Charlotte Gaisford started her artistic journey being taught art by an 90 year old nun called Sister Loretto. She was strict but encouraging and left a lasting impression on Charlotte which she still has today. Sister Loretto used to say “Always try your best and realise that there are always others who will succeed you in your ability but remember you are the one who creates original style and feeling in your art, this is priceless and can never be taken away from you.”
After university Charlotte was given a job to go to Paris and paint some real airplanes and turn them into ‘Japanese Zeros’ from WW2. This was for a film called ‘Empire of the Sun’ by Steven Spielberg. Armed with a tiny photo of a Japanese Zero as reference they set out and worked at various airfields around Paris. ‘One day everybody was tear gassed by accident because they were testing in the area and forgot everybody was in the hangers’. All the finished planes flew down to Seville for filming by real veteran WW2 pilots. Charlotte never saw the film for years and when she did she was surprised at how prominent the planes featured in the film.
Just before Charlotte got married she had her own paint effects business in Kendal in the Lake District. She sold paint effect paints and carried out commissions which took her all over the UK and even across to Europe. She was lucky enough to have quite a few of her houses featured in interior magazines, she even had a front cover featuring her red drawing room in ‘Antiques and Home’ magazine. She also presented and appeared in various TV shows for Sky and BBC 2.
After the birth of her two sons, Harry and Richard, she set about starting an on-line business called Crafty Computer Paper Ltd. This company sold all kinds of strange, artistic papers you could put through a domestic home printer. Charlotte had found a gap in the market and this was the only company of its kind in the UK. She built it up over a period of 8 years and then sold it in 2010 to Specialist Crafts who are a large stationary company based Leicester. Crafty Computer Paper is still going today, over 13 years since it was first started, have a look at the website.
From 2013 onwards Charlotte participated in a three year degree course in textiles and fashion at Newcastle College. Although many of the jobs she did during her previous life were art related she had never been to art school before. The flood gates of creativity were opened and Charlotte enjoyed every minute of the course. Although she was a mature student this did not seem to matter and there was always a great atmosphere in the Studios. She has just received her result and was so very pleased to have obtained a first class honours degree.