Photo by Ellie Morag
Who are you, where are you from and what do you do?
My name is Isla Munro and I live and work in Edinburgh. I teach in the Design School at Edinburgh College of Art, primarily undergraduate students, in Product Design.
I am a designer and consultant, with a background in architecture and furniture design; I earn my crust through graphic design and visual communication and feed my soul through community and participatory art projects, and most recently street art.
I head up the 100 Days Project Scotland which is a project aimed at encouraging daily creative practice and have great fun arranging the celebratory exhibition in Edinburgh.
Are you working on any projects right now? Tell us about them!
The project on the forefront (apart from the return of all the university students!) is the 100 Days Project Scotland exhibition, which is opening on the 25th September. This year we have had more than double the amount of participants sign up to be a part of the celebratory show and I am very excited about it.
Thankfully I booked a bigger venue for the show this year, the Fire Station Engine House at ECA on Lauriston Place, so we will be able to fit in all the amazing projects.
Another lovely project to be involved with is a community art project where me and my friends Astrid Jaekel and Chris Dobson are delivering cut-metal artwork just off the Cannongate.
How can people find out more?
Instagram is a good place to see some of what I am up to. The 100 Days Project Scotland website is worth a look, including the 3D tour of the 2018 exhibition. Otherwise get in touch through Creative Mornings, and let’s have a coffee and I can tell you more.
How long have you been attending CreativeMornings?
I have been attending Creative Mornings since 2016, when I went along to a talk by Morven Cunningham on the global theme of Change.
CM is one of my favourite things and something I look forward to every month. I love the coffee and don’t even get me started on the bagels but even without those, the chance to hear all the amazing people speak about what is important to them is constantly inspiring.
What has been your favourite CMEdi event?
It’s very difficult to choose – they are so varied and all good! One I was delighted by most recently would be Mary Johnston on the theme of Preserve. Mary’s Doric poetry was fantastic, and Mary herself was captivating. I also loved the CMEdi in the Meadows where we met under a tree, in the rain, and ate breakfast treats.
What advice can you share with the CMEdi community?
I think probably the best bit of advice I could share would be to be yourself, and surround yourself with people you trust. I am lucky enough to have friends and colleagues who appreciate my weird, and I theirs.
What’s your favourite thing about Edinburgh?
There is not one thing; there is a glorious smooshing together of all the wonderful things which make Edinburgh the only city I want to live in.
I enjoy walking and cycling around it; I love the mix of architecture, it’s geography and geology. I love living in Leith, it is full of character and there are some great independent businesses and community enterprises which have such heart.
Love it or loathe it we are a festival city, and though I believe there is so much more Edinburgh needs to do to balance the festivals to benefit residents and not simply cater for visitors, I do feel lucky to have so many amazing things going on, on my doorstep.
What do you like to do on a free day in Edinburgh?
One of my favourite places to go, which is just outside Edinburgh, is Jupiter Artland. It is a lovely place to wander around. It has a programme of exhibitions every year, but the growing art collection in the grounds is fantastic and I see something new every time I visit. If I can’t quite get myself out to Jupiter Artland, then a cycle up to the Botanics for a coffee and then a wander around the grounds is always a good shout.
Who or what inspires you?
There is no one thing, or one person, so you’re getting a wee list! I am lucky enough to be surrounded by lots of inspiring friends and colleagues. My fellow 100 Days Project participants and the projects they pursue are an inspiration. Also, I am lucky to be a member of Tribe Women, an Enterprise Community run out of Tribe Porty, which is a fine collection of inspiring women.
image: Isla Munro
What is something you love and think people should know about?
I love taking photos of mundane yet beautiful things; most recently in the south of France it was door knockers, in New York it was water towers. I spell my name with things I find in the world and I have a ‘photo scavenger hunt’ list on my phone which I tick my way through in every place I visit. It means my camera roll is full of cast shadows, zig-zags, textures and colours rather than tourist destinations.
My most recent book purchase which speaks to that side of me is called “The Art of Noticing” by Rob Walker – it is a guide full of exercises like the ones I already do (like take photos of numbers 1 – 100 in order, or start a collection), and asks readers to take more notice of the world around them… I think more people should do that.
Is there anything else you like to let the CMEdi Community know?
A shameless plug for the opening of the 100 Days Show, but I would love to see the CMEdi community come to the exhibition. If you can’t make the opening, the exhibition is open until the 29th, so it is well worth a visit. Simply search Instagram for #100daysprojectscotland to see some of the amazing projects.
Follow Isla on instagram, and find more about The 100 Days Project Scotland at www.100daysscotland.co.uk, Instagram, and Facebook . Check out the original 100 Days Project from New Zealand at www.100daysproject.co.nz
Tickets are available now for The 100 Days Project 2019 show opening night on Wednesday 25th September, sponsored by the Cross Borders Brewing Company.
The show runs at The Fire Station, Edinburgh College of Art, 74 Lauriston Place, from Thursday 26th to Sunday 29th.