A Cup of Tea With…Hoppy Bunnies

If you caught some of our excellent Instagram takeover by Lucy Player from Hoppy Bunnies over the weekend, you’ll have been treated to a glimpse of those cute little critters she illustrates! We sat down for a cup of tea with Lucy and asked her for the lowdown on where the idea for bunnies came from, her creative inspo and the design process…

Lucy Player: the genius behind those cute little Hoppy Bunnies!

Lucy Player: the genius behind those cute little Hoppy Bunnies!

Your cards are based solely around cute bunnies – what was the inspiration behind this?

It all came about from a project I worked on at university… We’re talking 8 years ago now, which is a little scary! As part of my graphic design degree we had to do a typographic piece, creating our own fonts. Out out this came the Bunny Rabbit Alphabet, which started my whole little obsession for drawing bunnies! 

What comes first with your designs – the pun or illustration?

It can vary – sometimes a bunny pun will hop (sorry, I can’t help myself) into my head and that dictates the illustration. But now I’m focusing much more on the greeting card market, I tend to think more in terms of occasions, and how to tailor a bunny character to it… to be fair, replace ‘Happy’ with ‘Hoppy’ for most occasions and you’re on to a winner!

Where do you seek inspiration?

The internet is a wonderful thing, let’s face it. Having so much creative work at the click of a mouse – be that on Pinterest, blogs, Twitter, Instagram, or sites like thorful, Folksy and Not On The High Street, it’s so valuable to see what other designers and makers are up to, and what new trends are emerging. 

What do you do if you find yourself stuck in a creative rut?

Look on the sites mentioned above, generally! But sometimes you just need to get out the house with a notebook and a pencil, and scribble away without caring about the outcome. A good brainstorm or a chat with a friend can always help get ideas flowing. 

Lucy's bestselling Wedding design!

Lucy’s bestselling Wedding design!

What’s your best-selling card?

The Hoppy Couple wedding card tends to go down quite well, and I’ve recently worked up designs for same-sex marriages, too.

Can you give us a sneak description of what you’re working on next?

I’ve always got a little list of card design ideas on the go that I’m gradually working my way through, but I’m also looking to expand out of cards and in to more prints and gifting… watch this space!

Whose work do you admire?

I’m a big fan of The Old English Co – just really simple typographic pieces that have a lovely tone of voice. And Alison Hardcastle has such a good way with colour, simple shapes and wonky lines. And finally, Crispin Finn have an amazing range of 2-colour designs which just ooze cool.

What’s your favourite social media platform to showcase your designs?

I’m a bit obsessed with Instagram – I have accounts for my personal life, the Hoppy Bunnies, and my graphic design business – each has their own purpose and their own following. It’s just a great visual platform, both to be seen, and to see others’ work.

Tell us a good joke…

What’s the first sign of Madness? Suggs walking up your driveway… (sorry, such a ‘dad joke’, and probably goes over the heads of anyone born post-1990!)

Lastly, what exciting work plans do you have on the horizon?

I did my first trade show this year at Progressive Greetings Live, and it went so well that I’ve booked in again for June 2017!

Discover the full range of Hoppy Bunnies cards here!

Interview with Leigh Hodgkinson

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How did you start as an illustration?

I have always loved illustrating and designing, at college I had intended on studying illustration but got side tracked by the animation department which seemed so creative and fun . So then I went to film school to study animation direction and worked in the animation industry making short films and stuff for tv. During that time, the most amazing job of being art director landed in my lap. It was for Tiger Aspects Cbeebies show “Charlie and Lola” based on the books of Lauren Child. After the first series I was desperate to do my own stuff again and got in touch with Lauren Childs agent and showed her all the books and stories I had made (for myself!) She got me some meetings at different publishing houses and from that point on, I have been lucky and have published lots of books.

What fascinates you most about writing and illustrating for children?

I don’t overtly try and write and illustrate for children… I just do what is natural to me and what I like or find interesting. I suppose some might say that I have never really grown up, in the respect that I love dreaming, and seeing the magic and fun in everything. Most people lose a bit of that and perceive it as being not relevant and childish. I think there is a big difference between being childish and childlike. All children are naturally inquisitive and open to new ideas- I think that those are wonderful qualities and a great shame most lose this as they journey through life. I like to create characters and narratives that are familiar, but to inject absurdity and things out of context to create interesting discord that can be enjoyed, and then thought about.

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Interview with Alice Potter

Interview with Alice Potter

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How did you start with design and illustration?

I studied Textile Design in London, where I specialized in Digital Print. After graduating in 2008, I was bit lost and it took me until 2010 before I took a short course in Illustration just on a whim.
The short course taught me what illustration was, and I produced a portfolio and set up my very first website shortly after.

Who inspires you?

My friends and family are enormous sources of inspiration. They spur me on to do what I do and without their support I would have had a very different career path. I also love the support and and community you get online through e-courses and facebook groups. People you have never met who give advice when needed and support your work. It’s so special. Read more

Interview with Leanne Hearnden

Interview with Leanne Hearnden

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When did you start illustrating?

I don’t think there was ever a clear starting point; I’ve just always loved to draw and create things ever since I can remember. I still have a box of half-written stories that I wrote and illustrated in primary school. My favourite is a whole completed version of ‘the gingerbread man’, that my brother and I drew and wrote out, which looks tragic but at the same time is very cute. We used to have drawing competitions too for who could draw the best Pokémon. Read more

Interview with Lauren Goodland

Interview with Lauren Goodland

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How did you start with design?

I started ‘designing’ (well what I thought was designing) when I was in school, I managed to get my hands on Corel Paint Shop Pro, which isn’t ideal, but it taught me enough to feel passionate about what I was doing. In art class my work was quite digital, I didn’t even know what Graphic Design was back then, all I knew was that my work didn’t really fit into what we were doing in Art. Now, ironically I look to art and like to make my work more hand rendered. It’s funny to look back and see little hints of liking design, even when I was five, using Microsoft Paint, or 13, making terrible Bebo Skins. Read more

Interview with Paul Hamilton

Interview with Paul Hamilton

Who inspires you?

I could quite easily say many of the world’s famous photographers but I am more inspired by my Wife, Children and Family, because they are around me on a daily basis and have to put up with my endless photography process, they are my true inspiration.

Do you remember your first photo?

Yes I do, I was fourteen years old and it was a photograph of a fishing village n Portugal’s Algarve region of Albufeira taken with a compact camera during a family holiday. On returning people commented and asked where was the postcard from, I replied it’s actually one of my holiday photographs. Read more

Interview with Jiayue Hu

Interview with Jiayue Hu

How did you start illustrating?

I started studying drawing when I was 6 years old and I never stopped. When I was in primary school, I was drawing everywhere. All my textbooks are full of my doodles. So, I chose to study picture books during my undergraduate study.

Who inspires you?

My mother. I was not good at drawing when I began to study it. But my mother always accompanied me when drawing pictures. We drew everything we saw and thought of. Then, I began to enjoy playing with colour and shapes. Read more

Interview with Rachel Morris

Who inspires you?

My family has always been supportive since I was very young and I’m well aware of how lucky I am for that. It’s very cheesy, but doing well for my husband and daughter is important to me – I’d like to make them proud. In terms of illustrators I admire, there are lots and for different reasons. I grew up immersed in Quentin Blake’s work and greatly admire the sense of immediacy, fun and humour he can get across with a few scratchy pen marks and splashes of colour. Judith Kerr is another illustrator whose work I’ve grown up with – There’s a brilliant documentary about her called ‘Hitler, The Tiger and Me’ and I put it on in the background while I’m working sometimes to give me a shot of inspiration.

When did you start illustrating?

I think I’ve always drawn things, since I was old enough to hold a pencil. I used to draw tiny pictures, mostly faces, on the walls of my parents house. Usually tucked away in a corner behind a chair or somewhere it wouldn’t be discovered immediately. I remember knowing it was naughty but my Mum, Dad and sisters would laugh when they found one, so I did it anyway. Read more

Photography and Typography Combined by Eva Winters

Photography and Typography Combined by Eva Winters

Mondays are ideal for inspiring projects, as they provide you with the right motivation to work harder, until you achieve the desired results. Eva Winters certainly knows how to be creatively consistent, combining photography with the right typography, turning her Instagram feed into a piece of art.

And if you need a bigger motivational boost, make sure you check Eva’s Daily Type Challenge, a yearly project that is all about artistic consistency, proving that creativity is never lost!

How do you find inspiration for your next design?

I know this may sound cliché however I find inspiration everywhere. I have a note in my phone where I write down bits and pieces of inspiration. Some sparks come mostly from music, films, Scripture, world events, or just daily encounters with friends and family. Some of those sparks of creativity have been marinating in there for awhile while some barely spend a day or two in creative limbo. Read more

Interview with Stef Rymenants

Interview with Stef Rymenants

Do you remember your first drawing/illustration?
Not really, but ever since I could hold a pencil, I was drawing most of the time. Super-cars, monsters and animals.

How did you start drawing/illustrating? Did you learn it on your own?
At 15, I went to art school. Later on, I managed to get a master degree in graphic design at KASK in Ghent.
After study, I worked several years as an art director in advertising and I was always impressed by the work of the illustrators. Read more