Interviews

Q&A: Helen Round December 4, 2015 09:10

Continuing our Q&A series with inspiring bloggers, makers and artists, is an interview with designer-maker Helen Round, who has a background in fine art textiles and printmaking. She is based in Cornwall and works from her garden-top studio which is perched on a hill above the River Tamar.

How do you like to start your working day?
My day begins with a slow walk up the steps which lead through the flower beds to my studio, which is at the top of the garden. I’ll usually have a mug of mint tea in hand - and a piece of toast with my dad’s honey on it.

Helen Round

What could you not do without in your studio?
I love our big cutting table. It is the central hub of the studio and it doubles up as a print bench. It is also a great place to gather with the team when we are creating new ideas.

What is your greatest inspiration?
The amazing views from the studio are always transforming with the weather and the seasons. They provide an ever changing backdrop and are a constant source of inspiration for new designs and ideas.

Country garden washbag by Helen Round

Screen printed country garden washbag by Helen Round, £22

If you were cast away on a desert island, which piece of music would you take with you?
I have followed the music and poetry of Leonard Cohen since I was a teenager, so I think I would choose You Got Me Singing, from his album Popular Problems.

Which book would you take?
I love language so I think I would like to take a dictionary so that I could continue to find new words and definitions, and also play scrabble against myself!

If you were prime minister for the day, what’s the first thing you’d do?
I would want to put in place support for small creative businesses that are struggling to grow and survive in rural areas.

Helen Round's studio

"The views from my studio provide an ever changing backdrop and are a constant source of inspiration"

If you could travel back in time, where would you go?
It would have to be to the roaring Twenties, the fabulous flappers... and Paris.

What advice would you offer someone thinking of starting their own creative business?
Be sure of what you want to do and stay focused and determined. Surround yourself with supportive people, don’t be afraid to ask for help and always make time for your family.

Birdsong washbag by Helen Round

Birdsong washbag by Helen Round, in natural linen, £22

After a day spent designing and printing, how do you wind down?
My daughter Phoebe and I both love to cook, and at the end of a busy day I like nothing better than spending time with her in the kitchen, preparing supper and then relaxing by the fire together. I also love to have friends round for dinner, and a good competitive game of cards.

What motto do you live by?
Never put off ‘til tomorrow what you can do today!


Q&A: Cheryl Rawlings October 19, 2015 17:41

With her characteristic monochrome style and calligraphic aplomb, Cheryl Rawlings, 34, is one of our favourite illustrators. An avid trend-spotter, Cheryl was a fashion buyer for 13 years before recently giving up her day job to concentrate on her artistic endeavours. She is married with two sons, and lives in Suffolk.

The Little Things print by Cheryl Rawlings

The Little Things Print by Cheryl Rawlings, £14

How do you start your working day?

As I have a nine-month-old son, my working day can start at any hour. I often respond to emails and catch up on social media in the morning, then leave sketching until the evening when I can lay everything out without fear of it being grabbed or crawled on. When I’m working, I tend to have several sketchbooks and pencil cases out at any one time!

Cheryl Rawlings and family

What could you not do without in your studio?

Besides my pens I probably couldn’t live without my Mac and Wacom digital drawing tablet.

What is your greatest inspiration?

My work is very much inspired by everyday life and feelings. It could be a conversation, or something that’s happened to me or my family that conjures up the words for my next piece.

Dream Big print by Cheryl Rawlings

Dream print by Cheryl Rawlings, £14

Instagram is also a lovely visual source of inspiration, and having worked in the fashion industry for more than a decade, I still love to follow trends and see all the new collections.

If you were cast away on a desert island, which piece of music would you take with you?

All You Need Is Love by The Beatles. It was the first song that was played at our wedding after the ceremony as we left as man and wife. I also have this quote on my wall at home to look at every day.

Cheryl Rawlings print - love

The Love print by Cheryl Rawlings, £14

Which book would you take?

Sketchbook! Does that count?

If you were prime minister for the day, what’s the first thing you’d do?

Resign! I do think that this is one of the hardest jobs out there. Our country has become so diverse and is forever evolving. Being as indecisive as I am, I certainly don’t think that I could lead.

If you could travel back in time, where would you go?

I would relive my wedding day just as it was all over again.

What advice would you offer someone thinking of starting their own creative business?

Have confidence in your ability. I’ve only felt brave enough to put myself out there in the last 18 months, and I have certainly done this very slowly. Competition is strong, but embrace this and network as much as you can; this will often ease your worries as you realise that there are others in the same boat. I have met and shared with some wonderful people, and interesting opportunities have arisen as a result of these meets. Take a deep breath and dive in!

Cheryl Rawlings postcard set at Mimosa Street

Beautiful monochrome postcard set from Cheryl Rawlings, £5

After a day spent designing and illustrating, how do you wind down?

As my working day is so flexible I often illustrate at night, but this is after spending time catching up with my family. I do have an obsession with books, my latest purchase is the English version of the Fine Little Day book - I LOVE this brand! I also recently bought the Art Inc book by Lisa Congdon, which I’m hoping will give me some nuggets of business inspiration. She came into illustration later in life too and is now a huge global success.

What motto do you live by?

As I’ve got older I have begun to realise the importance of appreciating the now, and not always looking to the future. I Googled quotes along this line and found this one by A.A. Milne which really made me smile…

“What day is it?"
“It's today,” squeaked Piglet.
“My favourite day," said Pooh.

Cheryl Rawlings print - journey

Journey Print by Cheryl Rawlings, £14

Cheryl Rawlings (@cherylrawlings) is on Instagram and you can shop for a selection of Cheryl's beautiful prints and postcards in our Prints and paper goods collection.