mâché and drawing for “days on end.” Realising this was her passion, René went on to complete an MA at the Royal College of Art and has spent the last 10 years working as a Print Designer for a number of popular brands including Marks and Spencer, Debenhams and Age of Reason.
“I am a creative magpie and maximalist, bold, statement art is what excites me,” she says, “I spend a lot of time drawing and painting for my new homeware collections. I love making pieces my customers will treasure forever.” René’s artwork is set to be featured in an upcoming homeware book and she has some exciting new collaborative projects in the pipeline.
Inspired by natural environments, René finds that natural images often appear in her work, “I love drawing inspiration from nature,” she says, “I enjoy wild swimming and hiking, so the river and the ocean are a huge inspiration for me.” She also has an interest in architecture, fashion, and textiles, which each inform her work in some way.
Brighton arts scene
Now based in Brighton, René enjoys the “creative buzz” that surrounds the busy seaside town. “I am very fortunate to live here,” she says, “My neighbour is a potter, and I have lots of independent creative collaboratives in my local area. I am part of the Adur Art Collective, and I exhibit at the Adur Art Trail as well as the Artists Open Houses in Brighton. My art is also stocked in Neighbourhood Store, an inspiring local consignment store.”
As well as exhibiting her work locally, René also enjoys volunteering and currently works with Esteem, an inspiring charity that provides social activities, work experience and mentoring opportunities for young people in the area.
The power of creativity
One of René’s biggest passions is sharing the joy of art and creativity with young people. She is committed to helping young students find their voice and build confidence in their abilities. “Creativity is not only a joyful way to relax and daydream, but also a way to build confidence, get to know yourself, and make inspiring friends,” she says.
“Being creative gives children the chance to develop confidence in themselves, and helps them to think outside the box to be creative entrepreneurs or future trailblazers, doing what they love.”
If you're interested in finding out more about the power of creativity, take a look at our guide on the importance of art and creativity in a child's development.
The joy of "happy accidents"
The importance of a creative learning environment is clear to René, who loves to see students learning from one another in class; “I adore that feeling when a room full of people are in the creative zone, and the beautiful art starts taking shape! Seeing our Future Creative students beam with joy when they’re showing their art to other students – that really inspires me.”
She is also particularly inspired by the “happy accidents” that can come about when painting or drawing by hand; “I love sharing a sense of that artistic raw energy that makes art so exciting and unique. I wrote my MA dissertation about the beauty of imperfection and the “Wabi-Sabi” philosophy because I love the happy accidents that happen when we draw or paint by hand.”