In today's '15 Mins With...' I am so delighted to introduce you to Teri of The Lovely Drawer. Her photography and beautiful prints instantly grabbed my attention and after a lovely walk together through London recently, I came away feeling calm and energised so I knew I wanted to share her story with you.
First of all could you introduce yourself in your own words?
Hi! I’m Teri from The Lovely Drawer. I live in a cosy and overly white flat in West London with my Husband…and what I’d love to say is ‘with our cute little sausage dog pal’ but alas that’s not yet the case. We moved to the area to help start a church and have become acquired quite a soft spot for Shepherds Bush! Aside from being a Christian and a wife, I’m also a freelance designer, blogger and dabbler in styling.
Tell is about your online home, The Lovely Drawer.
The Lovely Drawer started three and a half years ago as a blog I wrote just for fun. I was working full time as an in house greetings card designer and wanted my own creative outlet on the side. I really didn’t have any plans for it to go anywhere but The Lovely Drawer has gradually become the over arching name for my whole design business, as I transitioned into freelance design. I love the opportunities my blog has given me and how it’s stretched my skills, particularly in design and photography. I’ve also learnt to create at a much quicker rate which sounds like negative thing but it’s totally liberating and how I produce my best work.
You work as a freelance designer, please tell us about the work you do.
As a freelance designer I mainly focus on wedding and event stationery but I also run an online shop where I sell prints. I also take on lots of commissions for personalised prints and branding work for company’s, as well as commissioned illustrations. I love how varied my job is and particularly love being part of a couple’s special day for the weddings. I went full time freelance in March 2014 and have been building the business ever since. I love creating on a client basis as it’s so personal which I find a lot more satisfying than creating for wholesale. I use a lot of brush lettering in my work and have even been running workshops to teach people this skill with Quill London.
Please describe your work process in creating something new
Creating something new usually comes from a little store of ideas I’m constantly building up. I have so many ideas that come from all around me that it’s more a question of when can I grab a minute to put them to good use. I usually take a solid chunk of time to sketch out my ideas and then start creating them in a more finished fashion. 99% of my work starts out on paper, whether that’s using ink, pencil, watercolours, gauche, print or collage, I always like to begin with my hands rather than a purely digital piece as it retains some of my artistic handwriting and personality. When I have a collection of lettering or illustrations on paper I’ll photograph them with my decent camera and start working them up in photoshop. That might involve making colours more punchy, cleaning up slightly messier areas or adding a font. I sometimes even draw or paint all the elements separately on a sheet of paper and place them together in Photoshop to create a whole image. It really depends what I’m working on. If I’m selling the piece online I’ll then have to style it and photograph it to give customers a sense of how it would look. This usually involves white backgrounds and cute props and the laborious task of photo editing.
What inspires your design work? Where do you draw inspiration from?
I find London such an inspiring place whether its shop windows, the parks, exhibitions or the architecture. With all of that flooding in my sense, I can’t always pin down where an idea has come from. I do obviously get inspiration from the web and Pinterest is great but I try not to spend too much time on there as to avoid ripping people off or being so saturated by a trend that I feel I have to jump on the bandwagon. A helpful technique is to try and pin images from unrelated categories which will hopefully help create something new and fresh. For instance if I wanted to come up with a new illustration I wouldn’t search for illustrators or art prints, I’d find photos, colour palettes, patterns or even interiors I find inspiring and these will hopefully contribute to a look and feel I go forward with.
Some of your designs are like mantras or affirmations, can you share a few of your favourites and why you chose them?
Every one loves a mantra and I find the creative ones go down particularly well. I like ‘You will have more ideas than time, that’s ok’ and ‘More creating, less thinking’. These are things I constantly need to remind myself of. One of my most popular prints has the quote ‘It is well with my soul’ on it. It’s a line from a old hymn and is so powerful for Christians as the reminder that we have peace with God because of Jesus. It’s such a restful line.