Who’s the maker behind the gorgeous little extra on offer this month? None other than the very lovely Louise Lockhart of The Printed Peanut. Posy HQ were lucky enough to catch up this completely marvellous illustrator and all round fabulous female entrepreneur.
P&P. We’ve managed to retain a (very) small amount of sanity after 10 months of pre-launch start-up pain, whilst toddler wrangling and studio renovating, can you share a little bit about your start up story?
LL. It took me about 4 years after I graduated (in Illustration at Glasgow School of Art) to really get in the swing of creating my own designs and applying them to products to sell. I was working in an amazing stationery store in Vancouver, Canada and I was surrounded by all of these wonderful inspirational makers and products in the shop and I thought “I could give this a go!” I found it quite difficult to get work as an illustrator so I just had to take it into my own control and produce things off my own back. That in turn has meant that I have got quite good exposure around the world and people offer me work now!
P&P. Having your own business and pursuing something that makes you truly happy would be, to many people, the ultimate best life ever goal. Is this how you feel about The Printed Peanut
LL. I always hoped that I would be drawing/designing for a living, and feel incredibly happy to be doing it on a daily basis. I can get bogged down in the stress and strain of single-handedly running a business (especially when you have absolutely no training in that side of things!) and when things are tough I do have to pinch myself and remind myself how lucky I am to be doing this for a living. It’s all come together in a rather unexpected way. I never thought I would be running a business but in this day and age more and more creative people are making a living from selling their creations in one way or another.
P&P. Staying true to your brand is a real skill, what advice would you give to a start up to help them maintain their integrity.
LL. Make a list of key points that your business is all about. Maybe it’s important to have all the products made in the UK, or to only use recycled materials? Do you want to create something that’s unique? Don’t get too influenced by current trends. Stay true to your own style and hopefully it wont go in and out of fashion. Start small and find out what sells before you invest in buying lots of stock.
P&P. Your illustrations always make us smile, we love the whimsy and fun filled colour, where do you regularly take your inspiration from?
LL. I like all sorts of things from normal every day life such as food packing, tickets, posters etc. and traditional things that can be classed as Folk Art. Art that people have made for themselves like cushions and portraits of loved ones. I think I’m naturally nostalgic, even if I didn’t personally live through it. It actually makes me sad that men don’t wear suits and hats anymore, so I make my own little world where they do.
P&P. We’ve read previously that you have been drawing ever since you were a small child, was there ever a time that you didn’t consider or follow a creative life?
LL. I grew up in a very creative household. Everyone in my family is an artist and it wasn’t something that I questioned. I just knew I was the same. My parent probably wouldn’t know what to say if I’d turned out to be an accountant! After I graduated I felt a bit overwhelmed in the real world and wondered where I might fit in, in terms of making a living. I worked for years as a waitress but I would always be drawing drawing drawing.
P&P. We were so grateful you agreed to let us, a new and yet to launch brand, stock your products! Do you think it is important to be this generous in business and did you get some amazing breaks when you were more of an unknown?
LL. It never occurred to me that that was generous! If someone wants to stock my products, I wouldn’t turn them away. I like to support small businesses such as independent shops and galleries as much as possible. I started selling my products in local arts and craft shops, places where I would be given a chance on sale or return. I started really small and have built it up gradually. Instagram has given me worldwide exposure to companies that have asked me to do illustrations for them, and for that I am very grateful.
P&P. You regularly feature lots of flowers and plants in your illustrations, so do you surround yourself with beautiful blooms and what’s your absolute fave?
LL. I have only recently been able to keep plants alive and I am revelling in that right now so I have a shelf full of plants next to my work desk. I adore flowers and always have. I love the smell of the sweet peas in the garden and pick little posies of them to have on my table.
Have a fear of missing out? Never miss a beautiful design update when you follow Louise @theprintedpeanut or (if you're anything like us) get shopping with an extra dose at https://www.theprintedpeanut.co.uk/
Thank you Louise
Love Posy & Posy xx