Take a Sneak Peek Behind the Scenes of Blue Eggs and Tea
In today’s interview we’re talking to Ruth Allen from Blue Eggs and Tea. (Inspired by a hero of Ruth’s, Dr Seuss)
Tell us a little about yourself and your company?
I mainly draw whimsical birds, but also mice and other animals that appear as ‘friends’ every now and then! For a few years I have written poetry and completed an MA in Creative Writing back in 2011, but that has always been fairly melancholy. I guess something in me needed to find a little brightness, and from this Blue Eggs and Tea (BEaT) was born – I now specialise in small illustrations and accessories coupled with unique words with a little more depth than you often find on the market.
Describe your typical working day …
Eek! I work full time in Higher Education so by day I don’t live a very creative life. But when I leave, I pretty much run home to start drawing! Some days I have to get up really early, and go to bed very late just to fit everything in.
What is the best thing about your job?
My Day Job satisfies my need to be organised and scientific, and it also gives me a little financial freedom at the moment to start out with BEaT (I only started in March 2013). Without it, I would have been too scared to start out on a creative path. However, the best thing about having Blue Eggs and Tea is seeing people smile and laugh when they read the words on my illustrations. I love it when someone says ‘I feel like that!!’ Whilst my pictures are of birds, for me the joy comes from the human connection through those illustrations.
Do you use any special techniques?
Most of my work is prepared and finished digitally. People are often surprised because when printed it looks very much like traditional watercolour and ink.
Your products …
What is your personal favourite product in your collection?
I think that would have to be my illustration ‘But I was Never Alone’ – it means a lot to me. And also my Winter Lapwing, which looks so lovely when framed! But then I also wear a bird-brooch religiously.
What are the most popular products in your range?
People love my Owls and All the Birds illustrations, which I can do as prints or cards. But actually, different things speak to different people. Across the pond my Tea inspired prints do well, presumably because of the British kitsch ‘thing’, and in Canada they love my Are You Lost? Print! Must be the penguin.
What are you working on at the moment?
I’m currently working on a commission for a special birthday, but I better not show you in case the wrong person sees it too soon. Aside from that, I am making lots of brooches. I have been asked to do some as teacher’s gifts because apparently it’s not uncommon for primary school classes to be named after birds!
What do you hope to achieve in the next year?
I would like to find some stockists in the local area. As I only started a few months ago I am doing things at break-neck speed alongside my full-time job and that can be headache-inducing. Generally though, I just want to see sales grow and meet more people (virtually is fine!) who like my stuff and see what I am trying to do!
Your inspiration …
What inspires your products?
I’m not a relentlessly happy person, but I admire people who are, and part of Blue Eggs and Tea is about being relentlessly upbeat, but in a way that is real to people. At Blue Eggs we acknowledge that life can be a challenge, but there is a way through, and these messages are often on my cards and gift prints. People are really important to me. I come from a line of vocational, caring types. And Birders – so the birds that are not in my garden inspire me enormously 😉 I live in a catty neighbourhood, so I like to imagine what is out there, what could be possible…
What other card and gift designers do you admire?
I absolutely adore Sandra Deickmann. It’s like she’s in my head, seeing the way I see the world. Obviously, completely different to me, but that’s not a bad thing 😉 I would also like all of Dee Beale’s hand-pulled prints. I love anything Scandi. Anything with animals on … Lisa Firke also does the most whimsical rabbit paintings. I have just bought one!
What current or upcoming trend are you’re coveting?
I love the pastel geometric thing at the moment, as well as the Aztec look. But I am always late to the party. I prefer to do my thing and know where I’m at – like a stopped clock, I surely have to be right at least twice a day, if you get my meaning. Seriously though I prefer to do my own thing, because you can find a lot of the same, and that’s a shame. We don’t want to become like the High Street.
Now you’ve read the interview it’s time to see the designs! Visit Blue Eggs and Tea now.