Hello! I'm Chloe, I create watercolour illustrations and patterns which I then apply to stationery products, with the hope of bringing the outdoors in!
What was your first passion: for nature or illustration, and when did they merge?
Nature has always been something I've been interested in, I remember my dad naming all the birds we'd see whilst out walking when I was little, and telling me all about the trees and plants we would see! I grew up on a canal boat, so having nature right on my doorstep has definitely had a big part in being so inspired by it. I remember being interested in the creative subjects at school too, but I think after I left university, that's when the two started to merge together and I began to illustrate plants. Since then I haven't really stopped!
At what point did you switch to environmentally friendly materials and why is it so important for you?
I switched to using biodegradable wallets for my products at the start of this year and have been using recycled / FSC approved papers and cards since I began creating stationery. As a brand which is so heavily based on nature, I feel it's important to reflect this in every aspect of my business. It's something I'm interested away from my business too, and think the cross over from my personal life to my brand was something that was naturally going to happen over time.
What does the process of creating an illustration look like? Do you often experiment with techniques?
I begin all my illustrations and patterns by painting quite quick watercolour / gouache illustrations. I tend to paint a batch of different plants and flowers in one go, which I think will work well as a pattern and then piece these together digitally and create my final patterns. At university I experimented a lot more with techniques, but after finding my love for watercolour painting, I don't experiment as much as I probably should!
What tools do you use more often: analog or digital ones? What is your basic set?
I definitely use a more hands on approach to illustration, although all my patterns are finalised digitally, I try to keep my paintings looking as similar as possible to the original painting without over developing it too much. My basic set includes fine liners, watercolours and gouache paints.
Could you tell us about the place where you live? Do Leicester and places nearby inspire you?
Leicester's creative scene is definitely up and coming, places like the LCB and The Maker's Yard are great places to meet like minded people. I've found a really great community of small businesses owners through Instagram which is lovely, especially when a few of us end up attending the same markets, Paperdolls Handmade at The Custard Factory in Birmingham is one of my favourites to attend!