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Small Business Friday with Paige Cartledge

Recently graduated from University of the Arts London in 2014, award winning designer and founder of Paige Cartledge Homeware, Paige Cartledge specialises in finely detailed illustrations which are often influenced by natural history museums and their displays. By combining her classic illustration style with a contemporary approach to design, she creates beautiful homeware collections and products which include wallpaper, stationery and fine art prints.

Paige Cartledge, at Pulse, with her work, earlier this year

Here, we have a chance to catch up with Paige after the successful launch of her Curiosities stationary range for Marks and Spencer.

The Curiosities Collection for M&S

Why did you chose to go into arts and design? Anyone else in your family that is so artistic?

I have always been interested in the Arts from a young age and have chosen design led courses throughout my education, from school up to university level. There isn't anyone else creative in my family really, although my younger brother has taken a keen interest in graphics & photography.

The illustrations in your "EXOTIC Collection" remind me of the sketches one would find in Darwin's little notebooks. Where do you draw your inspiration from?

I absolutely love visiting natural history museums on a regular basis and it is here where I gather all my inspiration, particularly from the Natural History Museum in London and the Manchester Museum. I take lots of photos of particular animals or displays that catch my eye and have a little log book where I note down any information and draw small sketches of any ideas I get for a design whilst I am there. Once I am home, I will research into the animals I have found and start to draw from the photos I have taken at the museum.

How did you feel when M&S approached you and asked to incorporate your designs in their stationary range?

I met M&S through the design studio Tigerprint last year at the New Designers exhibition in London, where I won the Tigerprint award. I was absolutely ecstatic knowing that such an established company had noticed my work and loved it! It's an amazing feeling for your work to be acknowledged, especially because it is something I am so passionate about and I always put a lot of hard work into!

Once you were chosen, how involved where you in the process of the print making?

Tigerprint studios design all the cards, stationery and gifting ranges for M&S so I worked in house in their studio in Bradford and designed the Curiosity Collection myself. I was involved in the whole process from start to finish, from coming up with ideas and concepts for the range to designing the layouts of each product. I have been lucky enough to design for Tigerprint for the last year and I am looking forward to seeing more of my ranges coming through into store, including a Christmas collection launching this winter!

The moment the package arrives and you see your end product. I bet this is a special feeling!

It is so amazing when you see the end products, especially on the shelves in store! I feel so proud whenever I see them, it really is a great feeling.

Do you have any peculiarities or habits when working?

As I have spent the last year designing for Tigerprint, I would tend to work on my own collections in the evening or on the weekend, whenever I had any spare time to concentrate on my own work! Now I freelance from home and continue to work on my own ranges whenever I have the opportunity to! I tend to work long hours and late into the evenings when I have any exhibitions or shows coming up.

Which famous person would you imagine having your products at home?

I actually often think about seeing Sir David Attenborough in his study with my Ornithology wallpaper adorning his walls! This is my ultimate dream and as soon as my wallpapers available, I think I am going to try and send him a complementary roll! I guess there's no harm in trying!

Which of your products are you most proud of/ like the most?

As much as I am proud of my stationery collection for M&S, I still love my Ornithology screen printed wallpaper with the birds, eggs and feathers. I absolutely loved illustrating this collection and hand printing my samples. With my own personal work I tend to design collections that I would love to have in my own home, inspired by all the things that fascinate me the most.

Ornithology wallpaper

Indeed, the ornithology range has some very elaborate drawings which we absolutely love! Equally, her M&S range is a must have for a blogger's desk! Here's where you can find Paige's products and learn more about her work.

The latest collection of screen prints and stationery is available on ETSY - you can find it here.

The Curiosity Collection for Marks & Spencer is available now in stores and online, you can find it here. However not all products are currently online, you will find more in store!

Finally the Ornithology wallpapers will be launching soon through the homeware company Graduate Collection.

You can also link with Paige on Instangram and Pinterest and follow her on Twitter.

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