First up in our new Indie Outlook series is Papio Press, created by illustrators Harry and Zanna. They sell a range of beautifully illustrated accessories and homewares, from prints and notebooks, to phone cases and wall clocks.WHAT DID YOU DO BEFORE/ALONGSIDE BUILDING YOUR INDEPENDENT EMPIRE?
Harry and I started Papio Press at the end of our second year of our Illustration BA. Starting a business as a student was fantastic, and I would highly recommend it to others. We had a lot of support from our tutors, access to a lot of amazing equipment, and the pressure was off because all our bills were being paid for by student finance! The only downside was it got a little tricky juggling everything because both of us had part time jobs as well. But it was worth it, because now we can both afford to work part time. We both work for other, larger online businesses, so we're pretty immersed in the digital world!
WHY DID YOU DECIDE TO START YOUR OWN BUSINESS?
We decided to start Papio because we knew it would be really difficult to get commissions as illustrators, and wanted to take our future into our own hands. This way it means we get to draw what ever we like as well, which is fantastic! We started really small with just pocket mirrors, and we were lucky enough that it kind of kicked off and we thought - woah, we might actually be able to do this for a living!
WHERE DO YOU LOOK FOR INSPIRATION WHEN YOU'RE SUFFERING WITH CREATIVE BLOCK?
When I have creative block I don't usually try to draw anything. I find it's better just to leave it for a few days and get on with some of the many other jobs that come with running your own business (like sticking stickers on envelopes, or packing up iPhone cases etc.). The whole time I'm doing stuff like that there will be a small part of my brain thinking about things, and trying different designs out in my mind, and after a while I usually hit upon something I get excited about! We also have a huge number of books for inspiration, and getting out the house is always a good idea!
WHAT IS YOUR FAVOURITE PART OF WORKING FOR YOURSELF?
I love having total creative freedom - there's nothing else like it. Sometimes I'm still shocked that I'm lucky enough to be able to draw whatever I want and making a small living from it.
WHAT IS THE HARDEST PART OF WORKING FOR YOURSELF?
Probably figuring out the accounts. Man that's hard! Fortunately for me that's mostly Harry's job, but it makes my brain hurt just watching him try to figure it out. When you've spent the last six years doing creative studies, numbers feel a bit alien.
WHAT SONG DO YOU PUT ON WHEN YOU NEED TO 'GET SHIT DONE'?
At the moment I'm totally obsessed with Taylor Swift. Shake It Off is my current pick me up jam. But I also enjoy a good bit of Pirate FM (Cornwall's number one radio station) because it plays great cheesy songs and reminds me of home.
WHAT WAS YOUR DREAM JOB AS A CHILD?
I wanted to be an actress when I was little! I was in a youth theatre group for ages, and totally loved it. Harry wanted to be a fire fighter, until he realised there were a lot of flames/danger involved...
WHAT'S NEXT FOR PAPIO PRESS?
We've got a lot of gorgeous new products coming up. For the first time since we started we can really focus most of our time on the business so it's getting a lot of love. Our aim is for us to both be able to work for Papio full time, but it might be a little while until we get there!
If you love Papio Press as much as I do, give them a follow over on the following sites..