Thursday, 2 May 2013

Meet Fanny Shorter


We are ever so excited to introduce you to our latest designer Fanny Shorter.  We love her intricate kaleidascopic designs, inspired by anatomy, yes, you didn’t misread, the human body, and Fanny's latest pouches and notebooks for Roost Living are based on the human brain.

The daughter of a physics teacher and a music teacher, she grew up in a school in Winchester, surrounded by idyllic countryside and historic buildings in an aesthetically crowded house crammed with prints and patterns on books, plates, cushions, rugs and wallpaper. English holidays, frequents visits to the V&A, the Natural History Museum and National Trust properties as well as an entire childhood in a school are an evident and enduring influence.

She trained as an illustrator and her clients have included Twinings, the Cutty Sark and the Wellcome Collection. She divides her time between her freelance illustration work and expanding her 
screen-printed product range at her studio in Bloomsbury, London.

How long have you been designing?

Full time 2 years. Sporadically for 7.

Did you go to art college or are you self taught?

I have a degree in Illustration.

What are your main creative influences?

The study and record of natural science, William Morris, turn of the century illustration.

Where do you find inspiration for your work?

Outside, The V&A, Natural History Museum, Grey’s Anatomy, National Trust houses, terrible confession but Dorling Kindersley has proved invaluable.

Who is your favourite designer?  What aspect of their work do you most admire?

Timorous Beasties. Hand-crafted and highly original.

What aspect of your work gives you the most pleasure?

Screen-printing. It’s great being technically practical for a change rather than moody and creative.

Where are you most creative?

No recipe for that yet. It’s still very unpredictable. Long train journeys?

What is your workspace/studio like? 

Civil war. The photo provided is not a particularly accurate representation.          

How do you describe your style?

Traditional with a contemporary quirk.

What are you currently working on?

I’m working on a collaboration with a company called Mr Jones Watches designing the illustrated interior for a range of limited edition watches. I’ve also got a pop up shop coming in the summer.

When you first started out, what was the best advice you received?

Work hard and be nice to people.

What advice do you have for other designers starting out?

In reference to being self-employed you have to really love your practice. As soon as you leave college or university no one is going to tell you what to do and you are answerable to no one. You have to want to succeed so if you don’t really love it, don’t do it.

How do you achieve a work/life balance?
I don’t have a life! The two just seem to blend into one another. Friends come and sit in the studio and I take my work home every night but I wouldn’t have it any other way.

What are your other passions?

Walking, Scandiwegian crime drama, 80’s rock. Dipping a suspicious toe into opera (my sister is a singer). And it’s dormant at the moment but I love a spot of DIY. There’s nothing to beat the smell of sawdust and paint.

What is your favourite food?

A well baked potato. A Kestrel specifically.

Trousers or skirts?

Skirts. I just don’t ever wear them

A selection of Fanny Shorter's pouches and notebooks are now available online.

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