Charlotte Pearson talks to a Southsea designer about perfect circles, childhood dreams and unique gifts.
When you were eight years old what did you want to be when you grew up?
A teacher, vet or astronaut are probably the most common answers but a starving artist?
“I actually thought that was what they were called,” illustrator and designer Angela Chick laughs. “Whenever I heard people talking about artists they always said they were starving, my parents still laugh about it now.”
Through her business Angela Chick Illustration she creates and sells a range of unique gifts and accessories featuring her own playful illustration style.
Angela studied at the Farnham campus of the University for the Creative Arts.
“I started with a degree in graphic design and they said ‘oh you know what you do is more fine art’,” she reveals. “So I dropped out and enrolled in that.
“But then in fine art they said ‘what you do is very textile based’, so I dropped out again and enrolled.
“And then I started textiles – ‘what you do is very…’ and I just thought no I can’t do this again.”
She graduated with a first class degree in textiles and admits that throughout the course she was criticised for focussing too much on the end product rather than the process.
“But I said that when I graduate I will be selling products,” Angela says.
In 2009 she officially set up Angela Chick Illustration despite working on it throughout uni.
With a number of products for sale from mugs to greetings cards, t-shirts and tote bags her best selling product came out of necessity.
“I often found I wanted to buy someone a unique gift only to find it didn’t actually exist,” she reveals.
“One of the most popular products is the personalised print, which started because my ex was training to be a carpenter.
“I wanted a print which had all the items and tools he would use, but I couldn’t find one anywhere so I decided to do it myself.
“I do a range of different ones now with bikes, vinyl and other things on.”
The A3 giclée fine art print features a range of images and colours chosen by you.
Born in the UK, Angela grew up in Canada, but moved over to do her degree.
Having lived in Brighton for a number of years she says that people find it odd that she settled in Southsea.
“I lived in Brighton and then had a break up,” she says. “My parents live in Southsea so I came back and I got comfortable.
“When I came over from Canada I wasn’t at uni and didn’t have a job and the weather was so hot so I just stayed at the beach and I just loved it,” Angela recalls. “People do ask when I am going to move back to Brighton but I think you can only live there for so long.”
Everything is done by hand by Angela, who then puts it into a computer to vectorise it, neaten up any edges and then she colours it in digitally. All the words are also created by hand.
“I would love to create a font but I like the way I draw it,” she reveals. “I am a bit of a perfectionist, the wheels on my bike top took me about 50 goes to get perfectly round.
“As my work is all hand drawn they may have little mistakes, but it makes them each unique.”
Along with people being surprised that Angela doesn’t have a team of people working for her, another thing also surprises them.
“My name,” she smiles. “I was born Angela Chick but whenever I have to fill in forms people always say ‘no your real name’.
“I did debate about using my own name in the business but it just felt right. I just hope I never do anything that would tarnish my business, but I can’t see what I would do.”
Describing herself as an illustrator and a surface designer, is she glad she has followed the plan she set out on that careers’ day all those years ago?
“I have done a lot better than my eight year old self would have thought,” she laughs. “I love what I do and I’m not starving, so that is good.”
Angela Chick Illustration is offering readers free shipping on any orders they make over £10. It will be valid from December 1 until
January 31. Just enter code ETCMAGAZINE when you check out on the online shop angelachick.bigcartel.com