Elsie & Fleur

Angie Spurgeon is a freelance illustrator and graphic designer, who lives with her husband and two daughters near the beautiful Quantock Hills in Somerset.

She creates cheery and bright illustrated prints, greetings cards, gift wrap and stationery, which she sells all over the world. 

Having graduated with a degree in Graphic Design (Illustration) from the University of Plymouth, she spent 12 years working in the advertising industry before going freelance.

Her collection of cards and gift wrap are also available at outlets nationwide including some garden centres, branches of Waterstones and National Trust shops as well as lots of independent card and gift outlets across the UK.

She currently works closely with greetings card publisher, The Heart of a Garden, and a range of her prints, cards and gift wrap is stocked online by us.

What’s your workspace like?

I have notebooks by my desk and as soon as I get an idea I jot it down. Then, when I get a chance, I transfer it to a loose sheet of A4 paper using a black fibre tip pen. Once I have created a layout of the overall composition, showing how the text should be set out as well, I carefully draw the images to be used in the finished piece, which are then scanned and coloured on the computer. I listen mostly to Radio 6’s Lauren Laverne and RadMac while I am working, and I am fuelled by the best of British – a good, hot cup of tea!

What inspires your designs

My children and their various colouring and drawing projects, my garden and the surrounding hills and local coastline are a constant source of inspiration.

I also admire mid-20th Century artists and designers such as Celia Birtwell, David Hockney, Mary Blair and Alain Gree. 

I love Pat Hutchins’s children’s book ‘Rosie’s Walk’ and George Dunning’s animation for the film ‘Yellow Submarine’. Bright and colourful.

Do you have a favourite product?

I’m usually fired up by whatever collection of designs I am working on at any given time.  This is mainly because creating a design is all consuming until it’s out of my head and made real. Which, to me, is a fantastic feeling and another reason why I do illustration. 

For example, last spring I was working on a collection of British Nature Guides.  There are eight designs in that collection each featuring about twelve different species of plants, animals or birds. It was quite a big task and had me drawing and colouring on my computer for a few weeks. I loved every minute of it and missed working on it once everything was complete. That’s why I turned many of those images into a calendar and a collection of gift wrap too - just to get a chance to work with those designs again.

That’s been my favourite design last year, but ask me again later this year and I will no doubt give you a different answer once I’ve created something else new.

What do you hope to inspire in others?

I want to put a bit of warmth and colour back into the world and my designs are all created to make people smile when they look at them. A range of my prints can also be personalised as they come with individually cut aperture holes, which allow the owner to place large locket-sized snaps of their friends or family behind.

What’s next?

Lots of new designs, lots more card designs and surface pattern work. I work with an agent in the US who showcases their artists at a major art licensing trade event in New York called Surtex in May. I need to ensure I have plenty of fresh, new colourful surface pattern work ready to send over to the US to be showcased there.

Sum up your quirky style in three words:

Colourful, cheerful and pretty.

Written by Cherry Pullinger — January 15, 2018

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