One look at luxury interiors brand, Charlotte Jade, and you’ll feel instantly more connected to nature. That’s because their designs celebrate all that is so wonderful about the natural world, from interesting shapes and colours to favourite plants and animals, all with an edgy, vibrant approach to interior design.
And now the team have created Wild at Heart Foundation our very own print, ‘Cutsie Canines’, inspired by the love and positivity that go hand in hand with canine companionship. We wanted to know more about the Charlotte Jade design process, and who else to ask than Charlotte herself!
Tell us more about how Charlotte Jade began.
Drawing has always been my ‘thing’, even as a child I would visit the zoo then run home to draw all the exoitic animals I had just seen. I loved drawing the natural world around me and remained passionate about drawing all through school, going on to study BA Illustration at Camberwell College of Arts. My final project was based on making hand drawn digital patterns for interiors – I included patterns based on feathers and butterflies, which also now feature in the Charlotte Jade collection, so they’ll always hold a special place in my heart.
After graduating, I worked as a freelance illustrator designing for such clients as Topshop, Boots and Universal Records. I took all this experience and launched Charlotte Jade in 2017. Since then, I’ve worked with the likes of Kelly Hoppen, Rockwell Group, Slug & Lettuce, London Zoo and Royal Horticultural Society.
Have you always been a dog lover? What sparked your love for dogs?
Yes I’ve always loved dogs! We had THE biggest Newfoundland called Barney when I was growing up, who inspired many of my drawings. My favourite thing was to draw cartoon Newfoundlands with scarves and hats on – I liked to add some personality and style even then!
Do you have dogs yourself?
I now have two giant Leonburgers (clearly my family love big dogs) who are absolutely gorgeous, Lara and Elsa. They are the cutest pair with such charming personalities – I had to get Elsa in the WAHF design as her little face is so mischievous, and brings so much charm to the design.
Your designs celebrate the beauty of the nature world – what is it about animals and wildlife that inspires you?
For me, bringing the beauty of nature into our homes is the perfect way to keep us connected to the natural world, the animals and wildlife. Biophilic design is proven to reconnect us by bringing elements of nature back into our lives, which reduces streets, aids mental wellbeing and improves productivity. I love to observe the natural world around me, capturing the fine details, drawing animals, flowers and foliage, focusing on the natural textures of my subjects. I am now lucky enough to be able to produce these nature-inspired designs into wallpaper, textiles, cushions, ceramic tiles and many other interiors.
What was it about the WAHF dogs that you feature in your design that sparked your imagination?
I loved Saffron and his little bow tie! I mentioned earlier that when I was younger, I would add a scarf or hat for some personality, but with Saffron this was real – he looked very dapper in his colourful bow tie, so I knew he’d be a brilliant addition to the design. With Joker, well just look at his face! He’s so cute but to be honest, your success stories are all so incredible it was difficult to choose!
WAHF is such a fantastic charity and what you have achieved for the welfare of dogs around the world is inspirational. It really is an honour to be working with you on this bespoke design!
Can you give us an insight into the creative process that leads ultimately to such striking and exciting designs?
My design style is detailed, realistic and textured, and it starts with a pencil drawing. Every design is handcrafted in pencil initially, to capture the intricate details and beauty of the subject. These drawings are then brought to life with modern, digital colouring and printing techniques, which adds the vibrancy.
The best bit is taking these initial detailed drawings to the computer and begin experimenting with composition, applying colour and building the final design. The possibilities are endless with digital design and it’s amazing to see it all come together after weeks of research and design work. Seeing my pencil drawings come to life on screen never gets old and it’s this combination of traditional and modern technology that creates the intricate, vibrant signature style of Charlotte Jade.
What would your advice be for any young artists looking to build a business around their talent?
I listened to an amazing podcast by Karen Brady a while ago, where she interviewed Jo Malone and Jo shared a piece of advice that really resonated with me: “Never quite on a bad day”. There are times when you feel like giving up but pushing through those times and staying positive is the key to success. To new designers, I would say always believe in yourself and to never give up on your dreams, that’s what my parents have told me ever since I started working for myself. Believe in your work and believe in your brand and you will succeed.
And, most importantly, where can people find the WAHF x Charlotte Jade design?
You can purchase this exclusive design on wallpaper, cushions or art prints, either from Wild at Heart Foundation’s very own shop or directly from Charlotte Jade – 15% of every sale will be donated to Wild at Heart Foundation!
A huge thank you to Charlotte for sharing more about her and her work, and for creating this truly magnificent design! We’re so honoured that, even in times of difficulty, such incredible brands are choosing to give back to dogs less fortunate.
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