Drawing inspiration from popular wildlife and pets, Cherith Harrison works from her home studio in Edinburgh, creating beautifully illustrated home and stationery products.
Her love for animals began aged seven when she rescued a wild baby rabbit. Inspired by the beauty and uniqueness of different animals, Cherith aims to capture their characters and personalities in all of her designs. Her bold and artistically-designed animal-inspired gifts are popular around the globe.
Take a look at Cherith Harrison's products on Peg & Patch.
In the spotlight
As part of our 'meet the maker' feature, we put our makers in the spotlight to to learn about their work, hear what inspires them and get the inside scoop on their upcoming work. In May 2019, Cherith took the spotlight. Read the interview below.
What led you to designing your own products?
When I started the company, I was working full-time as a graphic designer a design agency in Leith, Edinburgh. I loved my job tremendously but, as I was spending most of my time being creative on the computer, I really missed being creative with my hands. Six months into my job, I joined the local print-makers where I would screen-print my illustrations onto all sorts of surfaces such as paper, fabric and wood. I started focussing on fabric as I could see that I could make fun and useful accessories like purses, tea towels, cushions and bunting and sell them at craft fairs.
While I no longer produce the items myself, I still hand-illustrate each of my designs before art-working and finalising them on the computer. Once the design is completed, it gets emailed off to the manufacturer for production. I do enjoy working on a computer, but I love how I also get to be creative the old-fashioned way – using pencils, pens and paper.
How does Scotland – where you live and work – influence your designs?
I am inspired by all forms of nature wildlife. I live in Scotland where, fortunately, we have it in beautiful abundance! I love the diversity of the wildlife here in our little country and how you don’t have to travel far to see a completely different variety of plant and wildlife from one location to another, whether it’s in the city or by the coast. For me, the contrast of growing up in a small countryside town to living in a big city has been instrumental in influencing my approach to designing my home and giftware ranges as my rural themed prints tend to have a modern, contemporary feel to them.
When people see your products, what do you want them to think or feel?
We live in such a busy world with lots going on in our own personal lives that I like to think that my illustrative, nature and wildlife-inspired gifts bring a little piece of peace to customers’ daily habits and routines. Because my products feature iconic wildlife (e.g. highland cows, puffins), they often serve as little reminders of home and so I find a lot of people buy them to send to their friends and relatives who live abroad – it’s instant art on practical and affordable gifts.
How do you approach your work: do you work to a schedule or is it more fluid?
I work to a schedule and set aside time to do specific tasks. Sometimes my schedule doesn’t always go to plan and so I try and keep it fairly flexible to allow for unexpected surprises!
What are you working on now?
I’m a little bit behind but I’m about to make a start on our Spring / Summer 2020 collection. I am also finalising the additional products going into our Christmas Robin collection this year too. I’ve just finished creating a gift range featuring illustrative designs inspired by US landmarks and I am about to start designing packaging for those items. There will be dish towels, cards, note cards and notepads.
My husband and I are expecting our first child, which is due in the summer, and so I’m working like a maniac to get lots of BIG things done ahead of bambino arriving!