People are so busy doing serious stuff that they forget to laugh and there is so much to smile about.
It’s hard to look at Vikki Lawrie’s work without letting out in involuntary snigger. The cards, prints and bags she creates as Snappy Crocodile are laugh-out-loud funny, featuring wry observations that she notes down as she travels through life and stores on thousands of Post-It notes (if they ever make it out of her handbag) waiting for the perfect moment to be turned into a Snappy Crocodile witticism. We caught up with Vikki to discover what her life motto would be (and some other things too)…
Can you introduce yourself and describe what you do?
I’m Vikki and I create tongue-in-cheek greeting cards, prints and tote bags. They aim to raise a smile – they are Adorably Blunt.
How did you come up with your shop name?
My daughter actually chose the name Snappy Crocodile. She was only three and I guess at that point I didn’t really realise where the business was heading. However, I think it worked out quite well – we are certainly ‘snappy’!
Who are your heroes – in craft and design or just in life?
I couldn’t really pin it down to one person because there are so many people I admire – anyone who made a business from a small idea deserves to be applauded regardless to how big it has become. It’s tough to make things happen! For this reason there are small local crafts people I think are heroes as well as larger, more well-known people.
I enjoy seeing the work of Nikki McWilliams in my social media feeds – she’s a great example of having an idea and running with it. I regularly read the blog of Eh Bah Mum too – I have three kids, a dog and a husband who works away, as well as running the business, so things sometimes get tough. Reading her blog is a great way of seeing that it’s not only me – we are all having a tough time and that’s ok.
What would I say to someone thinking of selling their work? Stick at it. The beginning is tough… it takes so much time to find your place, your brand, you.
What or who else inspires you?
Every day people inspire me, things I overhear in grocery stores or in the doctor’s surgery! ‘Funny’ is everywhere and children are the best at it – my kids regularly say things and I write it down and later it might develop in to a new design. I carry a notebook everywhere so when an idea strikes I can get it down straight away.
Talking of words and writing things down, what’s the best book you’ve ever read?
I am a massive Harry Potter fan, so I would say them, but I really enjoyed Let’s Pretend That Never Happened by Jenny Lawson. Very funny!
Post-its are everywhere… and all contain a small piece of a future design, or maybe not – some just get binned. The ones that make it through could have been stuck to the inside of a handbag for a year before making it to print!
Can you talk us through your making process? How do you start a piece?
Post its. They are everywhere, literally, stuck on most surfaces and all contain a small piece of a future design, or maybe not – some just get binned. The ones that make it through could have been stuck to the inside of a handbag for a year before making it to print! Once one has been chosen I design it on the Mac and add colour. I like our cards to be bright and cheerful, so colour is important and hopefully makes our products stand out. Sadly this is only a small percentage of the making process – I spend much more time sourcing and ordering materials than I do actually designing!
Can you describe your workspace?
Organised chaos. It’s a mess, I organised it for the pictures! I think most creative people work like this, if there is a tidy designer somewhere I would love to meet them!
What would you perfect studio look like and where would it be?
Tidy! I think I would love an area big enough so that everything has it’s own ‘station’. A printing area, a packing space and a purpose photography place… the reality is that it happens all on the same desk! I have a small office in our home and mostly the work creeps out of this and ends up strewn around the house. I would be delighted with a garden office with lots of light but currently I’m happy being at home.
We love your Mondays print. What’s your favourite day of the week and why?
Weirdly Mondays are my favourite! I don’t work weekends due to having the children and about a million activities to attend, so a Monday is the first day back in the office – a fresh week.
What’s the best thing about being creative for a living?
It’s not boring! I’m not sure I would cope being behind a desk in the same place with the same people every day.
What would you say to someone thinking about selling their work?
Stick at it. The beginning is tough – the beginning being about the first year and a half (maybe even two). It takes so much time to find your place, your brand, you.
What’s the best thing that’s happened to you since you started your business?
My favourite thing ever is being in a store that stocks my products and seeing people laughing at them. When I first saw that, I knew that this is what I should be doing.
Your cards are brilliantly blunt. If you had a motto for your own life, what would it be?
Don’t take yourself too seriously. I like that – everyone should do a bit more of that. People are so busy doing serious stuff that they forget to laugh and there is so much to smile about. Sometimes it’s good to just stop and take note of other people and your surroundings. You’ll feel better I promise!
To celebrate being our featured maker, Vikki is offering 20% off all Snappy Crocodile products with the discount code HAPPYSNAPPY. Valid until 24th August 2015.