We meet the lady behind successful stamp brand Molly Blooms, Clare Rowlands
We were lucky enough to spend some time with illustrator Clare Rowlands (aka Mrs Bloom!) when she popped in to discuss the launch of her brand new range, exclusive to CraftStash!
We asked her all about how she got into illustration, how the famous and much loved Molly Blooms range came about and what it was like to be a presenter on Create and Craft!
How did you get into illustration?
I spent two years at art school in Salford. Originally I’d wanted to go into banking following in my sisters footsteps, but after a few interviews I realised I might need to try something else. My Nanna was always keen on drawing and she thought art school would be a great idea for me and supported me in my choice to go from a career in banking to a creative career!
After art school I became a packaging designer, designing packaging for fairy lights which I really enjoyed.
How did you get into cardmaking and crafting?
After having my children I was lucky enough not to have to go back to work which gave me lots of time for crafting with the kids. I loved to draw and create for my kids, dabbling in all kinds of crafts from sewing to what was soon to become a passion, scrapbooking.
On holiday I used to draw in the sand for the kids and quite often it would draw a crowd, that gave me a real confidence boost in my ability as an illustrator.
When the kids were a little older I started a Paint your own pottery shop, I think it’s there I developed my whimsical style. I loved painting unique designs on the pots and it was a really creative atmosphere.
How did the phenomenon of Molly Blooms come about?
Having developed my unique style of illustration and gradually grown in confidence with my illustrations, I felt it was time to do something with it! Molly Blooms is the name that my daughter wanted to call her florist shop, I thought it was a gorgeous name for a range of stamps and approached a distributor with some sample illustrations. When they saw my designs they practically bit my arm off to take them on! I think the designs were so different to what was around at the time and I was lucky that lots of people fell in love with Molly Blooms.
Clare live on TV a few years ago!
What was it like being a presenter on Create and Craft?
The team I was freelancing as an illustrator for at the time suggested I presented the range of Colour Your Own Art Books I had designed on Create and Craft TV myself.
It was a pretty nerve-wracking proposition to present live on TV, but really exciting and an opportunity I couldn’t turn down! I had a screen test and was lucky enough to be invited to present regularly. Colouring and choosing the right colour palettes is really important in my work, so I was delighted.
It looks easy but there is so much behind the scenes planning and preparation involved before the cameras start rolling!
What crafty projects are you working on at the moment?
After 12 months presenting and freelancing, I decided it was time to go back to designing something for myself. Stamping and colouring is a passion of mine and my husband David was really supportive in pushing me to create a brand new range of stamps. I’m now working on a whole new range, which is launching very soon on CraftStash!
Can you give us a little hint about what we can expect from the new Daisy Mae Design range?
The Daisy Mae collection features cute woodland characters, all illustrated in my trademark whimsical style and each has a little personality of their own.
The new collection coming soon features not only stamps but matching embossing folders and paper pads, I’m thrilled to be launching it Live on Air on the CraftStash Facebook Page.
Give our page a like to make sure you see all the updates about the new range! www.facebook.com/craftstashcouk