Interview carried out over email 9th Sept 2019
Hey Amanda and thank you for choosing to collaborate with Lefevre Chocolate – Wedding Favours – by designing and making some tags for our favour boxes. We are so pleased with how the samples look. They offer something totally different design wise to what we have previously offered – exciting times! How long have you been involved in making wedding stationery products for couples and how did you first enter the wedding sector?
I think it was about 18 months ago that I received my first wedding order. It’s taking me that long to really set up a broad road of designs for my portfolio. Since the start of the summer I’ve really pushed myself to get out there with advertising at wedding fairs.
I first entered the wedding sector by doing a few commissions for friends and family. I was already producing greetings cards and I was looking to expand my range into other things and test out the wedding market. I created baby shower invites and also produced a commemorative print for a neighbour who wanted to give an extra special wedding present to her daughter who was getting married. And it developed really well from there.
The wedding industry is fiercely competitive – what do you think sets you apart from other stationery designers out there?
I have a very illustrative style. I create all my designs by hand first then scan them in and experiment with the layout on the computer. Illustrated invitations are really in at the moment but I think I have set myself apart from the rest of the competition as my designs have a very fun and playful look. Check out my bumble bee wedding invitations. I think this is greatly influenced by background in children’s book illustration. It’s the subject I specialised in when I was at university.
We love the illustrations and colour you use in your designs – nature must be a big inspiration for you – do you often take your materials and get creative outdoors, or do you always design in the same location?
I’d love to try and do this but the only problem with this is that it suddenly gets windy and all my paper and pens go flying about the garden! It’s safer in my studio!
Could we see photos of your workspace please? I find it fascinating to see other creatives studios
Yeah sure. Both of my sisters have moved out, so now I don’t have to share a bedroom with one sister (result!) and the other sister’s room I made into my studio (yippee). My dad made my desk out of two sets of dressing table drawers and a large piece of oak worktop. It’s huge – 2.8 metres long!!! I love it. It’s nice to have a space of my own instead of having the tiny desk I used to have cramped in the corner of my bedroom.
Apart from wedding stationery we see you offer many different products – like children’s nursery wall art, mobile phone screensavers, change of address notelets – how and why did you get into designing and producing these other items?
I got into the nursery wall art as I specialised in children’s book illustration at Uni. Some friends and family asked me to create some personalised artwork for their children’s bedrooms and it’s really grown more popular as I do more designs for different people.
The change of address notelets and mobile phone screen savers are things I’m trialling out in my shop at the moment. The screen savers are a growing hit! I even had my first order from somebody in Thailand!!!
I am a big stationery fan – always have been since my school days so – let’s get geeky and talk stationery – your top 5 stationery items right now!!? Pens you use, paper, rulers whatever…
My top fav has got to be my Pentel brush pen! I love the different thickness of lines you can get from it. Next has got to be my trusty dip and ink pen- I feel so posh and old-fashioned drawing with one of these. I feel like I could be in Harry Potter writing with their cool quill and ink pens. Then I love good old coloured pencils. They add a lovely texture after you have applied watercolour paints. My other favourites are my little ducky push pins (they are so cute) I have on my studio pin board and a little welly boot shaped pot that I found in a charity shop. I use it to keep all my most used stationery in.
What projects are you working on right now?
I am currently working on a new greeting card range. I hope to eventually do a big trade fair in London one day. I am also busy completing orders for wedding invitations from brides I recently met at wedding fairs. My hard work is finally paying off!
Will you be bringing anything out for Christmas? Cards, wrapping paper, gift bags?
Hopefully my new range of cards will be done in time for Christmas. Fingers crossed.
Do you ever listen to music while working? What’s on your playlist currently?
I just have the radio on while I work. But if it’s not radio, my favourite bands are The Script and Maroon 5.
What do you do when you aren’t creating beautiful art?
I am an enthusiastic campanologist: I’m a bell ringer at my local village church.
When is your most creative time of day?
Right before it’s time to pack up for the day. Unfortunately. I always have mum calling up the stairs to set the table for dinner right when I’m on a roll.
Do you have set working hours, or do you work when creativity strikes?
I tend to work set hours – I make sure I stop at dinner time and don’t sit at my desk until the next day. I hate working after dinner when all I want to do is relax with my family and watch TV.
What are your go to food and drinks while you’re creating?
And I’m not just saying that because I’m being interviewed by a chocolate company.
Every day – we call it elevenses – mum comes up to my studio with a coffee a bit of choccy. The dog joins us too.
How do people hear about you usually and get in touch for commissions?
Any way they wish! Email, Facebook message, Instagram.
Have you ever made any CAT designs!? (We are cat mad!)
Not yet. I do dog portraits. But I haven’t done cats yet. And cats/dogs are yet to feature on my stationery designs. I’m making a mental note to add more cats to future designs. Maybe it will make the next greeting card range!
Where did your business name ‘Half Pint Print’ come from? Let me guess…. How tall are you!?
My parents gave me the nick name ‘Half Pint’ as I was particularly small for my age when I was growing up. They still use the nick name sometimes.
Everyone should check out your online shop – your illustrations are just darling – what is your website link?
Have you had any children’s books published using your illustrations or are you currently seeking a collaboration with an author?
Yes, I have one! It’s available on Amazon. A year or two ago I worked on a collaboration with a very talented young American author. He wrote a book with his grandfather called “When Melvin the Camel Meets Donald Trump”. It’s a charming and imaginative story about some teenagers that go saving the world from global warming and Donald Trump. It’s set in space! I’m always on the lookout for opportunities to do children’s books.
So, if you are planning a wedding – please do check Amanda’s work out online using the links above – I’m sure she’d love to hear from you. Thank you, Amanda, for your time and we so look forward to collaborating with you soon!