Tell us a little about yourself and how you got started with card making and design?
Since I can remember, I’ve been doodling and making crafts, especially cards! After completing my degree at Ravensbourne College of Art and Design, I went travelling for 2 years around Australia and Europe. When I came back, I worked for a media company designing mini animations for them, but at the age of 26 I decided it was time to start my own business – in my passion of illustration and card making.
Your cards have a wonderful feeling of vintage meets modern design, what do you think accounts for this?
I’m really glad you’ve said that! I think it’s because I love quirky, old and vintage things, but also love the modern look. My style is clearly influenced by both.
Your style is very distinctive - how did you find it? Has it evolved over the years?
I’ve always been detailed and precise, but I think my style has evolved to create cards commercial enough to sell in volume. However, I love quirky and cute things, and try to keep this element in my style. I think they are quite different to what we see in a lot of mainstream shops, but commercial enough to work in that market place too.
Where do you get your inspiration for new designs?
Sometimes I find this is really hard as I feel nearly everything has been done on a greeting card before! I think it’s very important to concentrate on things you really love. If you do this, and feel passionate about what you’re doing, the inspiration just keeps coming!
We love your 'Enchantment' range - what's your favourite design in your collection and why?
My favourite is the peacock from the enchantment range.
He’s very regal and the design fills the page. It’s also a great card for an all rounder. The turquoise that dominates the design is also my favourite colour, so that’s probably the deal breaker!
Do you ever suffer from creative slumps? How do you combat them?
Often! Going for a walk and taking a bit of time out always helps me to start fresh, like having a blank piece of paper.
Can you tell us a little about where you work? Can we have a sneaky peek at your workspace?
My workplace is in North London, Tottenham, where we are located in a creative arts and dance centre. I share the space with a company who works with school councils for its pupils, so it is a diverse and fun atmosphere. On the whole we have a relaxed environment, which I believe is key to getting your best work done!
Did you always plan for your hobby to become your day job? How did you go about making it happen?
No! At a very young age, right up to the point where I decided to start the business, I just enjoyed it. I started out at my mum’s kitchen table, friends took cards into their workplaces and got orders for me. It grew from there.
What are your tools of the trade? Which is your favourite?
My glittering pens! We (Vicki has a team of three at her studio) do all of the glittering in-house, where we spend hours on them. It’s really creative because you can draw with them and add glitter to parts as you go along.
What advice would you give to someone looking to start a creative business?
Be confident, passionate and patient. The saying ‘Rome wasn’t built in a day’ really rings true. You can’t expect things to happen overnight. It takes consistency, hard work and a bit of trial and error – all part of the learning process!
What are you working on at the moment?
I’m adding to the enchantment collection, but with occasion cards (i.e. basically all cards that aren’t blank or birthdays cards). Here’s a little snippet:
Where would you like to see yourself and Clear Creations in five years time?
I’d like to add other products such as gift wrap and invitations, sell to double the amount of international countries we sell to today (so far we have 12) and offer a personalised service via the website. I may even start a sister company offering bespoke wedding stationery – but maybe the wedding bit can come a bit later!
If you had time, what new craft would you love to learn?
I am dressing up as Freddie Mercury this Saturday at Broadway Market, to raise money for the AIDS charity set up in his name. I have made the whole outfit, and used a sewing machine and needle for the first time and I loved it! So I think I would have to say sewing!
Who are some of your favourite artists/designers/makers?
What is your definition of the perfect day?
Running your own business, however small or large, requires a lot of tasks, other than designing. My perfect day would be to just sit and design all day!
How do you get the word out about your business and where we can buy your work?
I attend trade shows which is a great way of building trade customers and taking on new agents. I sell to many independent shops over the UK and internationally, which I have built up from the shows. I also sell through the website, which is a very new venture, and again with consistent effort, is starting to pay off.
You can buy my cards at many independent shops, but the list is about 300, so it might be easier to ring us, to see if we stock in your area!