To celebrate the launch of our beautiful new summer collection, we thought this would be the perfect opportunity to have a chat with some of the incredibly talented (not to mention, absolutely lovely) illustrators, artists and designers behind our gorgeous flowercards. We're kicking our interviews off with the fantastically talented Lou Boyles of denote stationery. Lou is the talent behind the gorgeous designs adorning Pretty Thanks, bestselling Fields of Gold, and stunning Botanical Beauty. So grab a cup of tea and maybe a biscuit or two and get to know Lou...
*Hi there! Could you introduce yourself to our readers briefly?*
I’m Lou and I love to create, but especially enjoy illustration, print making & pattern designing.
*How did you get in to illustration?*
As a kid I always loved drawing & creating, but I kind of fell into it naturally (and got paid for it) after I started my stationery business in 2010.
*What other types of jobs have you had?*
Cleaning toilets, childcare, general office dog’s body, retail, print management. You name it I’ve done it!
*How would you describe your work in three words?*
Creative, challenging, rewarding
*Where do you like to do your work?*
I work in my ‘modest’ studio, a converted loft at the top of my house. My desk is almost always a mess & my wastepaper bin always overflowing.
I should imagine that for someone who hasn’t been in my studio would be amazed with all the stuff I’ve collected over the years, I’m a bit of a hoarder!
The studio is also home to my precious iMac and my Adana eight five letterpress.
*What’s the most challenging part of working with flowers?*
Nature is amazing and so intricate, so sometimes illustrating intricate flowers while trying to interpret them in my own way can be a challenge.
*What are your favourite flowers to use and why?*
That’s hard to choose, but a bunch of Peonies are pretty breathtaking.
*What materials do you enjoy working with the most?*
I like working with all sorts of materials and printing methods such as letterpress and screen. But the materials I use the most are good old fashioned paper and pen & paint for my illustrations which I then scan into the computer and manipulate.
*Who or what has been the biggest influence on your work?*
Definitely my grandfather. He used to be an art teacher and I have fond memories of sitting around my grandparent's dining room table and being given the freedom to create all day.
*Who are some of your favourite illustrators and why?*
There are so many, and they are a mixture of artists, illustrators & pattern designers. I love Oliver Jeffers for his fun & cute book illustrations and beautiful portraits. I love the naive style of Henri Matisse's work and his use of colour and pattern, Luli (Lourdes) Sanchez for her organic textile designs, Lulie Wallice for her colourful floral paintings. The list is endless.
*What helps you to be more creative?*
Peace and quiet and a solid block of time to get the creative juices flowing. Also a good night’s sleep and meditation help.
*Can you share a little bit about what you’re working on now?*
At the moment I’m working on an Indian and Islamic inspired wedding.
*Any tips for our readers who might want to try their hand at some illustrations themselves?*
The more you practice, the more you will find your own style emerging. Have a broad range of inspiration as opposed to liking one or two artists, this helps to create a unique style rather than copying someone else’s. There’s always more to learn & discover, so enjoy the journey and have lots of fun with it!
*Can you tell us about the nicest message/sentiment you've ever received?*
That’s a hard one to pinpoint! I try hard to notice the little ways that people around me show their love and appreciation and I could always do better at noticing more! But the heartfelt things that my kids say or do to show me they love me are always the nicest.
*And finally, what are your 5 most favourite things right now?*
Family time, listening to OnBeing.org programmes, long walks, longer days & music always!
Thanks so much for taking the time to chat to us Lou!