What springs to your mind when you see “Girl Gang”: do you visualise an all girls biker squad? Perhaps an archetypal group of early 00’s teenagers? Maybe even a group of 1950’s Teddy Girls snapping their fingers in time with each other and combing their quiffs as high as they can manage. It’s different for everyone: whether a positive or negative response, girl gangs have always existed in society albeit pushed to the back corner, always contributing but never receiving much accolade for their involvement.
Although recently we’re seeing more and more coverage of female power and influence: films about women in history that made certain historical events possible, women moving to the front line concerning politics and social movements, women holding the power of social media and it’s influences: looking at you Beyonce.
What I’m exploring in a 3 part series is an illumination in to the world of the “creative, authentic woman”: looking at UK female artists in their own right and seeing what advice they can shed on their construction of their creative empires alongside their identity as a woman in the industry.
From Leeds we have Buttercrumble Creative hailing from Scarborough originally, twins: Chloe and Abigail based in Leeds are illustrators and designers that graduated in Graphic and Communication Design: having PR, marketing and design under their creative belts started Buttercrumble under the influence of mid century artwork concerning folk-like visuals. I talked with them about the creative process they run through with each design brief, their take on the concept of female unity and how to start a creative career.
Your illustrations are very inspiring and graphic design orientated, could you take us through a few steps of your creative process from the inception of an idea to the finished product?
Firstly, thank you! We believe that a great illustration can only be produced with good foundations which is why we begin with research (this could be through reading, visiting an inspiring place, or even browsing design websites). We collaborate pretty seamlessly with each other, dipping in here and there to try and bring our illustrations to life. This means we both work on the sketching process before finally working on Adobe Illustrator. Finally, we like to incorporate a handmade element into our work which is usually done by scanning in textures, collage or drawings.
Where do you credit your passion for all things creative? Could be a time, an artist or an experience you might have had.
We’ve been creative for as long as we can remember! We were never really sporty or into dolls as children so drawing and story-telling were our favourite things to do and still are. We think it helps too when your family really support and encourage your creativity and that’s really helped our confidence to grow. Our passion still burns strong and we think that comes from staying up-to-date with the creative industry and collaborating with others.
Many creatives face writers block or some sort of set back whereby they feel stuck in a creative rut. Have you faced any set backs or problems on your way to building your business? If so, what were they and how did you overcome them?
Of course! Sometimes you may hear a ‘no’ or the project doesn’t turn out as well as you hoped but the important thing is not to feel disheartened. These experiences happen to everyone and we like to learn from them. Hence we are always improving and striving to be the best we can be.
What does female unity mean to you?
Female unity feels so ingrained in us. As twin sisters, we’ve been united since birth! Being sisterly to other women is so important to us as everyone needs a helping hand once in a while. Female unity means genuinely supporting others.
Young creatives sometimes struggle financially to receive a degree or invest in pricey software to get started on a business endeavour, do you think these things matter and what advice would you give to those lesser privileged artists?
It costs very little to start up as a designer or illustrator because there are only a few business overheads. If you’ve got the time, talent and tools then you’re ready to go. You can invest as much or as little as you like and before long your business will be self sufficient. If you’re truly passionate about it, you’ll find a way to fund it! We started with nothing but patience, hard work and a passion.
If you could describe your work in 3 words, what would they be?
Fun, unique and friendly.
If you could go back in time to when you both were 15, what personal advice would you give to yourselves?
Don’t sweat the small stuff and don’t be afraid to say no.