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Inspiring Young Designers – Part One

I’ve decided to run a little ‘feature’ on my blog showcasing a variety of young designers I find inspiring…

I follow many talented designers/artists on Twitter/Facebook/Blogger and thought it would be nice to speak to them about how they work. It is interesting to hear how other people feel about their own design and work ethic, so I will start here with a few words and images from Fritha Strickland, a young illustrator and mama from Bristol.

J: Firstly, please could you tell us a bit about yourself?

F: My name is Fritha, I am 26 and living in Bristol with my three month old baby boy, boyfriend and two fat cats!

Have you always wanted to work in a creative industry?

Ever since I was a child I have wanted to be an artist – there was never any other choice for me. I would say I was living the dream!

Did you go to university, and if so, how would you sum up the experience?

I went to a very small art college that also did degree courses. It was in a small welsh town and at the time I chose it so I wouldn’t have to break up with my then boyfriend (I know, I know) I didn’t enjoy my degree very much even though I made a very good friend there, who is now one of my best friends. In hindsight the ‘Graphic Design’ course I was on didnt really suit me and I should have chosen a university that I could have taken an ‘Illustration’ course at. That being said I do think I learnt a fair bit and ended up with a 2:1 so it wasn’t all bad!

How long have you worked freelance, and did you come up with a plan/strategy or was it all quite spontaneous?

Up until recently (I have a three month old son) I was working full time so all commissions were being done when I wasnt working in the office. Now that I have Wilf I am hoping to be able to stay at home with him and use my illustration business to enable me to do that. As it, is it is very early days but my wedding invites seem to have taken off recently so fingers crossed!
If you had to describe your work in 5 words, what would they be?
Fun, childlike, colourful, humorous, joyful.

What is your greatest achievement to date, regarding your creative work?

I recently designed a range for Paperchase, it was a surreal moment to see my designs displayed in snowglobes and turned into handwarmers! I also won a competition to design the cover of the national paper The Metro.

How do you promote yourself? Is it all online or do you promote yourself in other ways?

I would have to say all my promotion is done online via my Twitter or blog. The internet is a great tool.

What do you feel is the hardest thing to overcome with your work, and how do you overcome this?

Be prepared for it to be a slow process. A lot of business comes from word of mouth, you will also need to build up your portfolio, the more you work the more work you will get.

What advice would you give to young artists/designers who may be just starting out?

A lot of illustrators will be asked to work for free – choose wisely when it comes to who you will do this for. Don’t just say yes to everyone. When I started out I did a lot of free work for an online magazine, the deadlines were tight and the editor was not always very helpful. I spent a lot of time working for this publication and as far as I am aware received no interest or views of my work through there. Be more picky or you will seem easy. I have worked for free since but for well known and reputable publications such as Company Magazine and Digital Arts.

And finally, as the article is about people who inspire us, which artists and designers inspire you, and why?

Julia Pott, Ashley G and Sandra Deikman are all very inspiring artists to me. I love their use of colours in their work and that animals are often their subject matter!

You can follow Fritha on Blogger:

tigerlillyquinn.blogspot.com

Or on twitter (@moonbeatle).

All images owned by Fritha Strickland.

Thanks for reading 🙂 x

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