Hello! I’m Amanda, owner of Mrs Badger Design. I illustrate and create quirky stationery and gifts at my studio in Apsley. I have an online shop www.mrsbadgerdesign.etsy.com and am still delivering for as long as Royal Mail continues to operate. If you’re looking for a fun gift from a local artist then please do take a look. All of my greetings cards are printed in the UK on 100% recycled paper and my mugs are delivered in plastic free packaging.
How did you get into design?
I’ve always loved drawing from a very young age. My dad was a self-taught illustrator and had a studio in the yard of my parents’ little house in Liverpool: in fact it was an old air raid shelter that had been converted to a garden shed. I used to sit next to him and draw while he was working.
By the time I went to college my dad had taught me the basics of Photoshop. I knew I wanted to study something to do with art and computers, so I chose a BTEC in Graphic Design, followed by a BA in Graphic Arts. Perfect for me as I’ve always hated exams!
How do you work from home? Aren’t you tempted to go to the kitchen for snacks all the time?
The struggle is real, believe me! I haven’t got it quite perfect yet, but I’ve been experimenting with the ‘Pomodoro’ technique. That’s where you set a timer for 25 minutes and work solidly on a task for that amount of time, then have a five minute break. I’ve always been bad at taking ‘screen breaks’ which has had a terrible effect on my back and eyesight. This technique works well, and means I can do the laundry or the dishes during my breaks. Win win!
How do you come up with ideas?
Like most designers, I’m a very visual thinker, so I absorb inspiration from the places I visit, the books I read and the films I watch. I really like Instagram and Pinterest too: so many pretty pictures! It gets a bit addictive.
I start with a brainstorm and just throw everything down on paper. Then when I’ve decided on a theme I collect images in a folder on my computer: scans, photos, doodles. I also create mood boards in Pinterest before collecting my favourites into a mood board in InDesign. Having just one page of images stops the overwhelm! After that I begin sketching.
How has the coronavirus pandemic affected your business?
Mmm. To be blunt I did start this business at the worst possible time, didn’t I? But hindsight is a wonderful thing. We can never tell just what is going to happen.
For now – like most people – I am doing the best I can in a rough situation. I’ve had challenges before in my career, but never quite like this one. I was lucky to graduate and find my first job just before the last recession. After that I was made redundant twice before the age of 22, but always managed to find something else just in time.
I had to give up my job in London last year after being diagnosed with M.E/chronic fatigue syndrome. I’d had the symptoms for nine years and they slowly got worse, so being confined to the house due to health reasons is nothing new to me. I wouldn’t wish it on anyone. Luckily my energy levels are much improved now.
I’m an eternal optimist so am hoping it will all turn out alright in the end. Lockdown can’t last forever. We can do this!
Dispatch and delivery times during lockdown:
Greetings cards: dispatched in 1-2 working days, delivery by Royal Mail 1st class 1-3 days.
Mugs: printed by my UK supplier and dispatched in 5-8 days, delivery 2-3 days
Offers from Mrs Badger Design:
- Please use the following code at the checkout for 20% off everything in store: MRSBADGER20
- Have you had to postpone your wedding? I’m offering downloadable ‘Save the New Date’ postcards completely free of charge until the end of May. There are three designs to choose from (‘Flamingos’, ‘Roses’ and ‘Gatsby’. Images can be found at https://www.instagram.com/p/B930YHAja68/). Please drop me an email for more information.
- Are you looking for activities to keep your children amused? I’ve started a board on Pinterest of free downloadable activities here. I’ll be adding more activities as the weeks go on: https://www.pinterest.co.uk/mrsbadgerdesign/childrens-activity-sheets/
- Email me: firstname.lastname@example.org