Saturday, 11 October 2014

Blog hop challenge!

Hello! Long time no blogpost..again! Which is why when the wonderful Georgie St Clair recently nominated us to take part in a blog hop I jumped at the chance of having something to actually write about, meaning I could blow the ol' cobwebs off this poor bloggy. We've met Georgie and her family a few times at craft fairs where she's been a customer (and has kindly bought prints from us!) and it's been fantastic seeing her own beautiful illustration work develop over time. Also I love seeing her desk shots and work in progress photos as they're always so effortlessly stylish they look like they're straight out of a magazine editorial. Seriously, go check out her blog for yourself and you'll see what I mean.

Back to it! This post is a little insight in to our creative process, inspirations and work/life balance. Here we go...
What have you been making at your desk this week?

Mostly we have been making badges! We are total big kids and we had both wanted a badge maker for AGES so we were super excited to finally get one earlier in the year. It's so much fun coming up with designs and being able to turn them in to a product which you can wear really quickly (badges aren't just for small people you know!) Mostly we've been designing groups of animals...i.e. bears, tropical birds and safari animals. We also have a dinosaur set which have proved to be very popular! One lady has bought loads of different packs to have on the tables at her wedding this that's our kinda wedding! 
Apart from badge making we've been screenprinting lots of orders for our Etsy and Not on the High Street shops and in general starting to stock up for the Christmas rush. We live in a small flat at the mo so all of our screenprinting is done on our kitchen worktop...which is fine as long as we remember to tidy up before dinnertime!
Where are you currently finding your inspiration?

It sounds like a bit of a cliche but we do tend to find inspiration everywhere and anywhere! We're constantly doodling and jotting down ideas which we bounce off each other. If both of us get excited about an idea rather than one of us being enthusiastic and the other violently shaking their head then we know we're on to a winner! We're constantly trying to keep up with our to do lists but we try to frequently go and hang out on the beach (luckily for us just a 5 minute walk away) or to go on a day trip to see an exhibition. We recently went to see Matisse's Cut Outs at the Tate and it completely and utterly blew our minds. Truly one of the best most inspiring shows we've ever seen! 
Also a constant source of inspiration for us is the late Alan Fletcher. His playful and ingenious way of designing always makes us smile and think, even when we've seen the pieces a hundred times before.
Alan Fletcher's designs

How important is being creative to you, and how do you blend this with your work/life/family balance?

For us being creative is absolutely everything! I think we're incredibly lucky that we founded and run hello DODO together, it must be tricky sometimes running a creative business which your partner isn't involved in. On the other hand, because we ARE both involved in hello DODO there is no balance really...we're constantly thinking and talking about it, making plans, screenprinting orders, working on new designs, promoting ourselves... It's very very rare that we take a full day off and when we do we tend to feel really guilty about it! We even took a sketchbook on our honeymoon and spent most of the two weeks working on new designs! Growing hello DODO makes us really happy though so I don't think we'd have it any other way... Our main issue right now (and actually has been for the last few years) is complete lack of space. Our tiny flat is FULL of big silkscreens and boxes of t-shirts, totes, drawers full of prints and's a bit bonkers! But we are planning to move soon and to have a dedicated studio space and then we can have an actual living space to relax in and possibly maybe occasionally switch off :o)
Passing the Blog Hopping Baton

Right! We've decided to nominate two of our favourite Brighton based small businesses!
First up is designosaur! As I'm sure you are already aware Karli and Jacques make the most amazing awesome laser cut jewellery in the World (of which I have quite the collection!)
My second nomination for the blog hop challenge goes to I Like Cats! Toby makes fantastic hand drawn jewellery, cards, prints, pencil cases all guessed it...CATS on! His work is really quirky, unique and makes us incredibly happy. Check out both designosaur's and I Like Cat's blogs!

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