Hannah joins the team!

Lisa GrovesLatest News

A very overdue blog post hello and some news…
So, if you’re an Instagram follower of mine, you’ll know I’ve spoken of a few big changes ahead for a while now. A new studio, a rebrand and a new design assistant. Writing those things down is certainly a lot easier than actioning them (due to various hurdles along the way) but today I’m so happy to announce that the first of these will be happening NEXT WEEK! The very talented Hannah Watt will be joining Paperknots to help with everything from bespoke design work, to branding and getting her creative hands on all your stationery… so please give her a virtual wave!

I first met Hannah for a coffee after she’d replied to one of my job advertisements she’d seen on Instagram. Possibly two sips into my latte I knew I’d found someone very like-minded and we’d get on just great. I’m one of these ever-so enthusiastic types and could see the same passion in everything Hannah was saying. I knew she’d add the same level of care and attention to every order as I do and that it is extremely important to me (and my clients!)

Of course, getting on great is key when working closely with someone but that aside, Hannah also really impressed me with her beautiful portfolio. Although from a greetings card background Hannah’s passion for wedding stationery was clear from some projects she’d worked on for friends. She also has an impressive talent for typography and illustration so was ticking all the right boxes. I offered Hannah a couple of trial days to give us both a chance to see how we could work together and Hannah could get a real feel for the type of projects she’d be working on, as well as getting her hands on some stationery to assemble – which can be a lot harder than it sounds. A lot of people just find it all too fiddly and lose patience but of course my new fellow designer /paper lover / maker / crafter had that nailed too.

To give you a little more background on who might be working on some of your orders I asked Hannah a few questions so you (and I) can get to know her a little better:

{ Tell us a bit about yourself }
These questions always send me into a panic, I never know what to say! I’m Hannah! It sounds cliché but I was one of those little kids who wanted to be an artist when they grew up, that or a scientist, which I guess is creative in its own way! I’m not sure I even knew you could be a stationery designer as a job until college where my love of all things hand-made really grew. I feel very lucky that I have found something that combines all the things I love; it doesn’t really feel like a job at all!

{ Give us an overview of your work background }
I truly believe that although sometimes you are lucky and the right opportunity just comes along you also have to go out there and find it. I was lucky to get my first real Design job at great company creating greetings cards. I feel grateful that I did because I had taken the plunge and decided to move to London before I had conformation of the job! I always loved school so went the usual route, college and then instead of doing a Foundation I decided to go straight to University. I studied Graphic Design at Leeds College of Art which is such an amazing place, everywhere you look is creativity and I was encouraged to pursue the things I really loved! It was a long year after graduation doing freelance jobs and working part-time and although at the time it was very dis-heartening I can look back now and appreciate it got me to where I needed to be. While I was at home I went into a local wedding planners and asked if they needed any help. I had always loved weddings (I would feel embarrassed if anyone saw my hidden Pinterest boards) so moving up to Creative assistant and then creating wedding stationery literally was a dream job! I know it sounds strange but I feel weird if I’m not working, late nights and giving up weekends aren’t so bad when you create something you really love!

{ What are your key creative skills and do you have any other hidden talents we might like to hear? }
I think my key creative skill is my perfectionism. It is definitely the ones thing that keeps pushing me forward and strive to do better. Saying I love all things type based is an understatement and two of the creative skills I pride myself on are brush lettering and calligraphy, I don’t think I could ever get bored of writing beautiful words! I think another one of my skills is that I like every idea I have to have a reason behind it, I like ideas and putting my heart and soul into a project! I’m not sure whether this can be classed as a talent or n­­ot but I weirdly love mornings, my work colleagues have to tell me to turn down the cheerfulness before 10am because they can’t handle it! I think not letting grumpy people on the tube in London make you feel negative is a talent. I’m also quite good at doing flips on the trampoline. I used to do gymnastics and it’s one of the things that’s stuck!

{ What inspires you creatively }
This is a hard one. I don’t have just one point of inspiration or one particular place I go to when I need inspiration. I love seeing new places, the different architecture, I love the English countryside, the fashion, people watching to look at people’s outfits is one of my favourite things to do. I also read a lot, I think I get inspired a lot from other people; their words, their general outlook on life. I’ve tried to be a minimalist because I love the clean lines, monochrome colour palettes and structured shapes but then I love mark making, painting patterns and generally creating a creative mess!

{ What design, print or making methods really bring out the design geek in you? }
Foiling makes me giddy! but I think any tactile process really. I interned at a letterpress studio and honestly it gave me a whole new appreciation for the process, it’s just so much more than an aesthetic. I think there is a real value in putting your heart and soul into something. It makes me happy that there has been a revival in the importance of hand made and an appreciation for thoughtful and considered design.

Image of Underwood Letterpress via Oh So Beautiful Paper

{ Do any brands give you design/style envy?}
Where do I begin? I remember when I first started learning about type and all the different styles Molly Jacques was a big inspiration of mine. I feel guilty listing so many brands based outside of the UK (we have so many amazing brands based here!) but I think everyone loves Rifle Paper Co, I challenge anyone to not want to buy anything from them! Quill and Fox, Mr. Boddington, really the list goes on and on! I really like illustrator Jade Fisher and I will forever swoon over the amazing calligraphy by Lamplighter London.

{ What’s your guilty pleasure }
I probably should be more ashamed but I love listening to old-school 90’s music. If we listened to it at a school disco I will love it. When you’re up scanning type at 2 am or you’ve got 100 envelope inserts left to stick in BeWitched C’est la vie gives you the energy to stick it out! Re-watching films and TV shows that I have already watched 100 times before. I have lost count the amount of times I have re-watched Gilmore Girls! Part of becoming an adult is owning it so it becomes cool though, right?

{ Something you can’t live without }
I can’t live without a good book. I always have one on the go, maybe even two and it’s what I do to relax. At the moment I’m reading To The Light house by Virginia Woolf. I also get really frustrated if I don’t have a notepad and paper, I like to be able to doodle and write things down. I have so many notes on the go on my phone.

{ Do you have any random facts about you to share? }

  1. I was an accident prone child, it’s a bit worrying the amount of times I got concussion!
  2. I cry at films, TV shows and books so easily. My housemates all take bets on whether I’ll start welling up!
  3. I have a childish sense of humour, Dad jokes are always funny. I don’t know whether this makes me naive but I think it’s good to laugh at the little things.
  4. I love National Trust properties. I find old buildings fascinating and nothing makes me happier than wandering around an old house and gardens.

So there you have it, I can officially welcome Hannah to Team PK and although it’s only part time hours, we’re both already super excited about what’s to come! Watch this (creative) space!

Lisa x