Freelance Focus: Andrea Hargreaves

Today we catch up with freelance journalist Andrea Hargreaves who tells us about her work, furniture and how she would spend £1000.

About your journalism:

What do you write about?
Mainly I write about furniture: its style, its history and the techniques by which it is made. I also write about other aspects of woodworking and crafts and am an extremely fast and accurate sub.

Where are we likely to see your work?
Until deciding to go freelance most recently I was deputy editor on Furniture & Cabinetmaking and have continued to write for that magazine. I am also subbing on Good Woodworking.

What’s the most memorable work you’ve done?
I recently completed a series on the history of furniture and its influences on contemporary design. The features required much research and with well-sourced images looked very good on the page. As a local weekly newspaper editor I was most proud of organizing a supplement covering a murder that happened after the paper was printed, and ensuring that it was delivered with the paper. I would like to write a series of features on known and relatively unknown furniture designers, to demonstrate to readers that they do not necessarily have to pay a huge amount to have a unique piece.

About you:

How would you pay the bills if you weren’t a journalist?
I have often toyed with the idea of representing craftspeople. By nature they tend not to be good at promoting themselves, which means there is a wealth of great work out there being done by largely unknown men and women who deserve recognition and pounds in their pockets.

If we gave you £1000, how would you spend it?
I would like to say I would spend it on an air fare to the far north of Canada, then drive down to Tierra del Fuego, funding myself with jobs in small towns along the highway and writing about my experiences, but in reality I would probably just have a collection of theatre programmes, dress and restaurant receipts to show for it.

What books are on your bedside table, magazines in your bag, or blogs on your screen?
My bedside table is tottering with an old edition of South Riding, so much better and characterized than the recent TV series, Emma Donoghue’s touching, funny and poignant Room, Never Let Me Go, Kazuo Ishiguro’s cloning story, Patrick Hennessey’s The Junior Officers’ Reading Club, largely about his horrific experiences in Helmand Province, and some books on Pompeii because I am visiting the archaeological site soon.

I have no favourite magazine but dip in and out of Vogue, Marie Claire, Elle Deco, Blueprint and The World of Interiors or whatever else catches my eye at the station bookstall.

As for blogs I enjoy those on the BBC news site.

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