Meet the Designer - Helz Cuppleditch

Tell us a little bit about yourself?

I am Helz and I work as an illustrator in my little garden studio, nestled in a village on the South Downs National Park. I have a daughter and two rescue dogs called Mollie and Bertie, all of which are huge inspiration to me. My parents live in one part of our home, we live in another, and we all meet up for dinner!

When did you first realise that you had a passion for design?

I think design has always played a major part in my life. As a child, all my pocket money was spent on art or craft materials and most of my school books were decorated with doodles or illustrations. I left school to train as a florist, and never fulfilled my dream of going to art school. When my daughter reached school age, I took the plunge to become a freelance illustrator having spent 4 years developing my style.

Which other designers do you look up to?

There are three main illustrators and designers I admire, all of which are women! Firstly is Beatrix Potter, because her characters are so whimsical but have that realistic element. Secondly, I love the work of Mabel Lucie Attwell, particularly the little ladybird characters and fairy settings. Finally is Mary Blair, a designer and artist for the Walt Disney Studios. She had an amazing talent for colour and styling, and I have a soft spot for her creation “It’s a Small World” at Walt Disney Studios.

What advice would you give to the future generation of designers?

I give lots of talks in schools to GCSE, BTECH and A Level students and I encourage all the students to draw, photograph, paint and doodle as much as possible. This way they start to develop their style, and get a sense of what they like doing. As most illustrators and designers work freelance, I think it is also important to learn how to run a business, for example how to keep financial records and how to work with clients.

Where do you get your inspiration for your designs?

I find lots of inspiration in nature, my daughter and my dogs. I visit local nature reserves on a regular basis, camera in hand, and also walk on the South Downs. Anything from a butterfly to a leaf can give me inspiration. One design often leads to inspiration for another design and another!

Do you like to craft?

I have not got the time do a great deal of crafting anymore, but I still create a few hand-made goods for Christmas, gifts or around the house.

What is your favourite Trimcraft collection so far?

Oh no, that is like asking me who a favourite relative is! Pepper and Friends will always have a special place in my heart because that was my first venture together with Trimcraft. However, each papercraft collection is special to me because they all have lovely memories during the creative process.

What trends can we expect to see from you in the future?

Overall, trends are getting brighter in the home-ware markets so I am likely to be producing more collections with brighter, cheerful colours. I hope the whimsical characters will still be loved by everyone so I can continue with those.

Do you have any hobbies?

Being mum to a teenager, my hobby seems to be driving duties! Seriously though, my art is my main hobby, walking and photography all give me great pleasure and help me relax.

If we gave you a million pounds how would you spend it?

I think we only ever need so much in our lives. I am not a petrol-head or gadget person so providing I had a roof over our heads, can pay the bills and continue to create artwork, I think I would decline your generous offer!

Helz latest collection; the delightful Santa's Workshop is now in stores. If you would like to know more about Helz you can follow her on facebook, twitter or her personal website

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