Thursday, 11 May 2017

A Father's Day Like No Other.

This month I celebrate 8 years of Fay's Studio. How time flies when you're having fun!

I welcomed this milestone with my largest single order to date from my customer of 8 years, Paperchase!

For many months an order of almost 11,000 Father's Day cards has been keeping me busy in house hand-finishing my 'Hero' Father's Day card range with tiny googly eyes. My home/studio has been overrun with boxes of thousands of cards, envelopes, cellobags and 24,000 eyes! The floorboards and walls have been creaking and I've had to fuel my Mum with plenty of tea and cake whilst packing the thousands. I couldn't have done it without her, we make a great team.

Paperchase sent their order at the end of last year, in a jaw-dropping email which said that my cards had been selected for the majority of their stores. This had never happened before so needless to say my head nearly exploded. My family were all with me when I opened the email and we were all beaming and overwhelmed by the news.
It's thrilling when a buyer loves your designs and sees your vision for what is quite a hard occasion to pitch right. It's great to strike a chord and get the sentiment right.







My thought process for the 'Hero' range is that Dads, Father-figures, Guardians, Grandfathers, God Fathers and Step Dads should all be celebrated so I designed the range with gentle sentiments such as 'You're Like A Dad To Me' and 'We Should Do This More Often Dad'.

Here are just a couple of photos of the work in progress in the studio, each tiny eye fixed on with glue before being wrapped in a cellobag with a recycled fleck kraft envelope.


The size of this order was nothing like I have ever handled before. Just seeing photos from the printers handling the litho print run and the pallet of B1 size sheets ready to be trimmed and creased was an eye-opener to scaling up business.



B1 sheets running through the litho press.
Sheets off the press and ready to be trimmed and creased and delivered to Fay's Studio.
My 'Hero' range is available now to buy at Paperchase stores. Let me know if you spot them and I hope you'll send one this year.


Sunday, 21 August 2016

My Debut Publication!

Ok, so I realise it's been 18 months since I last posted any news, as they say, no news is good news. It's just that I have never been so busy illustrating for some amazing clients and blogging just hasn't happened.

It's also been a really challenging 18 months because, anyone who remembers from way back why I started out in business is because I have Ulcerative Colitis, which means that working for myself  I am much more able to shape my work around this condition and it's not been an easy time for me.

I also got married last October to my wonderful Husband, so it's been a whirlwind year.
Here's a little photo of our happy day and the man who supports me through everything!






Back in the Studio, I have not only been creating greeting cards for a growing number of customers here in the UK, France and Switzerland, but my work has taken on a new direction into the world of publishing.

I have contributed to these colouring books for adults 'The Art of Mindfulness' by Michael O'Mara Books and 'Calming Colouring For Kids' by Buster Books.

My fantastic agents Advocate have been keeping me incredibly busy licensing my designs to clients such as Nigel Quiney, UK Greetings, HarperCollins, Hallmark and WHSmith. There have been times when I have had to turn work down, I would love to say yes to everything, but selecting work, prioritising and time managing is so important.

At the end of 2015 I started out on my debut solo colouring book for adults, after receiving a commission from Anness Publishing. The brief to illustrate 100 different land, air and sea animals for 'Animal Magic - An Enchanting Colouring In Book'.

I spent a lot of late evenings perfecting my illustrations, making all the little details exciting for you to colour, and to see the publication in print is a huge milestone! When I was studying Illustration I'd spend hours and a lot of money in Waterstones, Borders and WHSmith on design magzines and books, so to find my very own book in book stores now is surreal.




If you'd like to purchase my book directly, you can do so here from Amazon. For a peek inside the publisher has a flip file here for you to browse. If you are a bookseller, please do approach Anness Publishing for further information.

Of course, I would love you to share your colouring skills with me, so sharpen your pencils and send your photos to me on Twitter @FaysStudio or share on Facebook with Fay's Studio Greetings.

Fay x






 

Friday, 9 January 2015

Meeting Prince Charles.

Just before Christmas I received an invite from the Highgrove Estate to a special Christmas event they were holding for their staff and suppliers. I was told HRH The Prince of Wales was attending to meet and greet his staff of the Estate and the Highgrove shops.

Highgrove Pop-up shop, Cribbs Causeway, Bristol.
I was one of 5 suppliers who had been invited, as last year I had designed 6 greeting cards and tree decorations for Highgrove.

My greeting cards displayed in the Highgrove Shop.
Product shot, courtesy of Highgrove.

The 'Three French Hens' decoration hanging on my Christmas tree.

On the 22nd December, on a very stormy night, myself and my partner arrived at Highgrove and spent the evening enjoying good company and plenty of refreshments!

Photo courtesy of Paul Burns Photography.

Prince Charles must have greeted about 200 guests and was keen to speak to everyone. He was especially pleased to hear how I had created my designs and to know that I had in fact started my business through the Prince's Trust's Business Enterprise programme. It was one of life's surreal moments.

Photo courtesy of Paul Burns Photography.
Prince Charles certainly showed his good sense of humour, his address to the guests at the end of the evening got the crowd laughing. He was very thankful for everybody's hard work last year to achieve fantastic profits for his charities and thanking the suppliers for our work. I was told that my cards and decorations had sold incredibly well which was wonderful to hear. Great feedback for my designs couldn't get much better than that!

As the Prince left the event a pianist treated us to the 12 Days of Christmas on a grand piano in a very festive way to end the night. I really hope I have the opportunity to work with Highgrove again this year, their support for my work has been amazing.

Thursday, 11 December 2014

In The Wild - New Products

Since the launch of my British Bird range and the special project I have worked on with Highgrove this year, I decided to develop my range of British wildlife illustrations and begin a new collection called 'In The Wild'.











These six new designs will be available as greeting cards, finished with silver glitter for Christmas 2015. Like the British Bird range, they will be printed onto a 290gsm embossed board, and come individually wrapped with a kraft brown envelope.










You can see these at Spring Fair International 2015 from February 1st-5th at my exhibition stand number 4J27. If you would like any further information about the products/prices please get in touch via email (mail@faysstudio.com).

Tuesday, 21 October 2014

Highgrove - Christmas Cards and Tree Decorations.


In February whilst winding down from a busy Spring Fair International at the Birmingham NEC, I was approached by the Special Projects Manager from Highgrove about my British Bird illustrations on my trade stand. After a lengthy talk about my illustrations and how the cards are produced, we agreed to work together after the show on a special collaboration for Christmas.

We met again in Tetbury, Gloucestershire, where one of the Highgrove shops can be found, and deliberated over my designs, the finishes, and the possibility of also translating the designs onto Christmas tree decorations. It was great to have a creative meeting and work out the finer details of the project. It was really important for Highgrove to fully understand my process of design and my ethics as a designer/publisher. From day one of producing my cards, it has been important for me to use only FSC boards and envelopes and biodegradable packaging. I believe it’s very important to be aware of your impact on the environment, and this resonated with Highgrove.

Robin and mistletoe Christmas card pack.

Bird tree decoration.

Christmas Robin greeting card pack.
Tree decoration.


Four designs from my ’12 Days of Christmas’ collection were selected for mixed packs and I was specially commissioned for two other Christmas robin illustrations. It was so exciting to keep the project under wraps for 8 months, creating unique designs and I was really thrilled to see my designs on Christmas tree decorations. Licensing my work for other products has been something I have wanted to do for a while.

Four Colly Birds mixed pack of Christmas cards.

Colly Birds tree decoration.

Three French Hens mixed pack.

Three French Hens tree decoration.

Partridge in a Pear Tree mixed pack.
 
Partridge in a Pear Tree decoration.

Although I have done commissions before, this has been an extra special project which has really got me involved in seeing the products develop. As a greeting card designer, the opportunity to license my designs has been a thoroughly enjoyable process. It’s been such a pleasure and an honour to work with Highgrove.
The greeting card packs and tree decorations are available from Highgrove in Tetbury and online.