Charlotte, a self-taught illustrator and designer from the UK, first became acquainted with Habibi.Works in the summer of 2020. As she was eager to support the project but unable to travel to Greece herself, she generously decided to design one of her beautiful silk scarves especially for Habibi.Works, as well as forward a portion of the proceeds collected through sales of all of her scarves and pocket squares to support our project! We asked Charlotte a few questions about her inspirations, her craft, and her motivation to support Habibi.Works:
Could you tell us a little more about yourself and your background?
I am a freelance illustrator and designer from the UK, currently living in Somerset. I am one of three sisters, both of which are very talented – my younger sister makes beautiful wedding cakes for a living and my older sister has created a project called Going Wilder about women redefining the art of adventure and exploration. My creative flair definitely comes from my mum who is a very talented seamstress and inspired me from a young age to draw. My dad writes books in his spare time. They have always supported me and given me the confidence to pursue this career path having had no official art training. I am lucky to have had such supportive friends as well.
How did you get started with your craft? How has it evolved since you started?
I am a self-taught illustrator. I have always had a love for drawing and have a very big imagination, which always helps! I decided to take the leap from being a PA into the world of design and illustration about five years ago after I’d discovered and fallen in love with printmaking. I have always been a creative at heart but that really solidified the direction I wanted to go in. It’s taken a lot of learning and persistence to have been able to reach the point where I’ve been able to turn it into a career. As well as client commissions, I take on private print commissions and I particularly love the portrait side of things. Over the last few years I have also been selling my artwork through boutiques in the UK but mainly through my own online shop. I was then asked to take part in The London Illustration last year where I had so much positive feedback that it gave me the confidence to keep pushing forward.
Earlier this year I taught myself how to make patterns and was so excited about the possibilities that they could bring, being able to take my designs to products. I launched my very first silk scarf collection in October this year.
Never give up on what you feel truly passionate about – it doesn’t matter where you are in life or what age. And give back whenever you can – it makes it all worth it.
What keeps you motivated to keep doing your craft? What inspires you?
Colour and art bring me so much joy and drawing is a bit like therapy for me. I am also quite determined when I set my mind to something I want to create and don’t like to give up easily. I have new ideas for designs that pop into my head all the time – the problem is having time to do them all! I am inspired by people, other artists that I follow, nature and countries I have travelled to. And I love animals – they are a huge part of my work. Bright, bold colours make me really happy, but I also have a love for soft pastels aka Hockney. It’s fun to mix between the two.
What first led you to want to collaborate with Habibi.Works/Soup and Socks?
I really wanted to give something back with my new scarf venture. Over the summer I travelled around to see friends, whilst at the same time having the freedom to work from my laptop wherever I was. It hit me how lucky I was to be able to do that, and that I’d managed to create a career for myself that allowed me to do that. It really made me think about those people that were not as fortunate and did not have the freedom that they deserve and I wanted to do something to help. Which is when I discovered Habibi.Works. The community they have created and the empowerment they give to skilled makers living in challenging circumstances was inspiring to me. I wanted to help raise awareness for the talents of these people who deserve recognition as much as the rest of us, and for the people behind this project who through pure compassion and hard graft have created this amazing creative platform.
My ‘WILD GEESE’ design was created with Habibi.Works in mind – birds are associated with migration, and geese in particular are rarely seen alone – they work together and lean on each other for support
Can you talk a bit about the inspiration/meaning behind these particular designs?
I wanted to create a collection where there was something for everyone. My designs are mainly inspired by nature. My ‘IN BLOOM’ design seemed obvious to me as I drew it during the first lockdown where I was spending my time in the country and feeling so grateful for the beautiful nature on my doorstep. My ‘WILD GEESE’ design was created with Habibi.Works in mind – birds are associated with migration, and geese in particular are rarely seen alone – they work together and lean on each other for support. My ‘SEA SHELLS’ are inspired by my love of the sea and being near any kind of water. And finally, my ‘MIDNIGHT JUNGLE’ because I love anything exotic and had been dying to draw a monkey for ages!
Is there any message you’d like to share with our audience?
Never give up on what you feel truly passionate about – it doesn’t matter where you are in life or what age. And give back whenever you can – it makes it all worth it. Bringing communities together and showing and kindness and support for one another is all that really matters in life, especially when times get hard.
You can get your very own scarf or pocket square at Charlotte’s online shop, here.