Chloe Hall is a talented illustrator and designer-maker based in Leicester. Balancing her freelance career and part-time work with our friends at Ohh Deer, Chloe creates wonderfully colourful illustrations inspired by lush petals and foliage in her shed-cum-studio. Living on a narrow boat with two guinea pigs for company, Chloe produces dreamy repeat patterns and striking illustrations that have found their way onto all manner of stationery, into the pages of magazines and of course, onto the front page of YOUNG GOLD TEETH. As our illustrator in residence, Chloe creates beautiful images to accompany many of our posts. We caught up with Chloe to find out more about her work, her inspirations and where to find her gorgeous products.
Tell us about your work…
I started drawing plants a few years ago and haven’t really stopped; I’m inspired by nature, plants and love being outside. I create watercolour illustrations which I then turn into patterns and these are used for stationery products. More recently, I’ve started to incorporate specific flowers and plants into my patterns by asking my Instagram followers to suggest plants they’d like to see. It’s been really nice to come across new subject matter and connect with my followers more. When people buy my products I hope they feel like they’re bringing a little bit of the outdoors inside with them.
How did you become an illustrator and small business owner?
I’ve always studied design subjects but never really knew what I wanted to do until after I left university. I chose the subjects because I liked them, never really thinking about where doing them would lead. Becoming a maker and small business owner was also something that just grew naturally. I had a mentor after uni which really helped and everything flowed from there; I carried on creating patterns and started to get my work in small shops and boutiques which I now work with consistently.
What would you say are the greatest challenges you’ve faced?
There have been a few… Funding is something that I feel can really hold you back, but there are lots of creative grants available if you spend the time properly researching. I started off creating all my work at home, printing using my HP printer and machine stitching my notebooks, cropping every single page. As time went on this became too time consuming, and my hand ached. I wasn’t getting orders out on time, so making the decision to use a commercial printers and hold stock was a big decision.
Deciding whether to do markets and fairs is also tough. I’ve had about a year off from doing them and feel like this year I would like to get back out there, even if it’s just to do a couple, to meet people that maybe wouldn’t normally stumble across my work. But there are good things too. My family, friends and boyfriend help to keep me motivated. Seeing others doing similar things to what I’m doing and succeeding is also really motivating, I think a lot more people are starting up small businesses and it’s exciting to see.
Tell us about your work/life balance…
Who or what inspires you?
What are you proud of and what’s next?
Where can we find your work and your products?
Any advice for young people hoping to follow a similar path?
Find more here
Words: Emily Beeson | @younggoldteeth