Q & A - Heather Flynn

13 May 2019

Heather Flynn is a British designer and brand creator. Born in Scotland and based in London, she has been creating greeting’s cards and gift product with some of the UK’s best loved publishers for over 15 years. As the owner and designer behind both Alice Scott (and jointly Happy Jackson with Giles Andreae), she is the creative behind the sale of millions of greetings cards, with much of her work gathering awards across the industry.

‘I’ve both written and designed right from the start of my career, so cards have always felt like a natural home and one I enjoy designing immensely.’, says Heather. ‘I’ve always felt extremely lucky to have fun in my job and to work with some great people and retailers. Creating ‘Snap to Grid’ with The Art File has of course been no exception!’.

Heather lives with her husband and 2 year old son in East London and when not designing, is mostly over-feeding her lazy sausage dog, Captain Bert.

We launch Snap to Grid at PG Live in June (4/5th June- Islington Design Centre, Stand 200) - the collection comprises 18 birthday and open designs, with 11 occasions and 7 age cards. Make sure you're the first to see it at the show! 

1.What was the main pull factor for you getting into the creative environment?

I actually thought I was rubbish at art most of the way through school. I couldn’t really draw that well in a classical sense and thought all my creative projects weren’t really career material! I had one great teacher who looked at my work and showed me the course material for a Printed Textiles Degree. Everything literally changed with that nudge in the right direction and I knew I wanted to create and design for a living.

2. What do you enjoy most about your work?

Creating for people. When I write or design, I always have a keen idea in my mind of who this product is for. That connection is particularly poignant when writing and designing cards. For me, getting it right, whether humour, sentiment or artistic style, is all about being able to put yourself in another person’s shoes and think, what do they want to say, what would they find funny, what does cool look like for them? If you can put that human connection at the core of your work, it’s not only artistically rewarding, but also often creates your most successful pieces.

3.Where do your major inspirations come from, and why?

I love to watch language, culture and trends changing and developing. That’s all around us now and more rapid than ever before. Seeing how a turn of phrase or new word seeps into the current zeitgeist is particularly interesting from a humour perspective and I find reading anything from social media posts to memes, alongside more traditional printed media, is a great way to stay in touch with what’s current.

4. In terms of Greetings Cards, what occasion do you find yourself buying the most cards for? e.g. weddings, new job.

No surprises here to say Birthday cards, although I do also buy a lot of blank and art cards. Who doesn’t like a bottom drawer stocked with cards you just had to buy?!

5.What’s your favourite part about working with The Art File?

I think the best part of working with any company is always the people you meet. Their experience, shared and varied to your own, hearing what works for them, their customers, what they’ve learnt along the way and creating something new together is always a treat. I’m delighted to be coming on board with Ged and the team.

6. If you could choose to go to one country on an all-expenses paid trip, where would it be, who would you take, and why?

Can I have more than one?! I’d head to South America for a long road trip with my husband and son, Stephen and Will. We’ve been lucky to travel a lot in the last 10 years, but we’ve never set foot in South America. A trip through Argentina, Bolivia and Brazil would be a dream.

7. You’re walking down the street and find a £50 note on the floor. What would you spend it on?

Genuinely not saying this for points, but I’d give it to a charity. I already feel very lucky in life so I’d pass it on.

8. You’ve been told you’ve got to move to a desert island for a year, food and water is provided, but nothing else. And you only have space for three things... what would they be?

My kindle, masala dabba and Eight Hour Cream.

9. As an incredibly experienced designer, what would you say are the main points to consider when looking into new trends?

Trends move incredibly quickly now so try and tap into the ones that have the broadest appeal or lifespan and don’t follow them slavishly.

10. What’s your most played song on your phone/tablet/computer?

Probably something by Tom Waits or Bruce Springsteen.