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If you can imagine it, Penny Mills can build it. Despite originally studying costume design, Penny decided to use her skills to build some of the most awesome, imaginative ‘oh my god, I wish I could live in it’ sets you’ve ever seen. She has learned from the best in the biz – Andy Hillman and Gary Card – and it shows! On her own fashion editorials, video shoots and big brand campaigns, Penny creates scenes that are otherworldly, funny and dripping with colour. And she’s really good at making giant versions of little things, like strawberries, popcorn, hair curlers…and her humongous Polly Pocket for her BABY-G Artist Collaboration!Name:Penny Mills Age:26 Location:London Occupation:Set Designer
3 words to describe me:
Curious, adventurous and nostalgic.
Current obsession:Growing succulents. My windowsill is overflowing!
What inspired your piece?
I wanted to create something that was nostalgic in the same way as BABY- G. So I recreated a model based on a Polly Pocket that I owned as a child. I wanted the Polly Pocket to become a home for all of the watches. And capturing the watches in different parts of the house like in bed or in the shower! I’ve always been really in to model making and it was a great opportunity to work on a project that combined happy childhood memories with the enjoyment of making something tangible. Plus I love the colours!
Fav song to work to:
Best and worst things about being a set designer?
I love the spontaneity of the job. Every week is completely different from the next with each project exposing me to new things. It’s always a challenge to figure out what each job requires. I feel like I’m constantly learning new things and growing as a set designer. Worst things would have to be last minute demands! I’ve found myself traipsing all over town on the day of a shoot looking for some obscure object because the client decided they wanted last minute.
In my free time I am most likely:
If I’m not working on a personal project I’ll go exploring. I recently went to a disused nuclear bunker in Essex and some man made caves in Chislehurst.
Trend I’d love to bring back:
Flashing lights on the soles of my trainers.
What does baby-g mean to me?
Like so many awesome toys and trends that I was exposed to as a child growing up in the 90’s Baby G has some really nostalgic qualities and stands out as something that I remember being the envy of all my school friends.
Top tip for achieving your dreams:
Work hard and stick to your guns.