Watercolor is an art that knows no time and place — it's absolute and eternal. Have you ever given it a concern? Tomorrow's new design trends take over from the ones we're to follow today, but the beauty of watercolor motives will stay invincible in ten, twenty, fifty years!
And with this idea on the mind we have decided to bring you a story of a rose-tender, yet so incredible British brand Twigs and Twine and its burning soul Laura Corah. Bearing genuine English aesthetics in her heart and artworks, she remains one of the most remarkable watercolor masters of the industry — so, be ready for a temptation to get your brushes and palette out in the end!
Please tell us a little bit about yourself. Why and how have you started painting?
I am a 33-year-old illustrator from the UK, living with my husband and a stepson in rural Leicestershire. I have no degree in illustration or art but have somehow sneaked into the industry with lots of patience, hard work and a bit of luck.
Although I spent all of my childhood pouring over picture books and often with a pencil in hand, I embarked on my adult life with a degree in Contour Fashion. However, during my studies, I soon realized that I was only interested in the fashion illustration side of the course, so after the graduation, I knew I wanted to pursue illustration. For the first year after University, I felt a little scared about finding my way with my career and took up various jobs, just to get by, then decided to move to London, as this seemed like a place to go to find opportunities.
I eventually plucked up the courage to apply to some illustration agencies for representation and was lucky enough to get a response from one, and then things slowly started from there. I got into doing greeting cards illustrations, and absolutely loved it! After a few years though, I began to miss home — a small village called Queniborough, which is surrounded by beautiful countryside. So I've got back there.
It was at this point in my life that I decided to apply for an in-house job to gain some experience and I managed to get a position of a junior designer at a large greeting card publisher. That was one of the most valuable times of my life for my career, as I learned so much, particularly how to be a little more commercial to appeal to a wider customer base. I worked there for a few years but then felt the need to go freelance again. I opened up an Etsy shop selling my illustrations as a graphic resource, and after a couple of months (and a bit of saving) I took the plunge and went full-time freelance. A year later I discovered Creative Market and I haven’t looked back since.
Peaches and Cream by Twigs and Twine
What is the best part of being an illustrator for you?
The best part of being an Illustrator, and particularly one that works on creating design resources, is the creative freedom it allows. I have realized that I much prefer to follow my own brief, as opposed to someone else’s. This way I can get into a creative flow and really get carried away with my ideas and the things that inspire me.
It also enables me to manage my own schedule. I feel much more creative when I can spend the amount of time I need to get inspired and to refine my ideas and paintings.
Watercolour as a medium is very unpredictable, which can produce some great and unique results. I love to get lost in painting, as it can be very relaxing and exciting at the same time, and being more free with my schedule allows me to do that more often.
Where do you get your inspiration?
I think my inspiration comes from a variety of places. Frankly, the world around us is full of inspiring things, and sometimes they seep into our imagination without us realizing. Yet sometimes I actively look for it, by going on Pinterest or Instagram, looking at greeting cards in shops and going to my local florist to pick out beautiful combinations of flowers to paint from.
I also try to get outside in the countryside as much as I can because it seems to reset me. Once I have been for a long walk in the fresh air, I seem to feel ready to work on something again. Nature has a way of infusing life into you and giving you a new perspective on things.
Tell us about your working day. What does your creative process look like?
I try to get an early start to my day and ideally get to work as soon as possible. Morning is the time when I feel my most motivated to create things. Also, I tend to start by helping customers with any questions they have and just providing support for my products.
Once I have completed the admin side of my daily routine, I will spend the rest of my day at my desk painting or turning my illustrations into the digital graphics. I try to have set days where I focus only on painting because this is what I love the most and I think this is the time when I can get lost in my imagination and create the best work.
Throughout the day I try to take short breaks. It’s often nice to take a short walk or pop to the shops, as it can get a little isolating in the studio at times. Listening to music and podcasts can help with this too. I have recently invested in a standing desk, which makes me feel like I’m being a little more proactive towards better health because I’m not sitting for days on end.
If you had to choose your number 1 artwork, what would it be and why?
I have recently released Muddy Paws — a set full of watercolor illustrations of dogs, which was so much fun to create. This is one of my favourite pieces because it has come from something that I love. The inspiration came from the fact that I am going to be getting a dog of my own, for the first time since my childhood, and have been researching lots of dog breeds. The set has had a really great response from people, more than I expected.
My most successful product though has been Peaches and Cream, being the most popular one since I released it at the beginning of my time on Creative Market. It gave me a lot of confidence when it started to do well for me and now feels like creating it was a turning point in my career.
Muddy Paws by Twigs and Twine
What would you advise to the young artists, who're just dreaming about conquering Creatie Market?
Keep on doing the thing that makes you feel alive. Spend a lot of time practising your craft, whatever it is. The more you repeat your process, the better you will get, and you will start to realize something about who you are as a creative person. I think that it really shows when a person is making something that they love and fully feel comfortable doing, as a part of them shines through in the work. Don’t be set back by your first pieces, they probably won’t be amazing, and you will know that, but you will get better and better each time you practise.
Try not to imitate the most popular artists out there, but be original and authentic. This will come from focusing on your own stuff and not worrying too much about what others are creating. It’s great to take inspiration from others, but then go away from that and concentrate on making something your own.
A Woodland Christmas Graphic Set by Twigs and Twine
Spending time to get to know your customer base is really important. Try imagining yourself as a designer who is buying from you, what might they need to make their process easier and more inspiring? Alongside this comes the customer care, it is an integral part of the product you’re selling. It is easy to feel that it takes up too much of your valuable creative time, but remember that every single person who purchases your product helps you to live your dream, and they deserve to get support from you.
When you start out on Creative Market, I would suggest putting the most effort into making your product the best it can be, especially in terms of quality. Create amazing screenshots for your shop to display it at it’s best — and that way it will get noticed. I feel this is more important than focusing too much on social media promotion. I have an Instagram account, but I use it mainly to add a little background to my process and who I am as an artist.
Lastly, don’t let fear stop you from starting your creative career today. It’s from our mistakes that we learn and improve, so you need to make them get to a good place. Strive for perfection, but don’t ever worry about not achieving it — nobody is perfect.
It's always easy to complain of being endowed with a talent of painting or not. But it’s always an impressing act of wish and motivation to start from nothing and work all nights long, striving for your own perfection.
Being once unable to read, you've come to the end of this article. Being once a zero in design, today you craft amazing stuff today.
Might painting be your next mountaintop to win?