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A Chat with Dippy Egg

Recently I had the opportunity to collaborate with Lucy Daniels - owner and illustrator at Dippy Egg. Here's one of the pieces we worked on together (that swan flyin'). 

She's pretty much does everything - design, illustration, branding, web designs, craft and running a successful business of now five years. 

As our design friendship blossoms (beautiful isn't it?) I though I'd spend a few minutes chatting about what she does and why. So get some tea on the go, and take a break with this one.

 

Tell us a little about yourself and your work... and what even is Dippy Egg?

Dippy egg is a graphic design & illustration business in the centre of Cardiff, run by me - Lucy Daniels. 

As well as creating brand identities, design for print, web design, book cover design, I also take on illustration commissions, I design wedding stationery, I also do photography (I have a few weddings under my belt - something I'd like to do more of!) Loads of fun things!

At Dippy egg, we also produce high quality printed & handmade illustrated greetings cards & gift wrap, using materials all sustainably sourced from the UK.

We have a handmade range of cards with around 200 designs available - We handwrite the greeting on the front of each cards which means you can choose exactly what they say - I sell quite a lot of these in Welsh.

We also have a printed range of cards which cover a wide variety of occasions - Each with an illustrated quirky message and silver foil details.

More recently, we've added boxed, blank note cards to the range - 

One set of six illustrated fish, one set of six illustrated budgies, and one set of six illustrated insects. Each set is presented in a grey-board keepsake box, tied with colourful raffia and a swing tag showing thumbnail illustrations of each design.

My detailed pencil & watercolour illustrations are printed onto thick, cream art board. These were launched at our most recent trade show, Top Drawer in London in September.

How did you get into design? Was there a specific time or situation?

It's all I've ever wanted to do. From as soon as I could hold a pencil, I've wanted to draw. From a really young child, I always said I wanted my own business.

I spent hours & hours as a child drawing with my Dad who was an architect. His drawing talent was my biggest inspiration as a child and I dreamed of one day being as good as him. (Something which I'll never be!) I remember watching how effortless it was for him to just make something up & draw it - it was magical. 

All through school, all other subjects seemed to get in the way of desperately waiting for the art class! After my A'Levels, I then went on to do a BTec diploma in art & design which was a foundation course - after that, I chose to study Graphic design at Bath University where I specialised in illustration for my second and third years. I then worked as a graphic designer for a few years, learning lots, before i took the leap in 2008 to be my own boss and officially start Dippy egg.

From what we can see, it seems like you are a jack of all trades. If you had to chose a creative aspect (illustration, photography etc.), what would it be and why?

It would have to be illustration. It's my first and most passionate love. After a long day at 'work' where I could've been drawing all day, when I finish, all I really want to do is draw some more! I constantly imagine how I'd draw the things I see in everyday life. My illustration style has developed over the years, and it's still changing now. i don't necessarily stick to one style - I take each project and rely on my imagination to create something that 'fits'.

I absolutely love Photography though - it's been a hobby & a passion since I was about 14 when my parents bought me my first film camera. My Dad & I went on a course together and got a qualification in black & white photography & printing when I was about 16. I've now moved onto a pretty sophisticated digital camera, but I still love the magic of film photography and the smell of the chemicals in a dark room!

Are there any creatives that inspire you? Or what else inspires you and your work?

My favourite illustrator has to be Arthur Rackham. (1867 - 1939) He was regarded as one of the leading book illustrators of the 'golden age' of british book illustration. His work is so magical & so beautiful, I could only dream of being able to draw like him! 

All sorts inspires my work really. I suppose it's hard to say exactly what inspires me. Everything! I don't like to follow trends with my work really - I like to just create things which I enjoy creating and then hopefully, other people will like it too! 

 

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Where do you see yourself and your career in the next few years?

Well Dippy egg is 5 years old now. I remember when I started, reading an article about setting up your own business and it saying that it takes about 5 years for a business to really get going. The last 5 years have been hard work, but I've enjoyed every minute and since we hit the 5 year mark, things really have seemed to take off a bit more! I hope that in the next few years, things will continue to grow and I'd like to think that the card ranges will have expanded and hopefully be in some bigger retailers too.

For the mean time, what are you doing now? Or are there any projects or work you looking forward to?

At the moment, I have quite a lot of exciting projects on the go. it's like spinning plates sometimes! As I said, I've recently exhibited at Top drawer in London, so since the show, I've been packing up greeting card orders and sending them out all over the UK!

I also made a few interesting contacts at the show. One being Jelly Cat Toys, who I've recently signed a contract with to start working with them on a freelance basis, designing toys - A bit of a dream job!

I also have a few new branding projects starting. I've recently finished a project which included some children's book illustrations as part of a whole branding project for a start up company called 'When we were Little' based in London. I created fabric patterns and then they've been turned into really cute baby & children's clothes - Their website went live this week.

I also have a few other exciting things in the pipe line... Watch this space!

Where can people find your work? What can they find and what can they buy (and where)?

My website is www.dippyegg.net - it's sort of an online portfolio really - I'll be adding a 'shop' to the site soon… In the meantime, I sell lots of cards etc in my shop with What I Always Wanted, and I have a shop on Society Six. I also keep my Facebook business page updated with what's going on & what we're up to.

 

Ben ConnollyComment