Aritst Interview - Amanda Mountain, Artist & Founder of Lola Design

I grew up in Yorkshire in the United Kingdom, a place where thermal underwear and cups of tea are essential. With beautiful rolling hills and an abundance of wildlife you can see where the inspiration for some of our cards has come from. I live with my husband (who is also by business partner) and our little Frenchie, Rocky in the historical city of York, UK, where I work in a home studio (which is really an organized mess). There are always lots of scribbled sketches and glitter scattered across my table and I’m often streaming David Bowie...always good to dance about to. I spend most of my days drawing, working on my Mac or looking at different swatch books and incoming trends. Thankfully my days are also interspersed with breaks walking Rocky the Frenchie.

I discovered my love for art at high school and carried this through to university where I studied Illustration. I’ve drawn many different things, which I guess have all contributed towards my style, ranging from scientific sketches of bones through to children’s character illustration which is really what set me on the current path. My first job was as an in house illustrator for a fashion company where I would draw fun pictures for children’s pajamas! After an amazing two years there I was offered a job in London as an in-house artist for a leading greeting card brand which I loved, spending the next 10 years developing and learning about greeting cards. I then went freelance when we relocated from London back to Yorkshire, licensing my designs to a variety of different brands beforelaunching our own brand, Lola Design.

My first success as an artist was winning a Henries award (The UK equivalent of the Louie Awards, the greeting card Oscars!) This was for a teenage greeting card range back in 2005 for a former employer. I was immensely humbled recently when we were nominated as a finalist for Henries in 2016 for “best art range” under our own brand, Lola Design.

When I think about what inspires me, I have to say the natural world around us, particularly animals. I really love wildlife and I think it is portrayed through most of our cards and art, with the juxtaposition of different floral influences. There are a few artists I love; one actually lives down the road from me in York, called Mark Hearld. His textures and details are fabulous and the other artist is Mister Finch whose amazing textile creations always blow me away. My style over time has evolved in line with trends but one thing that is constant is the level of detail I like to incorporate into my designs. Taking on board suggestions from customers & coworkers has definitely helped me develop my style over time, which I am eternally grateful for and is an important part of our brand.

My favorite card is the parrot in our wildlife botanical range. i think his playful gaze combined with the vibrant colors and floral textures always bring a big smile to my face.

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