100 days of plates

The beautiful results of one artist's personal project
Zoe Ingram

When Australian artist Zoe Ingram started designing her own plates, the project took on a life of its own. 

With a personal challenge of designing 100 plates in 100 days, the Adelaide-based artist garnered 48,300 people followers on Instagram. We sat down with Zoe to find out how it all began.

What do you do?

I am an illustrator, artist, and designer. I have an art agent in the USA, Lilla Rogers Studio. I mostly create art for books, home decor, textiles and stationery either as commissioned work or as licensed art.

When did you start 100 days of plates?

I began my project on the 13th June 2017.

What inspired you to make 100 days of plates? – 

My husband was diagnosed with stage four cancer in December 2016 and from that day my main focus was on him and not on work.

It felt like I had spent the first six months of this year in the hospital while also trying to take care of my two young daughters and keep things going at home. I had no time for any kind of client work or personal work for that matter.

My husband began to feel a little bit better around mid-May this year and I was able to begin working again from home around the start of June so, I felt that I was able to begin again too. But, because I’d not been working for such a long time, I felt very rusty, stuck and lost.

I needed to create some art just for me with no rules and no constraints. I happened to put a collage pattern that I’d created onto a plate as a mockup that day and that’s when my idea to do 100 days of plates started. After having such a long spell where I wasn’t creating, I felt that doing this would give me that creative freedom I needed. It was really an exercise in getting back into a rhythm of creating. I just needed to get my brain, heart and spirit going again.

What are the challenges to keeping up with your project?

Once I started making art again after that long break, I found that I had loads of energy and ideas. Each day sparked an idea for the next day and the encouragement I received from everyone following my plates kept me going too. So it was actually very easy and fun to generate the art. Sometimes I’d create two or three days worth of plates at a time, in advance, if I knew that my schedule was going to be tight.

How do you make your plates?

I don’t physically make the plates, they are purely visual concepts and a channel for me to express my art and ideas. I create the art traditionally (I used many different techniques from water colour to collage), I then scan my art work and create a “mock up” using photoshop. I am about to begin experimenting with prototypes of real plates.

What else do you make? 

I generally create artwork for manufacturers or publishers so I don’t make a great deal of physical end products. I do, however, make some art prints, notebooks, cards and tea towels myself which I sell on my own website.

Who or what inspires your art?

I love nature and that inspires me immensely. I’m a colour lover too and I’m always drawn to bright and unusual colour combinations, lettering and pattern. Also, the human spirit, the good in people and intuition helps me along a lot of the time too.


Can we buy your plates?

Unfortunately not at this time. I’m working on making this project a reality, but in the meantime, they remain visual inspiration. Perhaps I will create a coffee table book with the whole collection of plates. You can find my art prints, cards and tea towels on my website and I also sell my patterns on fabric, wallpaper and gift wrap on Spoonflower

To see all the plates, follow Zoe on Instagram here.

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