Introducing the talented Caroline Kent from Scribble & Daub. An English illustrator whose beautiful illustrations have been sought after by the likes of Vogue, Dior, Mr & Mrs Smith and Jo Malone.
Her luxurious cards are the latest addition to our shelves, quickly becoming a customer favourite. Caroline's cocktail card stands out as a popular choice among them. But have you ever wondered how she turned her artistic talent into a successful business? In this brand interview series, we get an exclusive peek behind the scenes of Scribble & Daub and learn about Caroline's creative process and the journey that led her to where she is today. Join us as we delve into the world of her luxury greetings cards and discover what makes Scribble & Daub a unique and inspiring brand.
How long have you been illustrating? Where did it all begin?
If my seven-year-old self could see what I do now, she’d never believe her luck. Though I loved drawing above all things as a child, it’s been a somewhat circuitous route to find myself scribbling for a living. After studying Social Anthropology at Edinburgh - which qualifies you for everything and nothing! - I spent the best part of a decade working in the contemporary art world before travelling for a year in North and South America on a curatorial research bursary. On coming home, we moved to a cottage in East Sussex, and I established Scribble & Daub soon after having my first child. The business grew gradually around him and eventually his two brothers. Our products can now be found in some of the finest stores worldwide, from Liberty and The Conran Shop to The Stores and 10 Corso Como, and I have created illustrations for clients including Vogue, Dior, Mr & Mrs Smith and Matches Fashion.
When did you know you wanted to work in Illustration?
On some level, always (alongside childhood dreams of fashion design), but for a long time, I never imagined it was possible. With the best intentions, my family strongly encouraged the pursuit of academia rather than art school, so I headed to university instead. Interestingly, if I’d gone against their wishes, I wonder if I’d be here now - the path is not always straight and obvious. Every chapter before this has put me in the way of amazing people and exciting experiences that I still draw on today.
There have been many along the way, but the first one still feels the most significant.
Having parcelled up some card designs, I wrote what I hoped was a charming letter to Liberty and posted it with my fingers firmly crossed. When they called a week later to place an order and become our second-ever stockist, I vividly remember dancing around the living room with a tiny baby on my hip, knowing that this was the start of something
What inspires your designs?In my opinion, the best cards are always handmade, whether some grubby fingerprinting by a toddler or a silly scribble from a friend. I know that many people feel they can’t draw, and whilst I don’t subscribe to this idea personally (if you can make a mark on paper, you can draw!) I think our hand-painted designs allow everyone to send something with a uniquely human touch. My designs are simple, timeless and elegant, inspired by nature and the everyday. If they make someone smile, whether 7 or 70, and are treasured long after the event, they have done what I set out to do. The cards are like miniature works of art, a gift in themselves. So many people tell me they can’t bear to part with them. They have framed them instead, which is always a treat to hear.
What’s the process for you when it comes to creating your cards? Can you share any pictures of the process from the start of an idea to the finished product?
Everything begins as an original dip pen and ink drawing, which is then letterpress printed at our traditional local workshop in Rye, and then individually hand-painted in our studio with Andy Warhol’s favourite brightly coloured inks.
We love to take a look behind-the-scenes in design studios. Where is your workspace? Can we take a peak?
For the first ten years, my studio was a small room off our sitting room with beautiful views to the garden and woods beyond. As our family and business have grown out of the space, we decided to extend our cottage and build a larger, separate studio in the meadow outside, but this has proved vastly more difficult and complex than we had anticipated and is still very much an ongoing project! For now, I work from a building on a farm estate near our house. I dream of the day I will be back in the meadow!
I mentioned that your cocktail had been favoured amongst the shoppers in our stores. I’d love to know which one is your favourite card design. Do you have a preference, and if so, what makes you favour a design over another?
It’s impossible to choose just one! Some, like the Lobster, Clover and Sparkler are great old friends, but it’s always exciting to add a new design and see it fly - I was particularly pleased with You’re Out of this World for Valentine’s this year - I’ve been sending that one a lot. Another recent favourite is Mimosa, the first in my new Language of Flowers collection, which launched on International Women’s Day. We also introduced our first collection of letterpress printed & hand-painted decorations last Christmas, and I can’t wait to add more fun designs this year.
|Happy Birthday Helter Skelter Card||Rose Card|
Keen to shop more of the Scribble and Daub designs? You can shop the full collection here
You can find Caroline Kent on Instagram at @scribbleanddaub
Or visit her website at www.scribbleanddaub.com
Photography credits: Kim Lightbody; David Fernandez; Calypso Cragg