Moobles and Toobles exclusive collaboration
We found you on Instagram and it helped us connect with you. Have you also found it a great platform for small businesses to come together creatively and in a direct way?
I found Instagram amazing. It also takes a lot of work networking & gaining product knowledge. I picked up some great tips regarding the photography, consistency and using hashtags etc.It's a great place to find like minded people and I've met some great friends who I then met in person. I also gained international stockists through Instagram.
What would you say are the best ways for new small businesses to get noticed? It feels like there is a huge movement in the UK and beyond to buy children and baby gifts from independent businesses which is great. Do you think social media helps this as it connects the maker directly to the customer?Social media is excellent but you also need to be pro-active. Email people, knock on doors and get decent photographs. If you actively make sure people know you exist you will get little features in newspapers etc. I got my first stockists in Dublin by literally walking into the stores.
Tell us about the creative process behind the finished product. (From initial design, colour testing and final print)
I begin with sketching ideas for my illustrations. I scribble down what’s in my head and then decide which illustrations I want to realize. I then research shapes of things to help me. For example, I looked at different images of pirate ships to help me sketch my zeppelin. Everything is done in pencil and felt tip pens. I then scan the images, clean them up & resize them on Photoshop before sending them off to be developed on to screens. I developed my own screens in the beginning but the emulsion used for the screens is quite messy and it’s light sensitive so it’s easier to leave that to someone else. I send rough sketches of clothing shapes to my manufacturer and he makes up samples and sends them to me for review. When I receive them I literally chop pieces off them and scribble changes & notes on them and send them back. This can happen a few times until we are happy with the shape. Once that’s sorted and colours are chosen, my pieces are made and ready for me to print.
Where do you draw inspiration from to come up with new collections?
I’ve always loved pierrot clowns and harlequins. I remember collecting ‘fancy paper’ as a kid in the 80’s and it was full of illustrations of clowns with big collars and sad faces. This really came through when I started to draw again. I know it’s a cliché but I find most of my inspiration from my three year old. She has the best imagination. One day she’s a pirate, the next she’s a princess. My drawings always lean towards fantasy and make-believe.
Which of the designs for the Cotton and Pearl collaboration is your favourite?
My favourite is the teepee. I love it on the grey romper and I decided to use grey cotton bags instead of white for the rompers and this design is so strong on them. Great choice of image Andriana! It just exceeded my expectations when it was physically printed. That happens a lot in printing. I love the element of surprise.