Interview: Chloe Hall

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Chloe Hall is an illustrator and has her own shop. Her shop sells gorgeous, prints, notebooks and homeware. I was lucky enough to interview Chloe about her illustrations and career plans.

Hello! Thank you so much for letting me interview you. How are you?

Hello, no problem, thank you for featuring me! I’m good thank you :)

Tell us a little bit about your background.

I have always loved art and design throughout school, I continued and did Graphics and Illustration a DMU. I never really knew I would be doing what I’m doing now as I chose subjects because I liked them, I realised when I finished uni that I was going to give it a go, and haven’t looked back since.

I adore your work. What inspired you to start doing illustrations?

Thank you very much! I have always enjoyed being creative, I remember all the art lessons from primary school, and hardly any of the other lessons I did (oops haha). I have always been interested in creating illustrations, into ceramics, anything creative! I have never consciously thought I’m going to start doing illustrations, until it became my business, it was something that was natural and I just haven’t stopped since I started.

What is the reason behind the botanical theme?

Plants were the one thing I always used to doodle, and it just evolved from there. I have always loved being outside and walking, and I think I paired this with my love of illustration, as plants and flowers were what inspired me most so I began to draw them.

Have you always been into illustrations and design?

I think I have, but haven’t always realised it. I have always chosen art and design subjects and always looked forward to them throughout school and uni.

 How has your creative process changed since the start?

Whilst at university, I created very delicate line drawings, which I still draw and these sometimes make it into my patterns. I like the contrast of the water colours with the line drawings. I then wanted to find a way to incorporate colour and started using water colours, and the style that I have now was created that way!

I adore your business. What made you decide to set up Chloe Hall Illustration?

I finished uni and was lucky enough to get a place on DMU’s Enterprise Inc Scheme, this allowed me to have a mentor to start my own business. I knew I wanted to work for myself when I finished uni, but didn’t know this whilst I was on the course. Once I got started and began creating products, it continued from there. I didn’t know I had the drive or determination to do anything like this, until I started my own business!

How did you manage to learn and hone your craft?

At university we were encouraged to find our own style, through lots of development work and testing. I think this helped me discover my way of working. I like to use the first illustration I have created rather than develop it until it’s ‘perfect’. I think if you refine it too much it loses it’s charm, I hope this makes my illustrations and patterns unique and keeps them organic.

 Do you have any favourite pieces of work that you adore at the moment from your shop?

That’s difficult, looking back at work there’s always something you would have done differently! I really enjoyed created the minimal A5 print series as they were a little different.

What equipment do you use for your work?

I use water colours, gouache paints, sometimes acrylic and a fine liner.  I then finalise everything in Photoshop.

What tools or materials could you not live without?

The equipment mentioned above. Tea isn’t really a tool but that’s something I couldn’t live without!

If there were no resource restraints, what would be your dream project?

I would love to create work on a large scale, whether it be by hand painting or very large digital prints. My work is always on small products so I would love to see my patterns large!

Why has social media been an important platform for you to use?

It has been a great platform. It’s free and you can engage with your customers from all over the world. You can find out who your target audience is, and as well as scheduling posts, you can also post things that are more in the moment, which keeps it personal and helps your followers realise there is a real person behind the brand.

Who inspires your work?

Lots of people! Leah Goren’s work is amazing, Pip Wilcox Ceramics, I feel her work is so honest and she really connects with her followers, Sew and Saunders, Bodil Janes. I see inspiration daily, from nature, colours and things I see in everyday life.

What are you currently working on?

I’m currently thinking up a new range of greeting cards, and working on something very exciting for the start of next year which I can’t wait to share! I’ll be posting more about this towards the end of this year :)

What’s your typical working day?

I work part time, so the days when I’m at my day job, I’ll get home, start up my computer and reply to emails, and mainly do admin work in the evenings. I have just brought a new sketchbook/journal so I’m trying to get a bit of drawing/painting done in my evenings too. I have 2 full days at home during the week to work completely on my own business. I tend to reply to emails first thing, pack and post orders out, then either work on my own work or client work, depending what I have on at the time.  

What’s been the biggest struggle in getting your business off the ground?

Being patient is quite difficult. When you start up a business, I knew it wouldn’t be successful over night and that it’s something I would never give up at, but sometimes it can feel like nothing’s happening, and then it all happens at once. That is part of running your own business, you will only get out of it what you put in, so it can sometimes feel quite intense when you do every aspect of it yourself, but is completely worth it.  

Do you have any favourite pieces of design work or illustrations that you adore at the moment?

I recently got a Camilla Perkins print for my birthday, it’s framed in my room and I love it! I also love everything that Rosie Harbottle is doing!

What do we hope to see in this up and coming year for your Instagram and your work?

I’m always working on new patterns and illustrations so you’ll be seeing lots more of those, new products and a new greeting card range soon. I loved working on a poster zine that touched on the benefits of how being outside benefits us, so that’s something I would really love to go back to in the near future.

 What are your career plans?

To continue my business as it is, keep it growing and carry on working at something I love.

 Do you have any advice for anyone who would like to start drawing or creating illustrations?

Start and don’t worry about the response from people. There’s always going to be someone who loves your work and someone who doesn’t, so don’t let that get you down. If you are passionate about what you do and don’t give up this will show in your work, and people like that.

Do you have any advice for designers?

Keep going! I honestly think as long as you don’t give up and keep working at your business there’s no way it can’t work.

What’s next for Chloe Hall Illustration?

I’ll be carrying on drawing plants, buying too many plants and creating new work! Hopefully as my business grows my product range will grow too, so you’ll be seeing new products in the not too distant future.

What's the best piece of creative advice you've ever been given?

I’ve said this before in other features, my tutor at uni used to always say to us ‘If you’re not enjoying it you’re doing it wrong’, and it is something that’s always stuck with me! :)

You can follow this lovely lady on her shop and her website ‘www.chloe-hall.co.uk’. She has some wonderful designs on sale, especially prints in the new Mollie Makes magazine.

Rhiannon BrittenComment