Friday, September 18, 2009

HOUSE CALLS: The girls from Belle and Boo

Early on in my Etsy youth, I stumbled upon the exquisite images from Belle and Boo. Soon after that, Mutt gave me one of their prints and I quickly fell in love.
Little Belle Hugs Boo

Mandy Sutcliffe, with her good friend Kate are the girls behind the most delightful Belle and Boo. They produce prints, cards, buttons, mirrors, dresses and more...all featuring Belle and her sweet friend Boo (a rabbit), and many more characters.
Belle, the Tree Hugger

Belle and Boo images make me think of a sweet, innocent childhood full of animals, deep friendships and lots of adventures! They are clean, delicate drawings full of gorgeous detail and beautiful colour. And most of all fun! Mandy conjures up images that are wholesome and cuddly, but not too cutesy. Belle has a character all her own.
Belle and Boo, Halloween

Anyway, Mandy from Belle and Boo has taken time out of her hectic schedule (most recently showing at the design show Top Drawer Autumn 09, in London) to share with you the inspirations and secrets behind her work. Enjoy!

Describe the work that you do.
"I illustrate moments of childhood, a child hugging a tree, kite flying or simply staring out on the landscape from their favourite tree."
Lost Cut Out, Paper Doll

What was the career/education path that got you to this point?
"My eyes were opened to the vast possibilities of art during my foundation course at the age of 18. After a lot of deliberation between choosing a fine art course and a graphic arts course I opted for illustration at Leeds University. There were easels and paint everywhere, the carpeted floors and technical rulers had put me off a lot of other graphics courses."

Where do you get your inspirations?
"From life, I see children doing sweet stuff all the time, from stories my friends tell me about their kids, from my favourite books, the internet and day dreaming."

Describe the creative process in designing/creating a particular piece.
"I sketch roughly first the initial idea, them I refine that sketch, then I draw the final line work on tracing paper. It is usually a collection of different bits of the finished drawing. I scan them in and in photoshop I put the image together. I print out allot along the way, and re-sketch parts many many times, to get the line and flow just right."

Where do you create your work?
"In my studio in the back garden."
The Bristol Work Station

Share 3 artists whose work you admire.
Joyce Lankester Brisley (of Milly Molly Mandy fame), Beatrix Potter and Bonnard

Where do you sell your work?,

What/who are the things you love most in your life?
"My partner Russ, we met at art college. He is one of the most talented creatives I know. I love travelling, eating and sport."

What would you do in "your wildest dreams", if there were no restrictions?
"That's difficult, if I want to do something I usually try and make it happen. Russ and I fancied spending this winter in the sun, so have organised a house swap to Sydney.
BUT I would love to cycle around the world or something like that."

What is your greatest professional achievement?
"That keeps changing daily, the latest one was having a 4 page spread about Belle & Boo in Junior magazine & having a beautiful stand at Top Drawer Olympia"
Belle and Boo stand, Top Drawer Olympia 09

What is new with you and your work?
"Fabric stuff! soon we will be selling cushions, dolls and we are developing a new range of children's clothes."
Lost Dress

Let's Hug Pinafore Dress

Belle Hugs Boo Soap

Cushions...coming soon!
What is your motto in life?
"Keep going, work hard, believe in yourself & things will start to happen."

Follow the girl's exploits on their blog, and you can download new outfits for this adorable Belle Doll, for free. It doesn't get sweeter than that!

1 comment:

  1. My motto: Do a random act of kindness every day. Love the drawings!


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