We've got our second instalment of meet the creator and this time we were able to catch up with Gemma the owner of The Pied Piper Illustrates.
We wanted to hear her thoughts of the Re:So shop and her plans for visiting Brighton.
How did The Pied Piper Illustrates begin and what made you want to start?
I have always used the name as my working name. As well as doing illustration, I am also a practicing tattoo artist where I work under the same name. I originally came to Solent university studying Music Journalism. It was such an excellent and exciting course, but as much as I loved it I just couldn't stop drawing and I felt like it was more important to me and exciting, therefore I changed to illustration. It is hard to support yourself through university, so I started creating products using my designs and the facilities available at university to try and get my work out there in a physical form. It's been a great thing for us all on the course this year, creating products to sell for fundraising and making money from our own work.
If you had to choose one, what is your favourite illustration from the collection?
I am very proud of my pin badges that I designed. I think they came out really well and look really professional. I also made my first zine recently that contained drawings and personal poetry. I think that zine is my favourite so far, the mood the illustrations create as a collection fits really well with the words and as my first handmade mini book I was quite proud with the end result.
What is the next adventurous step for your company?
At the end of May, some of us from the illustration course are hopefully taking our work to an illustration fair in Brighton, which should be quite exciting. I would also love to create some more pin badges too. We then have our degree show and an exhibition in London so I'm hoping to make some great connections from these events to help create future work.
What celebrity would you love to see own one of your illustrations and why?
Personally, the dream area if illustration I would love to work in is artwork submission in the music industry. e.g album covers, concert posters, merchandise. Bearing this in mind, I would be incredibly pleased to be commissioned by a well known band/artist and to have my work help to represent them.
How valuable do you think being able to try your products out in a real store while at university is?
It's a really valuable opportunity. To be able to try your products out to see they sell, then take your ideas to a company and be able to say that you have already sold your products in a store puts you ahead of competitors and makes your brand more valuable to a potential client.
This student retail opportunity is unique to Solent University, do you think other universities should offer this?
Definitely! It's a great opportunity to showcase your work, in our case - not just to students but to the public as well. It's also a great way to see what others at university are creating and help support them too. I also personally enjoy purchasing items that are either one offs or not available to buy anywhere else, it's nice to browse.
You can check out Gemmas work on her lovely website: