Monday, 26 February 2018

Etsy shop find...a chat with Nicola Rowlands

This months Etsy interview is with Nicola Rowlands.
Nicola is an illustrator and designer based in Manchester and her etsy shop is full of wit, humour, quirky characters, lovely lettering and positive affirmations across some fab products; greeting cards, mugs, notebooks, cushions...

Head over to her etsy shop for plenty of LOL's as you scroll through some fun and fabulous items, and all of you lovely readers get free shipping on orders above £5 with coupon code 'LOVEPRINT'.
You lucky lot!

So grab a cuppa and a biscuit (or three), and lets have a little read about Nicola shall we...

1. Can you tell us a bit about your background?
 I'm a small business owner, illustrator and mum of two living in south Manchester. 
I was born in Wales and spent nine years living in the USA. 
As a kid I studied design and art direction (D&AD) at Manchester. 
I sell via Etsy, Not on the High Street, on my own site and also wholesale worldwide. 

2. Tell us about a typical day for you...
Toast, smoothies and coffee in the kitchen with the kids.
Nursery run for the 3 yr old.
Nap time for baby/catch up on emails/orders for me.
Walk into town to post orders/pick up groceries/ go for coffee date with youngest.
Back home for lunch then nap time and get some drawing/invoices/orders sorted.
Nursery run, bath time, dinner and then sorting schedules or emails in front of TV.
3. Can you give us an insight into your creative process?
I keep a messy book of lists and ideas. 
I also work on an iPad pro whilst sitting on the sofa in the evening.
When it comes to a new collection, I collate all my lists and files from my iPad and bring them together on whatever product seems appropriate for that design' mug, card, stationery. That's the fun bit but also the bit I procrastinate most! 

 4. What's your favourite item listed for sale in your shop? And the most popular item?
Fave item are my mugs... currently the veganaf one!
Most popular item is my "pick 7 cards' pack. 

 5. Your designs are full of wit and humour...what makes you laugh?
 Michael McIntyre, Miranda Hart and Jerry Seinfeld. Mel and Sue on the Bake Off. The other night I watched the comedians in cars episode with Seinfeld and Will Ferrell and it really tickled me. Basically dumb stuff makes me laugh.  
6. Where do you work? Describe your studio/ work area...
 I have an office which now also contains my daughter's bed so I have to finish work before her bedtime at 7 which is maybe a good thing but it's also the only time I can get any work done - once the kids are in bed! So I've been really compartmentalising my work and doing different tasks from different places, hence me answering these questions from my iPad on the sofa! I also have a stockroom in the cellar and can also be known to work from the car when the kids are both asleep in the back seats! 

7. Tell us ten random facts about yourself...
1. I played the flute in the marching band in high school, and yes I did go to band camp.
2. I was born in Wales 
3. I have slept in a hammock for three months in the rainforest of Borneo. 
4. I have ran 2 marathons 
5. I ran one of them under 4 hrs 
6. My son was born posterior which means he was backwards to the normal way babies are delivered 
7. I am 5ft11. Tall! 
8. I worked on the illustration team creating backgrounds for the children's series "let's play"... the marathon episode, Egypt episode, postman episode and others are all my artwork. 
9. I keep coconut oil in most rooms of our house... I use it for everything. 
10. This year I had a 10cm cyst removed from my ovary. General anaesthetic is a treat for a mum of two kids who doesn't get much sleep!  
8. What are you currently passionate about or fascinated by and how is it inspiring your work?
At the start of the year I stopped eating meat... we eat very little dairy at the moment because of my daughter having eczema and I have also made a huge effort to avoid processed foods and refined sugar. I can't tell you how much of an effect it's had on my mental state. Game changer. Anyone wanting to read more can I recommend The Kind Diet - by Alicia Silverstone
9. What are your favourite books from your childhood?
I remember loving the Famous Five books, Goosebumps, Babysitters Club, and Harry Potter!

10. What's your guilty pleasure?
Made in Chelsea! Gossip Girl. Long Island medium. Say yes to the dress. 90210. Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt. Cheer squad.

A big thanks to Nicola for taking the time to be part of the etsy interview feature, and giving us an insight into her world.

You can follow Nicola on various social media below...

x x x

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