Unless you’ve been living under a rock – and honestly who could blame you, it’s February, you’ll have seen us banging on about our Valentine’s TV ad. We’re really pleased with it.
One of the joys of creating the ad was being able to include the work of one of our creators. In this case it was Silky Rose Designs, also known as Sarah!
We chatted to Sarah on staying motivated, Claudia Winkleman, and how Covid helped her to design her hot sauce card.
I’m Sarah, I live in West London with my husband and two girls. I started Silky Rose Design back in 2018, building a portfolio, and developing my style, before I felt ready to take my art into the world. I uploaded my first card to thortful in February 2021, and have been addicted to greeting card designs since then!
Can you tell us a bit about where you get your inspiration from for this card and others in your collection?
This card was actually designed while I was lying in bed with Covid last June! A lot of my cards are designed with friends and family in mind as recipients. My husband had become a bit of a hot sauce fiend at the time, which was the inspiration for this one! I drew in my favourite mid-century modern style, and I wanted to experiment with some new hand lettering styles, which I used across all the designs in my Valentines 2023 collection.
What was it like seeing your design in a TV ad?
Excitement levels were high! I can’t express how thrilled I was to see my card in the advert – I definitely jumped around the living room a bit with my girls! I love how the thortful ads promote their creators, but I felt especially honoured for one of my designs to be featured so prominently!
What has been your proudest design moment?
I think having any of my designs featured anywhere is always a proud moment, seeing something I drew come into its own is a bit like being a proud parent! But my proudest moment most recently was on Valentine’s Day when Claudia Winkleman shared my Traitors Valentine’s design on Instagram, saying she loves it! I was so giddy at the thought she had actually seen it, and it felt like the ultimate seal of approval. I’m still on a high!
How do you stay motivated and what advice would you give to other creators wanting to get started?
It’s hard to stay motivated all year round. When ideas come they often flow, other times I get a complete creative block! I try to make notes of all my ideas, so that I have something to go back to and work on when creativity dips. Advice to other designers out there – make a start, even with one design – card design gets addictive quickly, especially with the real time sales you can see on thortful, showing you what is working and what isn’t. Celebrate all the small wins along the way too!
Are you a full time illustrator? If not, what else do you do alongside creating?
I actually only design part time. I would LOVE to be able to do this full time, but at the moment, having a part time job to pay the bills helps keep the stress and pressure off the designing, and keeps it an enjoyable process for me, without having the worry of if I’m earning enough. My part time job is working in the archive of a broadcasting company.
What would you say is the hardest part about being a creator?
The hardest part about being a part time creator, is when an idea for a topical/trending design strikes and I’m stuck in the office unable to start drawing anything until I get home! With those kinds of designs, speed is of the essence, as there are a lot of talented designers out there jumping on trends at lightning speed, and by the time I’ve submit a design, there are already loads of others already out there.
How would you describe your style and what advice would you give to others wanting to find their own visual identity?
My style is colourful and illustrative with a mid-century modern twist, that seems to work its way into the majority of my designs to varying degrees (Lots of retro sparkles!). I love to include humour at times, but ultimately I’m all about the drawing!
Finding your own visual identity can feel hard to pin down, and I think for a lot of designers, it continues to develop and evolve over time. I would say to keep drawing – every day, in a style that comes naturally to you and not try to copy others – they already have their work out there so you are only creating competition for yourself – your work will have its own place, and become recognisable in its own right.
How has thortful helped you on your journey as a creator?
The moment I uploaded my first 5 cards to thortful, it determined the direction I was going to take my small business in. I had no idea whether my designs would sell, or if they would relate to others, but I decided to give it a pop and by Father’s Day I had a best seller! (card below) I have also made some lovely friends in the creator community, and found everyone to be so supportive of each other, helpful with advice and celebrating each other’s successes – they really are a lovely bunch! Since joining thortful, other opportunities and collaborations have come my way, and I’m able to grow and expand my creative business, which is very exciting, but there will forever be a place in my heart reserved for thortful!
In case you missed it, here is our Valentine’s Day TV advert.
You can find Sarah on Instagram at @silky_rose_design. Join us next time where we speak to the creator behind our Mother’s Day 2023 TV advert (coming soon!).