The next important stage with the Mark Hearld commission was to meet Mark himself to discuss initial ideas and concepts for the potential collaboration.
I wanted to gauge what he would be interested in working on and to try to start building a relationship with him. It was important to visit Mark in his hometown of York, which is what we did way back in January 2010. It was extremely beneficial to meet him in his own environment as walking into Mark’s home is like taking a trip into his imagination!
It’s great (and it made it my job much easier) to have this wonderful collection of beautiful, odd and curious things all around to draw inspiration from - things he has collected for a long time.
My job was to ensure that the product ideas we had would be right for his style of illustration. The “made in the UK” aspect was important to us too, so we had to choose products that could definitely be made in this country at affordable and accessible prices.
When working with any artist or designer the trust factor, I believe, is key to a relationship working successfully. They have to trust that you are going to do their work justice and that the suppliers we choose to work with are good enough. From the quality of colour reproduction to the handle of a fabric - all this attention to detail pays off ultimately! (One hopes!)
Next time… an insight into the wonderful world of the Curwen Print studio where the likes of Henry Moore, Barbara Hepworth and John Piper all worked and where Mark created the limited edition print for us.