Saturday, 17 March 2012

CREATIVE FEATURE: MEGAN CLAIRE ♥

Megan


Hello Megan Claire, how are you lovely? 
Doing brilliantly thanks!


leafy Leicestershire
Can you tell us a bit more about you, where you're from, what you like? 
I live in a tiny little village in the leafy Leicestershire countryside. I'm a fan of all things colourful, creative and quirky. I studied English Language and Literature at the University of Sheffield before going to play hockey and travel in Australia and New Zealand. When I came back I enrolled in a graphic design evening course which I did for three years whilst working full time and the rest is history!


What inspired you to become a greetings card company? 
I've always been an arty soul but that lightbulb moment came when helping a friend with wedding stationery. I loved it so much I thought 'I could just sit here and do this all day long'. So that's what I did, but in the form of greeting cards (although I have dabbled with wedding stationery too!) There's something nostalgic and cosy about receiving hand written letters and post, and we leave our cards blank inside because we believe that putting pen to paper is just as sentimental as sending the card itself. It's great to be part of a personal message between two people.

Personalised cards
Would you share with us your creative process?
I'm a very spontaneous thinker - if I see something that inspires me, whether it be a flock of birds in the sky or a washing line full of colourful sheets , I will instantly conjure up designs and ideas that could potentially become a card. I also sketch out designs on paper, then scan and develop them on the computer. Most of my cards are vector-based and 99% of the time, I draw straight onto screen with the trusty pen tool. I also think it's really important to use white space as part of the composition, so a lot of my designs are small and dainty and it's because I believe that usually, less is more.

Rudolf card
Do you have a favourite card you have created?
One of my favourites is probably the 'Rudolph' card because it's a bit different and quirky and gives each reindeer an identity. Recently, however, I have been designing made-to-order personalised cards and prints which have been massively popular - I love doing these cards because it allows me to represent a single persons most personal thoughts through design. Their personal messages mean nothing to me, but everything to them and that's what makes it so great! The baby cards are lovely as framed keepsakes (see attached!)
christmas pudding cards
How long have you been a greetings card company?
We officially launched in September 2011, but it's been in the pipeline for the last year or so.

Can you describe what you do in three sweet words?
Distinctive. Contemporary. Fresh.

What/ who inspires you?
Everything and everyone around me is inspirational, from a drive through the countryside to Sunday Lunch with the family. Like-minded creatives and other greeting card companies inspire me through social networks like twitter and facebook. It's always good to see fresh and new ideas everyday to keep me on my toes! 

Megan Claire gift tags
You have a very sweet website & tweet lots of loveliness, what inspires you to have an online presence & encourages you to tweet about lovely things?
Initially an online presence gives you a whole world of freedom and access to potential customers - you can blog, tweet, facebook and mail out for free so in this current day when mostly everyone has access to the internet and smartphones, it seems unimaginable to have no online presence. It also helps greatly with the e-commerce side of things so that when I reach the potential customers it's completely hassle free for them to buy straight from my website. They can buy someone card and get it delivered straight to their door without having to move off their seat! Tweeting is more than just a hobby, it really has it rewards and I think it's really important to be up to date with everything that goes on in your industry or similar environments.

Who are your favourite/ most inspirational illustrators/designers/bloggers?
I love the @Jackiemagpie blog
, it's so inspirational, and even if it's a quick glance at their latest findings I always feel more fired up to go and design something lovely! Plus it's based in one of my favourite cities which I find massively influential, San Francsico. I also really like Francesco Mugnai's blog  - he always has the latest gossip on all things new, such as the most innovative business card designs and all sorts. Really worth a look. 
Which ways do you best promote your work?
Mostly online, social networking and through mailing campaigns. I wil be going to a few trade fairs this year so keep your eye out!

Do you have any favourite blogs/ websites?
So many!!! Here are a few:
jackiemagpie.com
popsey.co.uk
francescomugnai.com
alltropical.co.uk
whatkatiedoes.net

Have you got a picture of your workspace/ print studio/ ideas space? (Drawings accepted!)
You would gasp if I showed you a picture of my desk (bomb site). To give yuo an idea my work space consists of the following: lots of torn paper and post-it notes, streams of ribbon, a pack of jelly tots, a ridiculour amount of colourful nail varnishes, a box of matches (I have no idea why), a packet of paracetamol, a pinboard of lots of lovely things, a ridiculous amount of every kind of delicious paper samples you could imagine and everything apple mac have ever designed and produced.
How does your workspace help you to be creative?
If I get artists block, I just have to look around me and before long something springs to mind. I think it's important to have snippets of inspiration around you to show how you got to where you are, to remind you why you love it, where you came from and where you're heading to.

If I wanted to contact you about a collaboration/buying artwork/to say hello etc, what's the best way for me to do that?
Visit our website meganclaire.co.uk/contactus and ask us a question or email us directly on megan@meganclaire.co.uk. You can also follow us @meganclaireuk or find us on facebook and give us the thumbs up (facebook.com/meganclaireuk)

What are the loveliest mags you read?
There's not much time for reading mags, but creative review and design week and drum are always to hand, as well as catching up on the blogs listed above!

Do you have any nice plans for the future? (Picnics, pictures, exhibitions, afternoon teas, blogger events?)
For now I'm focusing on getting preapred and out to trade fairs this year. Keep an eye on our twitter @meganclaireuk to find out where/when we will be exhibiting.

Megan Claire's mascot, Lucie 
FAVOURITES 
Book: Catcher in the Rye,
Colour: Green
Shop: www.meganclaire.co.uk (of course!)
Drink: Passoa and Lemonade
Cake: Carrot cake
Tea: Milk, two sugars.
Attire: Anything cosy.
Month: August
Activity: Running, playing hockey, doodling
Film: Stand By Me and Rear Window
Actor/Actress: James Stewart/Doris Day
Tattoo: The one on the inside of my left wrist.
Band/singer: Love Laura Marling


Thanks for being lovely enough to do this feature Megan! Your greetings card company is fab so it's really lovely to have it on the blog :)

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