Amy Van Luijk is a UK based designer and illustrator, currently living in Bristol.
Her designs have been used for stationery, book covers, fabrics and published in books/magazines.
The technique of cutting and pasting and the different colours and textures makes Amys work really playful and fun, and I just love it!
Take a look at her website here, I'm sure you'll love it too.
You can also follow Amy on instagram and twitter.
This months etsy interview is with Zanna Goldhawk, one half of the talented duo behind Papio Press.
Zanna and Harry both met at the University of Gloucestershire, and since then have gone from strength to strength, combining their skills to create a very beautiful brand indeed with a wonderful aesthetic.
The Papio Press etsy shop is full of illustrated loveliness where you can get your paws on calendars, mobile phone covers, notebooks, cards and more!
All of their products are designed and printed in the UK using 100% recycled or FSC approved paper.
The illustrations have a lovely whimsical feel and I love how Zanna describes it as
"a modern re-vamp of traditional patterns" because its exactly that.
So, lets get to know the illustrators behind the shop.
Grab that cuppa!
1. Can you tell us a bit about Harry and yourself, and your backgrounds, etc...
I'm from Penzance in Cornwall, and Harry is from Nottingham.
We met on the BA Illustration course at the University of Gloucestershire and we've been pretty inseperable since we started collaborating in our second year.
We worked on a number of different projects together until eventually we hit on Papio Press in the summer of 2014.
We graduated in Novemeber of 2015 and have been putting our all into the business since then, it's been a truly amazing expirience for both of us!
2. Who are your design heroes and what inspires you?
We share all our design heroes with each other, so we share most of them.
Of course William Morris is a big one, and we're both huge fans of everything the guys at Nobrow press print - their colour palettes are just out of this world.
Our work is mostly inspired by nature - it's the dream really, to be able to make a living off drawing something so beautiful.
3. Tell us about a typical day for you...
On a typical day we start by packing orders & responding to any enquiries or emails.
It's definitely best to get that kind of work done first.
And then after that every day is completely different depending on what needs to get done!
Sometimes it's design work, sometimes it's product photography or even website design. Yesterday we got a huge shipment of cards in and spent the whole day packing them into cello bags with envelopes.
When you run your own business you've got to do all the jobs so there's a massive variety of things to do from day to day.
4. Can you give us an insight into your creative process?
We usually start by having a meeting with each other where we discuss what products we want to make, and what sort of theme/style we want to artwork to be.
Once we've decided that, Harry usually works out the costs while I put together an artwork brief for both of us to work to.
Just basic stuff like 'Two floral notepads to be finished by the end of June'.
But it really helps!
Being free to draw and create whatever you want is incredible, but we figured out pretty quickly you can spend a lot of time fiddling about and getting nothing done if you don't give yourself a deadline, and having a theme means our product ranges are more cohesive.
5. When did you decide to open your etsy shop together? And is there a particular meaning/ reason behind the name 'Papio Press'?
Harry already had an Etsy shop where he was selling a few bits, and that eventually became the Papio Press shop when we started it in June 2014.
We decided to start Papio because we'd just finished our second year at Uni and we wanted to start trying to find a way to make a living off what we love while we still had time and money on our side.
There isn't really a story behind our name.
Coming up with a name for something is the hardest part, we thought about it for weeks, and eventually went with Papio Press because we liked the way it sounds.
It makes me think of 'paper' and 'happy' kind of mixed together!
6. How would you describe your work/style/ aesthetic?
It's really tricky to try and define your own work/style because you've got to look at your work more subjectively than you're used to, so I'm not sure I'm going to be very good at this! Haha.
But If I had to come up with something I would maybe say a kind of modern re-vamp of traditional patterns.
Except our work contains a lot of cute animal characters as well!
We're both illustrators, so that's the field where we both feel our work really fits.
7. What art do you have on your wall?
A lot of illustration everywhere!
We're always buying new prints.
Amoungst the many some of our favourite prints are by Vikki Chu, Pirrp Press, Livi Gosling, and both our grandparents.
We have a lot of scraps and bits of patterns and things that we liked everywhere to keep the inspiration alive!
8. What’s the most popular item/s for sale in your etsy shop? And your favourite/s?
The most popular by far, and our favourite has been our 2016 Calendar.
It was our first Calendar and the response to it completely blew us away.
It was nice because it was a sort of practical combination of loads of our work!
9. What's your guilty pleasure?
Well I can't speak for Harry on this one but I'm a real sucker for trashy TV shows.
I usually manage to fit in an episode in the day somewhere as a break.
At the moment I'm re-watching 90210, and plan to move onto Gossip Girl.
Gotta love the drama.
10. What’s the most rewarding thing about being a designer/illustrator?
Definitely hearing back from customers who have been really happy with our products. Sometimes you get so involved in the business side of it that you forget that all these orders you're getting are people spending their hard earned money on something you created.
We like to remind ourselves of that every day.
If we get a big order for prints especially it's like, wow, that person likes what we're doing so much they want to put it up all over their house!
11. What are you working on currently? And any big plans for the coming year?
We've just finished our 2017 Calendars and we're getting the mock ups printed as I'm typing this!
I can't wait to see them. I'm seriously excited about our Rainforest Calendar, which we've teamed up with the charity Rainforest Concern for, so 10% of the calendars profits will be donated to their amazing cause.
Other than that we're just gearing up for Christmas!
It's good to get as much as we can organised before the madness hits! We can't wait.
(all image above copyright of papio press)
Thanks to Zanna for taking some time out to tell us about her world and the goings on at Papio Press!