It’s an exciting time for Scribbler. We’re welcoming some awesome brand-new designers who have created some of Scribbler’s freshest ranges. This week, we’re going to be chatting with three of those designers; Chloe Langer, Jen & the Pen and Nichola Cowdery, who have all kindly taken the time to have a chat about their new ranges.
First up is Chloe Langer, creator of her fabulous Puntraits cards that feature Albert Finestein and Tom Lardy! Hi Chloe, I bet you’re super excited to see your designs up on our site! We’d love to know how you first got started and your journey so far!
I've always loved puns and a few years ago after buying an iPad Pro, I got into digital illustration. The idea of Puntraits came about following a conversation with my Mum at Easter (something to do with Jesus in jeans - or Jeansus - not my best work, I'll admit!). I then made a list of celebrity puns, the first of which included Albert Finestein, Tom Lardy and Michael Booblé. Over the last three years, I've developed my style and now have around 200 Puntraits in my portfolio.
Instagram has been an invaluable tool for getting my Puntraits out there and for finding inspiration, thanks in part to my lovely followers who send in requests and suggestions. I also love watching films, but often find myself missing out on the story because my mind has wandered onto the puns I can make of the actors’ names - I just can't help it!
That doesn’t sound like a bad path! It’s awesome that you can watch films for inspiration, not too many people can say that. Do you have a specific routine when creating your cards? Do you do them digitally? Or old-fashion pen and paper?
When creating a Puntrait, I use a couple of apps on my iPad Pro and sometimes finish them off in Illustrator. Though all illustration is digital, I have a notebook in which I write down any ideas for puns or celebrities I want to draw. I don't tend to plan a composition too much - I start with a rough idea in my head and experiment as I go in terms of colours and layout. I find I learn a lot more through trial and error than I would if I meticulously planned each piece.
Oh, brilliant. It’s always really interesting how each designer creates their cards. There are a lot of designers out who would love to be in your shoes right now. What advice would you give to anyone wanting to create cards?
Never give up on what you're doing as long as you're enjoying it. If you love something enough, you'll find yourself filling your free time with it - that's how I knew that digital illustration is what I wanted to pursue.
Before digital illustration, I used to buy blank greetings cards and hand-draw designs on them and before that, I was selling handmade jewellery. It can be tough to stay motivated, but as long as you love and remain dedicated to your craft, you will find your niche and success will follow.
Thank you so much for talking to us today, we hope your range goes well. You can check out Chloe’s fabulous range right here!
Second in the hot seat is Jen from Jen & the Pen. Jen has just launched her fabulous cards on our website just recently and they are awesome. Hey Jen, thanks for chatting with me. Your cards look great! How did you get into card design? Had there been any fellow designers than have influenced your work?
Drawing has always been a massive love of mine. From a very young age I remember falling in love with book illustrations and would sit for hours copying them as a way to practise. One of my absolute favourite illustrators is Ralph Steadman, his work has inspired and influenced me greatly. I love his loose and energetic style and his wonderful illustrations for Alice in Wonderland was up there with my top examples of drawing which I learnt from. Drawing really has become a hobby I take everywhere, to doing quick sketches while people watching on the train, or in a café – and even once on a beach.
Card designs started to happen quite organically. It started off as making them for family and friends then slowly but surely spread to doing individual commissions of drawings and cards. Then last summer I made the decision to create a collection of Christmas cards, get them printed and have a go at doing some proper selling and trying to reach more people with my artwork so spent the autumn trying out markets and selling on Etsy. I really love creating illustrations. My dream would be to be able to become one full time, so took a gamble and made contact with Scribbler and here I am.
Well, that’s paid off for you so far! We’re really pleased you took that gamble. Without giving too much away, how do you create your cards?
My favourite environment to be in when creating my cards is to be in my flat, cup of tea by my side and my record player on. I then just try to not overthink at all - as that makes my drawing style completely seize up. Nowadays I tend to work digitally as this allows me to do magical things like rub out pen and change colours and makes printing easier. However, naturally I am a bit of a Luddite so normally choose to work with good old pen and paper and inks so that I can have the actual physical and tangible experience of creating art when produces one off designs.
There’s a lot of aspiring designers out there who would be eager to know the best piece of you could offer them?
Don’t take it too seriously or make anything over complex. The very small bit of experience I have is to not take myself too seriously, don’t over complicate things and that a good pop of colour goes a long way too. Overall have fun experimenting.
Well, thanks Jen for chatting to us this time, we loved hearing your story. If you want to see more of Jen’s wonderful designs, you can check them out right here.
Last but certainly not least is Nichola Cowdery. We’re super excited to chat with her about her adorable designs. Hello Nichola, thank you for having a chat with me today. Can you tell me a bit about your background and how you got started?
My background in illustration started with designing for the children’s market. But sat at home working alone I found myself drawing funny, often quite rude little illustrations which would make me laugh. And one day I thought ‘well maybe if they made me laugh maybe they will make other people laugh too’! So, I started taking it seriously and sent my illustrations off to card publishers. Now when I design cards, if I’m laughing, ooh-ing or aww-ing I know I’m on to a winner!
Oh wow, I love that you chanced your arm, it takes a lot of courage! If you were an up and coming designer hoping to crack the industry, what would you advise?
Keep at it and keep annoying the publishers with more designs. It can be very disheartening to not hear back but remember it’s them and not you! One day, that one design you’ve done will ping in someone’s inbox and it will be the right place at the right time, and your journey will begin.
Would you say you’ve got a routine when it comes to designing card? Do you draw it out the old-fashioned way or digitally?
I wouldn’t say I have a routine but quite often something funny ‘like a phrase’ or ‘an image’ will pop in my head and then I’ll scribble an illustration down on my iPad or sketch pad if I’m out. Normally that one thing will lead to several more ideas. And a range is born.
Nichola, it’s been an absolute pleasure, thank you very much for answer our questions andyou’re your words of advice! Click this link right here so see Nichola’s full range of cards, you won’t be disappointed.