Designer

Designer Interview – Scout Editions

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Bold shapes, clean lines, minimalistic colours and quirky designs!

Bold shapes, clean lines, minimalistic colours and quirky designs are the hallmarks of the Scout Editions collection! The creation of sister and brother team Pui and Wai, this East London based art and design collective is known for their fun range of illustrated cards, prints and enamel pins. Their designs are inspired by travel and storytelling, and at Hannah Zakari we always look forward to seeing what new ideas they explore in each new collection.

In this Designer Interview, we spoke to Pui from Scout Editions about her influences, her design process and the merits of collaborating with other designers (and with a sibling!).

Scout Editions Print and Poster Image
What does an average working day in the Scout Editions studio look like?

Each day varies, no one is the same which is nice and keeps things interesting. I usually start from about 9 am and grab some breakfast and eat as I check my emails. Then I would maybe continue illustrating and developing the new collection, which we’re hoping to launch in May. As we’re developing the new range at the moment I like to take time to research sampling and materials, so this may involve visiting suppliers.

If I find I’m not feeling so productive, I try to nip out for some inspiration and catch up on an exhibition or see friends for a catch up, it usually does the trick, some fresh air and a change of scenery. I also work on freelance commissioned design projects; this may be a packaging design, branding project or illustration brief.

Wai is based in Hertfordshire, so we’re not in the same space. He organises all our online and trade orders. His day would involve sorting through and packing orders and making sure they are posted out. Also checking on stock etc.

If we have a trade show coming up, we both have tasks to do to prepare for the show. I would be getting the designs and products finished and ready whilst Wai would be gathering fixtures etc for the stand, like shelves, paint etc and thinking about display.

Hannah Zakari Interview Scout Editions Office Photograph

Do you listen to music while you work? What kind?

I do listen to music while I work. I love music! It varies from acoustic and folk to current music.

It also depends on my mood and what I’m doing in the studio. So if I have a tight deadline, I may put on something more upbeat and fun to keep me going. Generally I put on Spotify and listen to a lot of melancholic tunes, as its easy listening and relaxing.

Lately I’ve been getting into a lot podcasts too like ‘Femme’ by Daisy Lowe. Its really chatty and laid-back, if feels like you’re eavesdropping someones conversation which is fun to listen to.

Hannah Zakari Interview Scout Editions Photo of Greetings Card Range

A lot of people would balk at the idea of working with their siblings! How is it working as a brother and sister duo? Do you think there are more Scout Editions arguements than unrelated creative teams?

Ha! Yes I know what you mean. I think a few years back we wouldn’t have dreamt of working together, but somehow it works now. I think also as we work from two separate spaces, it helps as we both get to have our own space to create and come together when we need to chat through ideas etc.We’re both quite calm and patient so I think that helps.

Hannah Zakari Interview Scout Editions Pigeon Mug Image

You often collaborate with other designers and companies to create new work. How do these collaborations come about, and is there anything you particularly enjoy about working with other brands?

We first set up this brand and platform as we wanted to work with other independent brands and designers. We wanted it to be a melting pot of experimentation and play. Throughout the years we’ve had the privilege to work with some fun and talented people, some of whom have become great friends. Some collaborations just came naturally, like when we met Plain Pins, we knew them from doing Christmas markets a few years back. And Anna Wiscombe, we met at Renegade Craft Fair and we got talking and became friends and did a collaboration. Then there are some brands like Anthropologie, Tobias & The Bear who got in contact with us to do something, which is always really nice and they had seen us on Instagram.

We love working with all sorts of brands and designers. As it usually is in the realm of something we’re not experienced in, for example wood, clothing etc. So we get an insight into how people do things which is a challenge and always good fun.

Scout Editions enamel pins are super popular here at HZ! How do you decide on a new pin design?

Thank you! Yes our pins are probably one of our best sellers in our collection. We usually decide on a theme for the overall collection first and start designing the mini cards, prints etc. It’s then that we decide which illustration would look good small as our new pin. It might mean reducing our illustrations down to the size of a pin and seeing what works, as sometimes an illustration on a big print might not work small for a pin. So there’s a lot of reducing and cutting and pasting to see what works best.

If there are too many designs we want to make, which sometimes is the case, we tend to show our nieces and nephew and ask their opinion. They are very honest, there’s no holding back!

Hannah Zakari Interview Scout Editions Enamel Pins on Denim Jacket Photograph

You say on the Scout Editions website that you like to experiment with new formats and techniques. Do you have anything in mind that you’d like to try next?

Yes we love to experiment with formats and layouts, although not so much at the moment. When we first started out, we were creating cards in different formats, like concertina fold out tall cards etc. Although it was loved by shops, the feedback was that it was tricky to display on shop shelves. So we took on the feedback, and created products that are easier and more practical to display. We also created origami folded shirt cards. They sold so well, but we realised that in the long run, it probably wasn’t economical with our time if we had a huge order as each one is folded by hand and would take too long to make just one card. We love playing with scale too, creating mini cards and then super size screen prints and love the contrast in sizes.

Our work is mainly in paper, however would love to work with wood or ceramics. This may take a bit more time as we’re not experienced in these materials, so will need to do a bit more research and seek specialists in these areas.

Would you say there are any other designers, illustrators or artists who have particularly inspired you?

We get inspired everyday. However we do always go back to our all time favourites like Saul Bass, Charley Harper. And artists like Jean Michel Basquait and Andy Warhol.

As I’m a Graphic Designer as well as an Illustrator so I tend to get drawn to simple, graphic illustrations. There are a lot of inspiring and interesting designers and makers out there at the moment, I think I would find it too tricky to choose just one.

Do you have any advice for aspiring designers?

I would say stay focused and try to develop your own style. Try your best not get too influenced by current trends. Its good to take time to develop and grow your own direction, as this will lead to longevity and will make your work more memorable. However I do sometimes get influenced by the seasons colour palette etc, but I try to tailor it so it fits within what I do.

We think its also good to keep an open mind too, and see what everyone else is doing, so that you can see the bigger picture and where you sit amongst it.

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A big thank you to Pui for talking to us and giving us such a great insight into the workings of Scout Editions! We can’t wait to see the new collection when it comes out.

In the mean time, here are a few of our favourite Scout Editions designs in the HZ shoppe:

Four Leaf Clover Enamel Pin Hannah Zakari Scout Editions

4 Leaf Clover Enamel Pin £8.00

Lucky Clover Enamel Pin

 

Blue Tit Greetings Card Hannah Zakari Scout Editions

Blue Tit Mini Card £2.50

Blue Tit Mini Card

Robin Enamel Pin Badge Hannah Zakari Scout Editions

Robin Enamel Pin £8.00

Robin Enamel Pin

 

You can find our whole range of Scout Editions products on the Hannah Zakari webshoppe!

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Designer Interview – Kate Rowland

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Aimee talks to Kate about her life, her work and her favourite stationery.

Kate Rowland’s jewellery is a big hit here at Hannah Zakari! Her laser cut wooden brooches and earrings with hand painted details are quirky, cute, and extremely wearable. And as well as making some of our favourite jewellery, as an illustrator Kate also produces beautiful, delicate watercolour paintings: we’re in awe!

In this Designer Interview, Aimee talked to Kate about her life, her work and her favourite stationery.

Kate Rowland in Dungarees Designer Photograph at Hannah Zakari

Kate Rowland

You recently moved across the world to Japan! What do you like best about living in Tokyo? And has it been easy settling in?

I’m so lucky! It’s an overwhelming place, everyday I see something bizarre. It’s definitely not easy moving away from home, especially in a country where the language is so difficult (not to mention earthquakes!). But the history, landscape and culture here is so inspiring. We are trying to see and experience as much as possible before we move home in autumn.

Have you discovered any great Japanese stationery or art materials since you’ve been in Tokyo?

I have! To the detriment of my bank account. I love to use brush pens, ink and watercolours, and the choice here is overwhelming. My favourite watercolours are made by a Japanese brand, Kuratake, so I’ve been stocking up on different colours. Even the 100 yen shops here stock decent brushes and pens! I’m also a huge loser, and love visiting DIY shops, I’ve bought some lovely, unusual wood and plastics to laser cut into jewellery…

Kate Rowland Painter's Palette Brooch at Hannah Zakari

Kate Rowland Painter’s Palette Brooch

Our customers love your laser cut jewellery, with the Paint Palette and Feminist Heart brooches being particular favourites. Do you have a favourite piece in your collection?

The greenhouse necklace has been a favourite of mine for years! It was the first piece where I really started thinking about my designs as three dimensional objects, rather than flat images to be laser cut. I still love hand painting them too, even though I’ve made hundreds! Each one is different and organic, and there’s something lovely about that.

Tell us a little bit about your design process; how is a piece of Kate Rowland jewellery made?

My ideas start out as scribbles or notes in the margin of my sketchbook, and often they will stay there for months, if not years! Then I’ll work on them until I’m happy, draw up and ink the final designs. Once the drawings are vectorised, I engrave and laser cut them. This often involves a lot of trial and error, especially if I am making a particularly detailed, complex design, or using a new material. Then the wood is sanded, sometimes painted, and assembled into a piece of jewellery!

As well as designing super cute jewellery, you do some illustration work for clients; which side of your business do you prefer (if either) and why?

That’s a hard question. I absolutely love designing jewellery, and making things with my hands, seeing something physical and tangible emerge from an idea. To know that people want to wear my work is an amazing feeling. But I’ll always want to draw and paint, and to make a living from that is something I aspire to!

A Self Portrait of Kate Rowland at work

Self Portrait at Work

Do you have any advice you can share with aspiring illustrators and designers?

Always look outside of your discipline, don’t stop creating, and don’t compare yourself to others!

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Enormous thanks to Kate for talking to us! You can see our range of awesome Kate Rowland jewellery on the Hannah Zakari webshoppe. Here are a few of our favourite pieces:Damn Fine Coffee Brooch

 

Book Worm Brooch

 

Paint Palette Brooch

Check out more of Kate’s work on her website here!

 

 

 

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Designer Interview – King Sophie’s World

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It’s designer interview time! This week we’re featuring Sophie King, a British textile artist and the feminist mastermind behind King Sophie’s World.

The colourful aesthetic and powerful message of King Sophie’s World really hits the spot at Hannah Zakari. Her meticulously hand embroidered pieces in bright sequins and thread are a labour of love from start to finish and we were thrilled that we could bring a selection of her work to the HZ Shoppe over the summer.

Emma spoke to Sophie about her work and practice…

How long have you been practising as an artist? How did you get started?

I started ‘King Sophie’s World’ in late 2011, I just started embroidering and haven’t stopped since.

 

If you were to explain your practice to someone who hasn’t seen your work before, how would you sum it up?

I hand embroider from start to finish statements and images on textiles. I explore the issues women face in modern life that undermine their self-esteem, self-confidence and well being.

What does a typical work day look like for you?

I wake up and I pack orders, go to the post office, then I check emails, which usually entails organising custom commissions and so on.

It’s usually about 4ish by this point, then I spend the rest of the day doing creative tasks, like embroidering orders, commissions and new pieces. I love listening to music whilst I work, I listen to all types of music but right now I have Kendrick Lamar’s ‘Damn’ on repeat.

 

Time seems to be an important part of your practice, from the medium you choose to work in, its historical significance and the experience of being a young woman. How do you relate to the women before you that have used embroidery as an art form?

In all honesty I relate more to women who have used textiles in a broader sense, as an art form. Like the designer Elsa Schiaparelli, who used embroidery with her fashion designs. Reading her autobiography was so affirming because it was like someone understood my aspirations in life for the first time.

 

What is your favourite item in your current collection and why?

I have really enjoyed embroidering on roses recently, just thoughts I’ve had in my head over the last few years. They’re more expressive and personal than anything I’ve made before. So it felt like more of a release.

Thanks to Sophie and Emma for the interview, first published in our 2017 Hannah Zakari zine (which is available to read in full here).

As well as the stunning original pieces displayed here and in our Edinburgh shoppe, Sophie King makes a range of inspirational iron on patches, button badges and stickers which have become immensely popular here at HZ!

Boys Are Mean Iron-On Patch

You’re Not A Bad Boy, You’re Just a Bad Person Button Badge

Your First Love Sticker

The King Sophie’s World range is spreading a positive message of self-love, feminism and determination and we love it. Check out the rest of this fantastic collection in the Hannah Zakari webshoppe!

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Introducing COCOFOUR

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It’s always exciting when we receive new stock but theses not only delight the eyes but also smell beautiful!

COCOFOUR candles are presented in a glass amber jar with a pre-waxed cotton wick that helps you get the longest burn possible from your hand poured soy candle (burn time of 30-40 hours).

COCOFOUR is a British brand, created in 2014 by two friends with a shared love of candles. They struggled to find well made soy candles that were also contemporary and clean in design, so they set about making their own!

Why soy candles you ask? Well soy wax has many great benefits compared to traditional paraffin wax. Soy wax is derived from soy beans so it is a natural, renewable resource and burns cleaner than paraffin wax, which is made from crude oil and releases toxic carcinogens in to the air. As well as being much healthier for humans, pets and the environment, soy wax also burns slower and cooler, creating a longer burning candle. Lastly, soy candles hold more fragrance and have an excellent scent throw, meaning your COCOFOUR candle will smell amazing from beginning to end.

We currently stock 5 scents; Bergamot + Orange, Cedar + Jasmine, Coconut + Vanilla, Pomegranate + Amber and Sicilian Lime + Mandarin

All are in medium COCOFOUR jar size and £18

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Magic Is Real!

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Do you believe in magic? Bonbi Forest’s new collection just arrived here at HZ, and it’s got us convinced!

 

This lovely new collection serves as a constant reminder to never stop believing in the mystical side of life. Adorned with unicorns, stars and lightning bolts, the new pieces from Lee May Foster-Wilson’s Cornwall based jewellery line are truly enchanting!

We love the Magic Is Real pendant and Totally Magic pin:

Totally Magic Pin – £10

Magic Is Real Pendant – £20

Also in our Bonbi Forest delivery were some inspirational new pins:

The Time Is Now Pin – £8.50

Mama Bear Pin – £8

And more of the gorgeous lockets we’ve come to love from this range, perfect for tiny keepsakes and precious photos:

Creature of the Night Locket – £20

 

Spread Your Wings Locket – £20

We hope you like them as much as we do! Bonbi Forest’s jewellery is available in our Edinburgh shoppe or online on the webshoppe now.

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A new collection from Wolf & Moon!

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We’re very excited to say that Wolf & Moon’s new jewellery collection, No. 6, is now available at Hannah Zakari!

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The East London based designers’ work has always been popular in our shoppe, and the No. 6 range has definitely become a staff favourite since it arrived earlier this month.

Inspired by modern abstract art and architectural forms, the necklaces, rings and earrings in this collection are effortlessly cool. We want them all for ourselves!

Which No. 6 piece is your favourite?

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Wolf & Moon’s No. 6 collection is available now in the Edinburgh shoppe or online at the Hannah Zakari webshoppe!

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Introducing… Bel’s Art World!

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It’s always super exciting when we start stocking something new in the shoppe, and our new range of pins and patches by the wonderful Bel’s Art World is no exception!

Designed by East London based illustrator Belinda Chen, this adorable collection is brand new to HZ and features all our favourite things; cute cats, out of this world aliens and food loving bunnies 🐰 Here are just a few of my favourite pieces:

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Wear your art on your sleeve (or lapel) with Bel’s Kitty the Artist Enamel Pin – £7

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Or show the world how much you love your furry family by sporting this Cat Lady Iron On Patch – £7

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If cats aren’t your thing, how about a cute tofu-loving bunny? Bunny Tofu Iron On Patch – £7

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Continuing the theme of good health, Bel’s Art World celebrates these underrated but important (and very colourful!) critters too: Friendly Bacteria Iron On Patch – £7

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I love this spaced out alien and his super cool moon so much – and it GLOWS IN THE DARK! Moon Lounger Enamel Pin – £7

You can find our full range of Bel’s Art World products in the webshoppe and the Edinburgh shoppe now!

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