THE LOVELY DRAWER
With a background in art and interiors, it’s probably no surprise artwork is a hugely important feature in my home. From photos to prints I love to curate galleries, and am always on the look out for new designs to freshen up my walls.
Feeding my current obsession with typography prints you’ll often find me browsing the pages of Etsy UK, which is where I first discovered the work of Teri Muncey from The Lovely Drawer. Trained in the art of graphics and illustration, Teri’s work captures everything I love about modern design; clean and elegant with a hint of pretty. I’m especially in love with her inspiring brush lettering prints!
Today we’re finding out more about The Lovely Drawer story with Teri, and taking a look at four of my favourite prints which I hope will be adorning the walls of my new home soon!
Hi Teri, thanks for joining us today! We’d love to hear all about The Lovely Drawer, how did it all start? I was trained in print design back in the day which taught me lots of techniques as well as giving me a taster of self governed projects. Having won a work placement with Hallmark cards during my time at uni, I decided that on graduating I wanted to pursue working in the greetings card industry. I had no intention of starting my own business so I sent promo packs to various companies and spent 6 months living out of a suitcase, travelling around the country to do more interning. I finally got a job as a designer for a greeting card publisher in London and ended up working there for just over five years. Compared to many others it was a small company which actually meant I had responsibility over quite a few different areas and saw usually saw the design process through from start to finish. I also got to see a bit of the business strategy behind the scenes.
Unfortunately, watering design work down for commercial markets started to leave me a bit jaded. I started my blog to get my creative juices flowing again and much to my surprise it ended up bringing me lots of freelance work. For a while I tried to do this alongside my full time design job and started to really struggle. Still not wanting to formally start my own business but not willing to let my extra design work go, I went down to 4 days at my job and did a day freelance. It was good to dip my toe in the water, try working from home and managing the finance. The passion I had for what I was doing grew and grew until eventually I was just getting frustrated that I couldn’t spend more time on it. I’ve heard similar from other people in that position. Suddenly I found myself convinced I needed to leave my job and make a go of my own business, rather than be left wondering ‘what if’. It was a big leap but it was made slightly easier with the experience I’d gained prior and easing in slowly.
What’s your starting point creating a new design? I don’t tend to get inspired sat at home on my laptop. I need to be out and about, soaking up everything that’s around me, whether that an interesting wall, a window display or the park. I usually have my best ideas when I’m either walking or swimming strangely enough. I start by working through a forrest of paper, drawing, painting or printing. I like to keep that part quite spontaneous. I then set everything aside and come back to it the next day, with fresh eyes. I then decide what is worth taking forwards into a more finished design.
What makes The Lovely Drawer designs unique? I think they’re always very paired back but with a hand finish so they aren’t cold or stark. I guess my hand writing also sets them apart. People have always been able to recognise my work by my typography, ever since college, whether it’s brush lettering or drawn lettering.
What’s the average time you spend creating a design? That’s a tough question as it really depends on how in depth the design is. Patterns take much longer than a placement print but it can range, up to a day or two. I did however once design 7 Christmas cards in a day once! My hand was aching by the end of that from both paintbrushes and my graphics tablet pen.
Who do you respect and admire in the design world? I love everything Julia Kostreva does. Her work is beautifully clean and simple but every piece is perfectly balanced in colour and layout.I’ve also loved Studio Sarah since she launched at their first trade fair. It’s similarly minimal but the gold foiling and muted colours make them pop.
What is your opinion on trends? I don’t think any one can say they’re never inspired by trends. I definitely don’t work from there as a starting point. Sometimes I am really excited about a current trend and it ends up coming out in my work but I think it’s pointless being a slave to them. Leave that to the larger commercial companies as in many ways smaller independent designers should be setting those trends. I remember I nearly stopped doing anything brush lettered about a year and a half ago because I thought it was already becoming too mainstream but with all my teaching it’s blown up more than I could have imagined. That’s something I’ve been doing for about 8 years but now it’s a trend. You never quite know how these things will work.
‘LIVE FREE’ ART PRINT BY THE LOVELY DRAWER (Etsy £25)
What challenges have you set yourself for the next 12 months? A constant goal is to learn how much I can take on at a time. With quite a varied job description I find it a challenge to plan that well without becoming a headless chicken. I would also love to explore ways in which my business could grow whilst still retaining what it’s become. For instance wholesale is something I’d love to pursue but just haven’t had the time. My challenge is to make the time for these things.
Buy our favourite The Lovely Drawer on Etsy UK here