Friday, 25 May 2012

Inspiring Illustrators | Getting to know Oh Hello! Studio

Ma Bicyclette: Inspiring Illustrators | Getting to know Oh Hello! Studio

Oh Hello! Studio (previously known as Tea & Ceremony) is the creative outlet for Sandra Igbodo, a Lancashire based illustrator. Sandra's use of bold colour, shape & pattern lends itself perfectly to the paper goods she creates. Her work is available as notebooks, cards, prints, badges and mirrors and we love them so much, we wanted to know a little bit more! 

First things first, when did you start creating and selling your illustrations?
I first started selling my illustrations through Etsy in 2008. Studying art and design throughout school, college and university, I still designed and made things in my spare time. My technical background is quite varied and I have experienced everything from textiles and bookbinding to oil painting and screen printing but have always felt more at home with illustration.

Tell us a little bit about your design process, where does your inspiration come from, and how do you get started?
I love to visit my favourite design blogs and buying vintage craft and home decoration books. Bright and bold designs are always an inspiration to me whether it is on fabric, ceramic or paper. Usually an item or an image will spark a chain reaction and I may get a few ideas from that one thing. I always make a rough sketch of my ideas in a notebook and that’s usually enough to prompt me when sitting down to create a design.

Ma Bicyclette: Inspiring Illustrators | Getting to know Oh Hello! Studio 

Which are your favourite of your pieces?
I think that it has to be the Manchester Bus. Although it’s one of the simplest, the orange double-decker bus that ran in north Manchester is something that I remember well from being a child.

Where do you tend to do most of your designing?
At home in a dedicated craft space.I finally have everything organised so that I know where I can find it should I need it. I just recently bought a tall chest of drawers and spent a good few days sorting through everything.

What is the best thing about running your own business, and what is the most challenging? 
The best thing about running my own business is being able to create what I like on whim. I work full time as well as run Oh Hello! Studio part time which means I can afford to do this. The most challenging thing is keeping the momentum going. It’s very easy to come up with a lot of ideas and not put them on paper.

Do you have any advice for anyone thinking about selling their craft? 
I would advise them to start small. This is definitely something that can be done nowadays with opportunities to sell via online market places such as Etsy, Folksy and Big Cartel. You can test the water without having to take a second mortgage on your house.
Don’t be ashamed of making multiples of an item that is a successful seller. You’re not betraying your craft by having some business sense! Do advertise your goodies. If you don’t have a Twitter account, sign up and Tweet about your new product. You’d be amazed at how many referrals you can get from a single re-Tweet. I would also recommend setting up Facebook page for your business. You can link your Facebook page to your Twitter account so that any Facebook posts are automatically Tweeted. You reach two audiences in half the time!

Ma Bicyclette: Inspiring Illustrators | Getting to know Oh Hello! Studio

Apart from running Oh Hello! Studio, what else do you do?
My full time job is in mental health research and development! I enjoy it because I don’t waste my creative mojo in the day. I often jot down design ideas that pop into my head and then I’m ready to start working on the designs when I get home. When I’m not designing as a hobby or for the business, I love watching sci-fi, horror and comedy films, going to food festivals, shopping for craft supplies, visiting new places and following Manchester City in the Premier League (well done City!)

Where would you like to be in 10 years? 
My dream is to be able to run Oh Hello! Studio full time and perhaps expand into a shop/office space so that I can have a store full of my own things!

Finally, where else can we find you?

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