Wednesday, 27 June 2012

Mischief meets...Wit & Whistle

Some of you may know that I am currently taking Holly 'Decor8' Becker's e-class 'Blogging Your Way'. As part of my homework this week I am starting a new regular column here on MFP&Me 'Mischief meets....' (name to be confirmed, any thoughts?) where I will interview creatives, designers and artists who have caught my eye. I'll be finding out how they got to where they are now, what inspires them to be the creative, and all about their design processes and working environment.

First up is one of my fellow BYW students, Amanda Wright of Wit & Whistle. I first came across Amanda's work whilst doing my 'homework' and getting to know my classmates. I loved her style as soon as I landed on her home page and I knew she was a girl after my own heart. With my plan to set up an online stationery shop one day, Amanda has inspired me so much. She is 'a self-proclaimed design nerd' as she states on her website and the designer and illustrator behind a range of witty and fun stationery. Here's what she had to say about what makes her tick.....

• What is the essence of your business? 
Stylishly, quirky paper products -witty and whistle worthy (and soon home goods too)! 

• How did you start doing what you do? What made you decide to start up on your own?
I studied graphic design at the NC State College of Design. After graduating and working at a design firm for a few years, I felt like I was squandering my creative juices on clients with limited imaginations. My husband loves his job in the video game industry, so he repeatedly told me to quit and find a career I love too. Finally I took him up on it, and I launched Wit & Whistle in 2009.

 • Where do you work? 
My studio is in the basement of our home. (A picture is worth a thousand words, so I'm including one!)

• Do you do everything yourself or do you have a team?
The first few years I printed, folded, and cut each and every Wit & Whistle product by hand. This year I've started having many of my products printed at a local printing company. Now I can spend less time manufacturing and more time designing new products. I'm working on a line of tea towels right now, and I'm excited that my mom will be joining Wit & Whistle as my seamstress!

 • What is a typical day for you?
I wake up and lay in bed while checking my email on my phone (which I occasionally drop on my face). Once I'm dressed and ready to go, I make my morning commute down the steps to the basement. One of my dogs, Mabel, accompanies me and spends the day supervising from her pillow on the corner of my desk. I spend my mornings shipping orders and replying to emails, and I reserve the afternoons for drawing/designing/blogging—all the fun creative stuff! I don't follow a very strict routine, because a little variety keeps me on my toes.

 • Which materials couldn’t you live without?
My sketchbook, a Pilot Precise V5 Rolling Ball pen, and Adobe Illustrator.

 • What is your design process?
It involves a lot of trial and error. I sketch and re-sketch things over and over until I come up with something good. It takes tons of experimenting and tweaking before I get to the final design, and I sure wish I knew a shortcut! :)

• Are there any designers/artists you particularly admire? 
Lately I've been crushing on Molly Jacques and Rifle Paper Co.—what stationery designer isn't insanely jealous of Rifle?!

• Which are your favourite blogs?

Thanks so much for sharing Amanda! One more question, is your studio always that immaculate?!! I'm so impressed.

You can see more of her work on the website and check out Amanda's blog too where she talks about her life behind the scenes. Stationery isn't her only skill, she is a pretty awesome photographer too!

All photos are courtesy of Wit & Whistle


  1. Hi Anna! What a great column you've started here. I always love reading interviews because it gives me a quick, useul look into someone's life and creative process. As a reader, I learn a ton from a q&a-- it brings new knowledge and insight to a blog by drawing on the lessons and resources of others. And you've done a stellar job on your very first one!
    Also, I'm now so intrigued by Amanda's designs and want to check out more of her work. Love the peek at her office--it's fab!

  2. wow such a lovely shop with great designs, thanks for sharing this interview! :)

  3. Thank you so much for the awesome feature Anna! I'm honored to be your first "Mischief meets..." interview. :) Oh, and my studio is seldom that neat. I have to give it a good cleaning every few weeks, and somehow it always ends up messy again.

  4. Ohmagoodness, her office is spectacular! You should interview her again and grab her secrets about that place...I'm insanely jealous. I love the idea of this new column, and can't wait for you to find more amazing people to share with the world. I'm definitely heading to Amanda's site to check it out!

  5. Lovely post, great interview, Anna. I'm popping over to Amanda's site right away :)
    Rhythma (BYW2)

  6. I love the idea of a column and your first one has certainly been a success! Loved reading it and indeed, the office picture is making me jealous... What a great and beautiful looking space!

  7. Hi Anna, I love the idea of a column and your first one has certainly been a success! I loved reading it and indeed the picture of Amanda's office makes me jealous.... What a gorgeous space!

  8. I love this new series! Great work :)
    -Michelle (BYWer)

  9. Hi Anna, so glad to have discovered your blog via BYW and I really enjoyed this interview ... I love stationery and reading about clever creatives! Thanks for sharing.
    xo Michelle

  10. Thanks all of you for stopping by and leaving a comment. Pleased you all enjoyed it. I'm having fun finding more creatives for the interviews!

  11. Loved the Interview column as well, Anna! I love to learn from others about their creative process, tools, and where they work. Is that really her basement? Hhhmmm, I have some work to do! ;)

    Tami (BYW2)
    Listening to Holly's podcast right now and trying to make my blog my is a work in progress. I love your blog...thanks for the motivation! And I love your thank you about leaving a comment. :)

  12. Thanks Tami. Just checked out your blog too. It looks great. I love the design and a unique angle you cover as well.
    Enjoy what is left of the course x

  13. Excellent implementation of the homework! I've really been wanting to do something similar, you're an inspiration Anna! :) Can't wait to read more interviews.

  14. Great interview - love her blog and her ETsy shop too!


Well if you are here then you must have read my post, so a big THANK YOU for visiting and for taking the time to comment. Your words bring a little bit of sunshine to my day (if they are nice) and I look forward to reading them. Thanks for supporting me. Anna :-)

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