The il­lus­tra­tor and owner of on­line shop The Printed Peanut cre­ates whim­si­cal worlds from her dream-like draw­ings. Here, she puts us in the pic­ture

Homes & Gardens - - NEWS -

What is your back­ground and how did you get into your area of de­sign?

I come from a very artis­tic fam­ily, and grew up sur­rounded by art in­stal­la­tions and bizarre the­atre shows, so my cre­ativ­ity was en­cour­aged from a young age. I knew I wanted a job that in­volved draw­ing, but didn’t know a ca­reer as an il­lus­tra­tor ex­isted un­til I en­rolled on an art foun­da­tion course when I was 18. Fol­low­ing that, I stud­ied illustration at The Glas­gow School of Art, which was bril­liant. I’m so thrilled that I can now make a liv­ing from be­ing an il­lus­tra­tor, which I do along­side de­sign­ing and sell­ing prod­ucts for The Printed Peanut.

Where are you based?

I grew up in Heb­den Bridge in West York­shire. It has a won­der­fully artis­tic com­mu­nity and, af­ter liv­ing away from the area for some years, I’ve now re­turned with my hus­band and we love it. We’re cur­rently ren­o­vat­ing an old cot­ton mill, which will even­tu­ally have a big stu­dio for me to work in down­stairs while we live up­stairs.

Who or what in­flu­ences your de­signs?

I take cues from every­day things around me, such as food pack­ag­ing and hand­writ­ten signs in shops. I’m also very in­spired by chil­dren’s books from the 1930s. Mid-cen­tury de­signs are of­ten my favourites – my

Home Life plate was in­spired by those won­der­ful 1950s Homemaker plates by Enid Seeney, which were sold in Wool­worths so that ev­ery­one could have af­ford­able yet at­trac­tive de­sign in their home.

What do you wish to achieve through your work?

I hope it brings a lit­tle joy into the world. I al­ways use bright colours and try to in­clude a lit­tle hu­mour if I can. Every­thing I de­sign for The Printed Peanut is man­u­fac­tured in the UK, as I be­lieve in sup­port­ing small busi­nesses wher­ever pos­si­ble. I hope that peo­ple will trea­sure my prod­ucts and keep them for years – it’s so nice to cre­ate tac­tile items that you can hold and play with as an an­ti­dote to all the screen-based en­ter­tain­ment we have now.

Can you tell us about your big­gest achieve­ment or proud­est mo­ment so far?

It’s al­ways a mag­i­cal feel­ing when you get your own book back from the pub­lish­ers – I’d dreamed of that mo­ment from a young age, so I was chuffed to bits when I pub­lished my first. I was also in­cred­i­bly proud to have worked last Christ­mas with Heal’s, where ten de­sign­ers (in­clud­ing my he­roes Donna Wil­son and Orla Kiely) were asked to dec­o­rate 3ft-high plas­ter cats, which were then auc­tioned off in aid of Great Or­mond Street Hos­pi­tal’s Kiss it Bet­ter ap­peal. I painted mine an eye-pop­pingly bright Yves Klein blue and glued white pa­per cut-outs all over it. I was so proud to see it dis­played in Heal’s flag­ship store on Tot­ten­ham Court Road be­fore it was sold for char­ity.

Who have you col­lab­o­rated with and is there any­one you would like to work with in the fu­ture?

I love col­lab­o­rat­ing and have been lucky enough to work with some won­der­ful com­pa­nies such as Bo­den, Chron­i­cle Books, Lib­erty and An­thro­polo­gie. Most re­cently, I trav­elled to In­dia to work with To&from, a home­ware brand started by my friends Somya Singh and Bob de Graaf. While de­sign­ing new house­hold tex­tiles, we were sur­rounded by pea­cocks and ele­phants and it was a hugely in­spir­ing ex­pe­ri­ence. I won’t stop draw­ing un­til my de­signs are over ev­ery sur­face of the home.

From pa­per doll’s houses and cir­cus tents to tea tow­els, sta­tionery and richly il­lus­trated ce­ram­ics, Louise’s ex­u­ber­ant de­signs have a joy­ful qual­ity.

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