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Wednesday, October 31, 2018

Talented Artist - Natalie from Violet and Alfie - Interview & Giveaway

Violet and Alfie
About Natalie

I named my shop after my children as they are the motivation for everything I do ♥ 

I illustrate every detail and hand letter each design before digitising and printing them on gorgeous heavyweight 310gsm paper in vibrant long lasting high quality inks. 

There are no 'fonts,' no clip art- just digitised versions of my own pen and pencil Illustrations. I think this makes them extra special, particularly for giving as gifts as they are totally unique. 
I wrap each piece lovingly before shipping them off to their new home ♥

Links


Discount code

Natalie has set up a discount code of 15% by using the word BOOKISH if your purchase an item from her shop. There's no minimum amount before you can use the discount code. It can only be used once per customer.

Interview

1) Can you tell our readers a bit about yourself?

I'm Natalie, the owner of Violet and Alfie, a little one-woman business selling prints of my hand lettered quotes and illustrations. 

Originally from Wiltshire, I now live on the edge of the Yorkshire Dales with my other half, our two children and our black lab Louie. 

I love to create and hope, one day, to illustrate children's books. 


2) What’s the inspiration behind your work?

My children are a constant, ever changing inspiration to my work- I love creating fun or inspirational art for other little ones and I always ask mine for their opinions on new pieces. 

Living on the edge of the Dales with so much beauty around me, I can't help but be inspired by nature and the breathtaking scenery. Haworth (home to the Brontë sisters) is very close by and it is one of my favourite places to visit- it's easy to see where they got their inspiration from! 

I often like to listen to music when I'm planning new designs as it really helps to get things moving! 


3) Where did you learn to illustrate and design?

My education in Art and Design started at school and tailed off after my A levels. The majority of techniques I use have been self taught, particularly the digital part of the process. Learning Photoshop from scratch was quite daunting at the start but very satisfying once I'd cracked it!

I am always learning new techniques and looking for new things to try out and I've found that experience and trial and error has been the very best way to hone my skills and develop my own creative style.


4) What does your work place look like?

My work place is a happy mess littered with sketches, paintings, random ideas jotted down on scraps of paper, books, photos, test prints, pencils, pens and thousands of paint brushes and sketchbooks (you can never have too many). 

My children like to come in here and draw alongside me, which I love- as long as they don't use the expensive paper I use for my prints!


5) You also make bookish items, where does your love for books come from?

My mum reads a lot so I think I inherited my love of books from her. My very first books as a child were Beatrix Potter and I fell in love with the illustrations as much as the stories. Roald Dahl and C.S. Lewis were also firm childhood favourites of mine. 

The magical feeling of getting lost in a book is something that cannot be beaten. I always have a couple of books on the go and if I absolutely had to choose a favourite it would probably (definitely) be Neil Gaiman's Neverwhere- I have read and re-read my copy so much it is falling apart!

I love to read to my children and I hope they grow up to love books as much as I do. 


6) Can you tell a bit more about how you started your store?

I was selling painted Christmas decorations and cards at a local fair when someone suggested I should open up an Etsy shop- I had never heard of Etsy but I checked it out and it really impressed me with it's unique focus on handmade products and artwork. 

I decided to open a shop selling painted quotes. It was really overwhelming at the start and I didn't have much confidence in my work but then I started to get sales and good feedback from customers and it took off from there. 

A few thousand sales later and I still get a warm, fuzzy feeling and whisper a little thank you every time I get a sale or some lovely feedback. 

It's a strange but fantastic feeling to know that my prints are in people's homes all over the world!



7) You use a lot of quotes, how does a quote end up on your products?

I love quotes that inspire people, or classic quotes from great books that evoke an emotion or nostalgia. 

Relatable quotes are fab too- the ones that make you think 'that is SO me!' (in my case any quotes about books and tea).

After some heartwarming messages from customers it is nice to know that some of my prints are helping someone in a little way or bringing a smile to their face.



8) What do you like the most about having your own shop?

Running my own business is such, such hard work- but it is hard work on my terms. I may work many more hours than a nine to five job, with no paid holidays or sick days but- I can jiggle things around if the kids need me, I can choose which direction my work is going in, I can work in the middle of the night if I wish, I make a living from my passion, I have total creative freedom (and I can work in my PJs if I want to) and THAT is priceless. 


9) You create a lot of animal themed prints, what's your favorite animal?

My passion for drawing animals definitely started with Beatrix Potter books as a child- if I wasn't reading then I was drawing animals or writing little stories about them. I was, and still am, a big animal lover and nature geek. If my family and I don't get home with muddy boots and pockets full of interesting pebbles or feathers on the weekend then it's not been a successful day!


10) What are your plans for the future?

One day I will settle on one of the ideas floating around in my head and sit down to write and illustrate a children's book with lots of lovely animal characters.

For now I am focusing on growing my website Violetandalfie.com and getting lots and lots of new designs ready for the busy Christmas season. 


Giveaway

Bookish prints
One very lucky reader of With Love for Books will receive a print of choice (A4 format) from Violet and Alfie.


The winner will be notified by email and has 3 days to respond. All of our giveaways are international.


14 comments:

  1. You are very talented, such great items in your shop and I love the fact that it's named after your children. :-)

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  2. The quality and design look amazing. Unique, fun and lovely colours too.

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  3. Quirky, simple, unique. I love your shop :)

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  4. I love these prints! So cute and fun!

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  5. I love your artwork. They are all gorgeous!

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  6. These have got to be one of the most beautiful things I've seen today.. After my dog and my cat. Must haves indeed!

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  7. what lovely artwork, would love to see more - perhaps a unicorn and a dragon, obviously with your own personal twist and interpretation!

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  8. I love the saying some many books so little time.

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  9. Love all the prints, so spoilt for choice.

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  10. I like these prints very much. They are made very well. Hugs

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  11. I love the prints! There are so many beautiful designs!

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  12. Thanks for the great prize and competition. Good luck everyone!

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