Introduce us to you and your brand!
My name is Catherine Redgate and my brand is…. me! I aim to bring a smile to every day living by sharing my quirky world of illustrations through a wide range of functional products. It all started with the design of some Christmas cards featuring my bear for the charity I work for. When these sold out, I decided to develop the bear and it all went from there!
How has your brand/work developed since you began?
Starting with only the bear and seagull, my range of illustrations have grown to include swimming otters, windswept coos, charming foxes and, more recently, a family of ‘spirits’. Alongside the expansion of interesting functional products, my work also involves commission work for both individuals and larger businesses.
What are your main inspirations?
I seem to have been naturally drawn to capturing animal characters so I would say I am inspired by the fun antics and expressions you get when watching them. Other inspirations come from fellow illustrators on Instagram, particularly those in Eastern Europe.
What do you consider to be your most popular product? Why do you think it resonates with people
That's a tricky one - with over 1000 products all with different designs, there really is something for everyone. It also seems to vary depending on whether I am selling online, at a market or in a shop! High contenders would include anything with the Heelan Coo, pheasant otter or seagull I think; these appeal to folk due to their experiences with these animals and the quirky characters / expressions that appear on my illustrations.
What piece are you the proudest of?
My Waters Edge card game - I designed the game from scratch with my partner over an Indian meal and by midnight that night we have a functioning game! Everything slotted together and I produced artwork for the deck of 151 cards. The game was launched successfully on Kickstarter with over 210% towards the funding goal!
What would you consider to be the most challenging aspect about being a working artist/designer?
At present, juggling all the different tasks involved especially when you can't quite get to your own projects and drawing plans for all the admin, emails, packing, product development, commissions and accounting tasks which you need to learn as you go!
Do you have any past accomplishments you wish to share?
I've worked with the Highland Wildlife Park to create four extensive ranges of products for their different animals. I won a design competition to create a wine label for Cairn O'Mohr wines who then commissioned three more for their Vegan range which you can find in supermarkets!
How did you find out about SDX? And what made you apply to sell with us?
Partly word of mouth from fellow illustrators and partly from visiting the Edinburgh store ages ago. I decided that the city centre location of the Glasgow store would be worth trying and I'm delighted to be part of the collection.
What have you found to be the most challenging aspect to your business since the beginning of the pandemic in 2020?
I’ve actually been really lucky as I found my online sales increased and I was still able to run two successful Kickstarters and create a whole new range of Spirit illustrations which have caught the attention from a lot of customers! The most challenging part would be the lack / cancellation of markets and trade fairs – three years into the business and it was starting to build momentum but the physical contact with customers and new shops has perhaps had the most impact.
What do you hope to gain from working with SDX going forward?
Having a presence in Glasgow City Centre has been really key - not only is it great for sales but contacts too. A number of people have been in touch having seen my work in the shop and this has led to further commissions. It would be wonderful if this continued :)
If you could share just one piece of advice to aspiring artists/designers who want to make a living from their creative talents, what would you tell them?
Say yes to every opportunity (within reason / common sense of course!) I’ve found jumping in to creative challenges, new things to draw, opportunities to collaborate with other businesses, licence artwork or commissioned basis can help spread awareness of your work and reach a wider audience. Constantly link these things up and connect new customers to social media channels too!
And finally, help share some motivation with your favourite inspirational advise or quote!
When it rains, look for rainbows. When it’s dark, look for stars.