Hello, my name is Chloe, a freelance illustrator/pattern designer based in Leicester. I love being outside and walking, which is where I am most inspired and also where I feel most relaxed, it recharges me! I studied Graphic Design and Illustration at DMU and have been drawing ever since. I run my business myself, and am keen for my product range to grow as my business grows.
My prefered media is water colours. I do enjoy mixing these with both acrylic and gouache paints to get the best consistency of paint and best colours.
I have always enjoyed being creative, I just love illustrating and creating patterns. I didn’t realise I could be so motivated and driven until I began my business. I find inspiration everywhere, I love to see people doing what they love and also seeing people who find their ‘thing’ and just run with it.
I begin by illustrating lots of plants and flowers, using fine liners and paints, I prefer to draw from observation so I try to do this once in awhile to get a batch of illustrations that can be made into patterns. I then scan everything into my computer and then create the patterns digitally.
Everyday before I begin work I tend to answer all my emails and have a cup of coffee. I then either get to work packing and posting orders out, or work on my own work, or client work depending what I have on. I make sure I get outside to go for a walk at least once a day as it keeps me motivated and helps me feel focused.
I created a limited edition, short poster zine about being outside and why it is good for us. I really enjoyed focusing on nature and the links it has with our well being, I liked that the artwork inside related to the subject matter and also had a purpose. I know from experience that walking and being outdoors restores focus and keeps me motivated so it was great to share this with other people who could relate to it. I would love to go back to this subject matter soon.
When I first started making products, to keep the costs down I used to print, crop and packaging all my products using a standard printer at home. I used to create greeting cards, prints and handmade machine stitch bound notebooks which used to take me so long to make. When I started getting more orders, having enough time to create these products was tricky, as I was spending all my time making them and doing nothing else. I decided it was time to get everything printed and made by a printer rather than doing it all myself, I don’t have much space to hold stock so it felt like a huge decision at the time, but it was definitely the best decision! As the time can be better spent creating new work, the products come in all made up so all I need to do is send them off to my customers.
My ultimate inspiration is Cath Kidston, she has such a wide range of products but has stayed true to her style which I love. I love the work of Jackie Diedam, Emily Coxhead, Leah Goren, I could go on and on! I love that these ladies are all working at something they love, and that inspires me to keep going too.
This is an interesting topic, it’s great to see so many women being creative and running their own businesses, and I think more people are interested in small businesses too. There seems to be more and more women getting into it and if they aren’t doing it themselves they are encouraging women to do what they love which is great. I wouldn’t say I feel this in my work, but I have been aware of that this topic has become popular recently.
I love walking, I think I could walk forever if my legs let me! Spending time near the sea is definitely one of my favourite things to do. I love spending time with my family, my boyfriend and friends. I love visiting new places, including lots of gardens for inspiration.
I think it’s important to just go for it. Don’t worry too much about what other people will think because there’s always going to be someone who loves it and someone who doesn’t. Be true to your style and don’t give up.
I’m always working on new projects, at the moment I’m working on a new greeting card range which I’m hoping to release soon, I’m always creating new patterns and illustrations which I share on social media as and when I create them. I also have a joint exhibition coming up with Katie Duffett and Sarah Glover which I’m really looking forward to!