Crafty chat Be­hind the scenes

Dis­cover how a doo­dle led to the cre­ation­no­fof Donna Rat­cliff’s stun­ning stamp col­lec­tion

Quick Cards Magazine - - Crafty Chat -

Donna Rat­cliff’s craft­ing bow has many strings, from clay mod­el­ling to dec­o­rat­ing cakes for the rich and fa­mous. How­ever, illustration has al­ways been the con­stant, and her draw­ings are now avail­able in a new stamp col­lec­tion from Crafter’s Com­pan­ion. We caught up with the keen crafter and blog­ger to find out how the col­lab­o­ra­tion came about and what in­spires her hand-drawn de­signs.

We’re so ex­cited about your new stamp col­lec­tion for Crafter’s Com­pan­ion – how did the col­lab­o­ra­tion come about?

Well I’m head of Sheena Dou­glass’ de­sign team and I go to help set up the shows she does at Hochanda. I was doo­dling while wait­ing in the Green Room and Sara Davies, who was there for some other shows, saw my draw­ings and said they should be made into stamps. That’s how the first one came about. Since then, I’ve been lucky enough to have been asked to de­sign some more.

How do you come up with all of these new il­lus­tra­tions?

I think any­one who is a crafter has ideas in their head of things they’d like to ‘play’ with and that’s where the ideas come from. Then it’s just a case of mak­ing sure I make the im­ages ver­sa­tile enough that peo­ple can en­joy play­ing and cre­at­ing with them too, and are able to ap­ply them to their own cre­ations in what­ever style they like to cre­ate in.

When you’re de­sign­ing, what medi­ums do you like to work in?

I much pre­fer to draw with a pen and pa­per, often just a ball­point pen, in fact. I don’t like to sit down to cre­ate a per­fect draw­ing. I pre­fer to just sketch and doo­dle im­ages and see how they de­velop. How­ever, for the stamps I have to draw on a tablet, but I still tend to draw a lit­tle on pa­per to try the ideas out first. When it comes to de­sign­ing cards, then I much pre­fer to work in wa­ter-based medi­ums be­cause of their ver­sa­til­ity.

Do you have a favourite de­sign from the col­lec­tion?

Oh, it has to be Spiffy from my new Steam­punk World col­lec­tion! Af­ter all, a steam­punk fly­ing mouse… what’s not to like?!

Are there any more new re­leases in the pipe­line?

Yes, I’m happy to say there are some new re­leases! There might be a lit­tle mag­i­cal world to visit later in the year but I’m say­ing no more! My lips are tightly sealed!

When you’re not de­sign­ing stamps, what would we find you do­ing?

I’m often cre­at­ing sam­ples with ei­ther my new stamps or with Sheena’s range. Al­ter­na­tively, I could well be pre­par­ing for work­shops. It’s usu­ally some form of craft be­cause as well as be­ing my job it’s my hobby! I’m a to­tal craft junkie I’m afraid to say.

We’ve been check­ing out your blog and we love your card de­signs – do you find it dif­fi­cult to find new things to blog about?

Oh, my blog! How em­bar­rass­ing! I’m such a bad blog­ger… I don’t keep it up to date at all and I re­ally must get it sorted. I don’t usu­ally find it dif­fi­cult to think of things to blog about – I like to put photo tu­to­ri­als on there, among other things. Rather, it’s more a case of find­ing it dif­fi­cult to re­mem­ber to ac­tu­ally do it!

How did you get into craft­ing?

This is go­ing to sound so trite, but I re­ally have crafted all my life in some form or an­other. I was al­ways en­cour­aged to be cre­ative as a child, so I grew up play­ing with paint, colour­ing pen­cils, beads, mod­el­ling clays etc. Then, as I grew up it just car­ried on as I love try­ing out all sorts of crafts – I just re­ally en­joy mak­ing things and be­ing cre­ative!

Is there a craft you’ve al­ways wanted to try but haven’t got around to yet?

Ooh yes! I’d re­ally like to have a play with some sil­ver clay as I’ve been look­ing at that for ages now and just haven’t had the time to have a go. I’d also like to have a go at pot­tery and throw some­thing on a pot­ter’s wheel.

Lastly… tell us some­thing sur­pris­ing about your­self!

Sur­pris­ing? Oh, that’s a dif­fi­cult one! Well, let’s see… I used to have a fam­ily cake dec­o­rat­ing busi­ness and over the years we were lucky enough to make cel­e­bra­tory cakes forf a few well-known celebri­ties!

Donna takes in­spi­ra­tion for her il­lus­tra­tions from all that’s around her!

Check out Donna's new stamp de­signs at Crafter’s Com­pan­ion

Donna has been busy de­sign­ing a new steam­punk range!

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