Hey! I’m Tommy, the owner of Pedges Houseboat. I have been designing comedy-themed greetings cards since late 2016.
How did you get into designing cards? Was it something you always wanted to do?
By complete accident. I uploaded a few illustrations onto a Peep Show group on Facebook in 2016 and I had an overwhelming amount of people asking if they could buy them. I said yes, of course, because I was skint, fresh out of university and had just left my job in a supermarket. So, I bought myself a printer and I haven’t looked back since.
What inspires your work?
My obsession with niche, cult tv and film. I have been watching Peep Show from beginning to end on loop since 2007. I’m not exaggerating when I say I think I have been around 100+ times. I know it word for word. Same applies to The Office and The Inbetweeners. I often think what might have happened if I put the same dedication into learning medical journals word for word. But, you know, chance would be a fine thing.
What is your working process?
I like to get up early and get my working day finished as early as possible. I package orders from the previous day and then usually work on a few freelance illustration commissions that come in. If I get up at 6am, I’m usually done by 10am. I then have the rest of the day to “research” new card ideas in front of the tele. I hear these words a lot; “it’s alright for you, you haven’t got a proper job!”
Did lockdown change how you work/your daily routine, if so, how did you adapt?
Lockdown was difficult for my fiancé and I. We were living with vulnerable relatives in mid-March. A few weeks away from moving into our first house together. But on the 21st March, two days before national lockdown, we made the decision to vacate were we were living. We lived out of Airbnb’s, hotels and family members properties for four months. My fiancé is a NHS midwife. So it was a very stressful period. I’m so proud of her and have such admiration for all NHS and key workers. It was lockdown that made me take a step back and appreciate the kind of work I do. I had to put together a few makeshift office desks and carry 5,000 cards around with me in the boot of the car but it was a small price to pay as the orders never stopped coming in. We are now back to our original residence and a few days away from moving into our house (again).
The makeshift desks!
A lot of your work revolves around TV shows so we have to know, what was your go to binge watch during lockdown?
Like the rest of the world, I binge watched Tiger King in one day during lockdown. I also enjoyed the Michael Jordan documentary on Netflix. In the end, I loved that Netflix only put out two episodes a week. Otherwise, I would have done that in one day, too. It broke up the lockdown nicely for me! But other than those two, just the usual Peep Show and The Office cycles.
If you could compare yourself to any Tv character who would it be and why?
David Brent. No question. My humour and jokes are as appreciated as his are. I even catch myself looking into the fly-on-the-wall camera every now and then. Pathetic.
Finally, tell us one fun/surprising fact about yourself?
I was once on the front page of a newspaper for failing to pay my taxes. Little did the local council realise - I was two years old. However, I suppose, you can’t help but carry certain habits with you into adulthood.
Brilliant! If you want to see the full range from Pedges Houseboat, click here. Thanks Tommy for taking part.