As I have mentioned, I love featuring the talent that I find on Etsy. Sophie Parker is a delightful talent on Etsy but I actually stumbled upon her illustrations and textile designs via Asos and my newly found obsession Folksy. Sophie’s artwork is modern charm and brings animals and people together in sweet harmony all with a wonderful taste of style and detail. Truthfully, I would love her to design me a few coats and dresses, as well as hang this piece of her art at my desk.
The shop items include tote bags, post cards, tea towels, pocket mirrors, wrapping paper, and prints.
Q&A with Sophie:
1. When did you start your etsy shop?
One of my best friends introduced me to Etsy about 2 years ago. Once I graduated from Chelsea College of Art and Design I decided it would be a useful way to supplement my freelance illustration work as well as being a great way to get my designs seen by a wider audience. I opened my shop just before Christmas and madly rushed to get enough festive designs produced and printed. Of course my shop was so new that I only made a handful of sales and I was still selling those designs the next year!
My degree was actually in textiles but my fabric designs were always very illustrative and often had a strong narrative to them so I decided to branch out and produce my work as paper goods and prints. I love having my own range of greeting cards because I’ve always thought it’s such a perfect and affordable way to own a little piece of art to put on your wall. My sister has such a great eye for finding unusual and beautiful cards to send me and I often frame them or have them on display for months rather than a few days, I like to think people do the same when they receive one of my designs.
2. How would you describe your collection?
My current collection is very personal and brings to life stories of fashion, friendship and animal companionship. Soft colours and expressive patterns capture intimate and reflective moments whilst suggesting visual grace and harmony. I enjoy merging a hand-drawn aesthetic with the magical technology of photoshop. There is a playful element to my work which is strongly rooted in memories of my childhood which come to surface, I think this is particularly evident in my ‘Best Friends’ design which depicts young girls braiding each others hair and is something I think a lot of females can recall and relate to.
3. Describe a typical day in your life?
After fighting the urge to have a lie-in I usually have breakfast and a big cup of tea whilst checking emails. My days are very varied, some are spent peacefully researching and drawing for hours on end whilst others are incredibly mad and hectic. I could be rushing around the fashion shows at London Fashion Week all day and then staying up all night making sure I get my fashion illustrations finished on time or I could be checking up on my stock at the galleries and boutiques which stock my work across the UK. My boyfriend Daniel is an incredibly hard-working and talented photographer and we work very closely together, often helping each other out with work and projects. In fact my Etsy shop would be in a terrible state if he didn’t do my photography for me! I also try to fit in yoga when I can, it makes me feel so much more balanced and ready for anything.
4. What is your favorite thing to do on a day off?
I usually work all through the week and weekends so when the weather is nice (which isn’t very often!) I try to make the most of it without feeling guilty. Sometimes it’s nice to escape the hustle and bustle of London, I love spending time close to nature, taking a long walk or perhaps reading beneath the shade of a tree. Summer is a special time of year, it’s easier for my family to get together and we have lots of fun having big barbecues and going on bike rides.
My favourite thing is simply spending time with my 2 beautiful and very cheeky cats Daphne and Ringo. They can always be found nearby, sometimes sleeping on my desk and quite often sneaking food off my plate when I’m not looking! I’m also addicted to DVD box-sets so I try to sneak in an episode or two at some point in the day.
5. What inspires you?
I’m inspired by so many things but, more often than not, I find myself most inspired in a moment of solitude. People watching is something I have always loved to do, not only do I notice people for a subtle print or the way they’ve tied their hair, I also take in their movements often noticing those who are graceful and quiet, immersed in what they are doing. I also like to explore our connection with animals and seem to have so many serendipitous meetings with unexpected creatures such as seals and owls. These tiny elements are then echoed in my drawings and make up the intelligent, sweet, witty and unique characters that I draw.
My parents extensive collection of items from their travels has always been something I have returned to. I can spend hours trawling through old books filled with the colours and patterns of Native American art, or exploring naively beautiful figures and paintings brought back from Africa by my dad. There is always an untapped treasure or idea yet to be found.
6. What is your favorite thing in your home?
My favourite thing in my home is my cats, they bring me so much happiness and contentment (and distraction!)
One of my most treasured items is a small silver bangle embossed with hearts that I wear everyday. It wasn’t very expensive but has a lot of meaning to it. I bought it for myself in the second year of my degree, it had been a very tough year and I had been working none stop with my project work. On top of that I was teaching an art course at a primary school which really put me out of my comfort zone as I hated public speaking. It sounds cheesy but I bought myself the bracelet to remind myself how strong I am and that I can do anything I put my mind to.
Snippets of the life of Sophie:
Beloved companions Daphne, Ringo and Daniel
To view her websites:
* Sophie Parker was so kind to offer The Sunday Sparkle readers a 10% discount for the month of July. Just enter SPARKLE at your etsy checkout!
Thanks Sophie for being a part of The Sunday Sparkle!