LICENSOR SPOTLIGHT: Stuart Cox | I Like Birds
It’s safe to say that I Like Birds has been nothing short of a flying success since Stuart first joined forces with The Art File back in 2017. The collection has been a strong favourite with customers from the beginning, and we have since expanded I Like Birds to include gift wrap, gift bags, and wrapping accessories.
We spoke to Stuart about his inspiration for the brand and he told us that, surprisingly, I Like Birds pretty much came about by accident. “I was living at the opposite end of the country to my mum and started doing some illustrations as a way of keeping in touch. But within a couple of weeks she fell ill and died a year later. The illustrations sat in a drawer for years until a friend found them and asked if they could sell them as cards in their café in Aviemore. After selling over a thousand in the first month I'd kind of stumbled into I Like Birds. The inspiration now is just as it always has been - a love of nature, a love of design and hidden behind it all a love of family and nostalgia for my birdwatching youth.”
Stuart’s desire to combine his love of nature with a love for design is reflected perfectly in the expansive I Like Birds collection. The simple yet beautiful graphics and use of a strong colour pallet give these cards a real presence. I like Birds captures the mannerisms of the birds effortlessly, resulting in a clever collection full of personality and fun.
We also wanted to know how the licensing relationship between artist and publisher was going from the artist’s perspective. Stuart said his “experiences with The Art File have been nothing other than positive. Professionally I don't believe there's anyone better in the industry in terms of quality of product, quality of service and always offering something fresh and interesting.” Wow – we are thrilled with this feedback and thank Stuart whole-heartedly for his kind words! He went on to say “what's just as important to me are the personalities behind it. You're an inspiring bunch, always positive, always friendly, always funny, always supportive and understanding, and always (ALWAYS!) driven towards ‘better’.” Right back at you, Stuart!
As greeting card specialists, we were also interested to know a bit more about how his designs transpose to other hugely successful products. He said “other products naturally present all kinds of challenges. Whether it's piling in more detail for jigsaw puzzles, working on the tiny canvas presented by eyewear, or trying to wrap my head around the curvy and distorted templates for teapots, every design job is different.”
But when it comes to I Like Birds greeting cards, Stuart maintained that the “designs began life as greeting cards and I'm delighted they've found a natural and long-term home with The Art File. Britain is a nation of bird lovers - in terms of participation more people go birdwatching than watch football - and I've always tried to capture the essence and character of each species with as little fuss as possible. The beauty of greeting cards is that the images don't need to be manipulated or doctored in any way - they're just as I intended them to be.”
We’re sure you’ll agree Stuart’s I Like Birds journey is admirable. His designs are stunning, and it is easy to see why they are so popular. Members of the public can browse a hand-picked selection of I Like Birds products here, and trade customers can log on to the trade area for the comprehensive collection.
We highly recommend you take a look at Stuart’s website and social media pages for more striking designs and products: