Meet the Artists: Liv & Dom

Meet Liv and Dom: ceramicists, illustrators and identical twins and collaborators. Their create handcrafted ceramics and homewares, which celebrates the nude female form in a playful, delicate and decorative way.

Read our interview below as they discuss their design process, working relationship and finding inspiration through lockdown and beyond.

When first starting the collaboration a few years back, where did your initial design inspiration come from, and did it change over time?

L- The first place I went to for inspiration was our own artworks - but because this changed to include more floral and pattern based elements, we had to add more ideas and revise things! The Bellflower, Tile and Siren earring motifs all came from our ceramic work. The Statuesque and Marigold ideas came directly from a pair of paintings I did back in 2020.

D- Both when we started and when we did some new ideas a couple of years in, we looked at art deco and art nouveau jewellery. This is because we knew they had a lot of figurative, floral, highly decorative and illustrative qualities.

What did you learn from our collaboration and were there any challenges you needed to overcome during the process?

L- I think the main thing we learnt was a lot about the making process behind Wolf and Moons pieces. We had some ideas that just wouldn’t translate into acrylic / wood / brass etc, and some ideas that Hannah presented to us in different ways. It was a really insightful peek into a different process and it was amazing to see how the design team worked. We’ve always just worked the two of us, so working with a design team was actually a learning curve!

You’ve also collaborated recently with Korean fashion designer, Eudon Choi. Is collaboration an important part of your work and what do you look for in a collaborator?

D- Our work is basically split into two parts, work for our online shop and collaborations, so it’s definitely important. Collaborations that can take us out of our comfort zone or challenge us in some way are good but equally working on simple projects where the ideas come quickly and easily because our brands are aligned so closely is fun too!

Which are your favourite pieces from the collection, and why?

D- Probably the biggest, boldest pieces, the Marigold and Statuesque earrings. I had this idea in my head that I wouldn’t like them because of the size (I usually only wear smallish gold hoops!) but they’re so fun to wear, like mini pieces of art.

L - I’m the opposite! I love them all, but I definitely gravitate to what I consider to be more wearable. The bellflower earrings and Tile earrings are my favourite. It was really fun to take little elements from our work outside of the nude theme and make them into something special.

How do you find coordinating a business as sisters, and do you find it easy keeping a healthy balance between work and family life?

D- Our relationship as sisters is, in a lot of ways, what makes our work life so successful. It’s a natural, easy collaboration between us. I suppose occasionally we have silly fights that only siblings can have (ones you would never have with a normal colleague!).

With your personal work, each piece is always beautifully designed and crafted. Do your individual styles differ from each other at all, and how do you decide who makes what?

D- It’s usually as simple as whoever designs and makes the first one of something will just continue to do it! Liv used to be more expressive and loose whereas I was a bit neater and more precise but over the years our individual styles have inevitably blended together somewhat.

Your beautiful work always sells out so quickly - congratulations! Would you ever want to grow the Liv & Dom team to keep up with demand?

D- Thank you! Absolutely we would, we’re just very cautious about expanding and doing it in the right way. We never set out thinking we can make a lot of money from our art and we’re quite happy with what we already have, so expansion for financial reasons isn’t much of a draw for us.

L- We’re actually very inspired by what Wolf & Moon has done to expand over the years, that is a very ideal situation. We both don’t consider ourselves particularly savvy business women, so it would be a lot to learn to get us to Hannah’s level!

The pandemic has affected us all in so many ways. Did it impact your business, and if so, how? Have you learnt anything valuable during this time?

D- We were extremely lucky because our business model can function perfectly well without human contact beyond our home, less trips to the post office and slower post but relatively unchanged. However it did impact our ability to produce work during the lockdown, those pandemic blues are not conducive to creativity...

L- It did impact our productivity and idea generation at times - which directly impacts our income because if we don’t make, we don’t make any money! We both had periods during the lockdowns where we were unwell physically. My boyfriend moved in with us for one of the lockdowns and we had some classic pandemic relationship issues (all sorted now). That, combined with the isolation and uncertainty led to some bleak months mental health wise… It certainly made me appreciate my health more and appreciate work that takes us outside of the studio!

Where would you like Liv & Dom to be in 2-3 years?

D- Probably out of our rented home studio, somewhere a little more permanent? Our work has developed significantly in the past 3 years so I’d like to see a similar growth in the next. We’re always trying to do work we’re really proud of and love, it will be interesting to see if we ever truly get there!

L- Yes, definitely with a studio outside of the house! I’d like to be doing a bit more painting I think, and maybe getting involved in exhibitions a bit more regularly.

Now that the UK is easing lockdown restrictions, what have you been enjoying doing again?

D- Going to the pub! Charity shop browsing. Just walking around and observing how much happier people look in general is nice.

L- Going on little day trips around East Sussex - we were only living here for a little while before the lockdown so we hadn’t done much exploring. We live in a pretty small town, so things opening up again has broadened our horizons a bit.

Do you have any creative outlets outside of your ceramic and illustration work; what do you do to wind down?

D- I prefer to keep my creativity within business hours. Does buying knick knacks from antique/charity shops and artfully arranging them in our house count as a creative outlet? To wind down I mainly enjoy being in nature with friends, cooking/baking and recently watching football.

L- I like to garden, cook, and sew, usually altering clothes and making scrunchies, nothing crazy. I don’t find enough time to sew though, with work being so all-consuming! I see painting as a creative outlet, as I usually do original artworks for our shop outside of work hours.

Do you have any exciting projects that you’d like to share with us, or a next shop update lined up?

D- Our next shop update will be in July and we have these new mini candlesticks planned - as a smaller/cheaper alternative to our existing ones, which I’m pretty excited about!

L- We have a collaboration with a Japanese fashion brand that we’re really excited about - it should be revealed pretty soon!

Shop the W&M x Liv & Dom collection here.

Visit the Liv & Dom website here and give them a follow over on Instagram too!