This week for our #fabfivequestionsfriday we chat to Harriet Popham - Founder of interior textiles and illustration brand Harriet Popham. Harriet is an illustrative print designer who specialises in unique interior textiles, and I am fascinated by all her intricate hand drawn designs which includes a fun mix of architecture, animals and embroidery!
WHAT INSPIRED YOU TO START YOUR BUSINESS?
I realised fairly quickly after graduating that I needed to be doing work that I was passionate about, that I could freely pour hours of my own time into and truly call my own so I decided to start designing my own interior textiles, canvasses, and prints.
WHAT ARE THE TOP THREE THINGS YOU ENJOY MOST ABOUT YOUR JOB?
1) Creative Freedom: When working on my own collections I don't work to trends, or anyone else’s time frames. I come up with an idea and am free to invest my time in the research and the large body of drawings I like to create in order to build a lively, visually rich and engaging design.
2) Variety: From illustrating colouring books for Harper Collins, personal embroidery commissions to creating large scale artwork for exhibitions week to week I am working on really different projects which keeps things interesting.
3) Lifestyle: I’m so grateful that I am managing to make a living through illustration and design. I love working from home in Somerset. I feel very lucky that if I’m not on a tight deadline and the sun is shining I can go for a stroll on a midweek afternoon and be flexible with my working hours.
WHAT IS A SKILL YOU REALLY WANT TO LEARN?
I should really learn to make my own cushions. I can draw a picture on a sewing machine but sewing seams in a straight line is beyond me!
WHAT WAS YOUR LAST ONLINE PURCHASE AND WHERE WAS IT FROM?
My last online purchase was a large 2017 wall planner from etsy, despite the fact it is now June… I’m determined this one will be the one that makes me organised!
WHAT HAS BEEN YOUR PROUDEST ACHIEVEMENT AND WHAT DID IT MEAN TO YOU?
My proudest achievement so far is probably the installation of a design that Sheffield Museum commissioned me to create for their Millennium Gallery walkway.
I spent 7 weeks drawing and piecing together a 40sq metre design inspired by items within the Gallery’s John Ruskin collection. Ruskin's enthusiasm for architecture and nature studies is reflected in the intricate illustrations of Sheffield’s buildings presented inside bird silhouettes. The birds sit between leaves from Sheffield’s Winter Gardens illustrated in Brusho pigment, acrylic paint, block colour and fine line drawings.
I arrived at the museum on the day of installation and found the vinyl team unrolling these giant panels of my design to lay on the floors and walls. It was so exciting. It meant a huge amount to me that the museum had invested their time and funds into using my work in such a large and public way.
I reworked these designs and they are now used as lively and vibrant prints for interior textiles.
The Sheffield Evening fabric has been used in the recent Harriet Popham X Florrie and Bill Collaboration.
> You can follow Harriet over on Instagram at @harrietpopham or visit her website at www.harrietpopham.com