Wednesday, 21 September 2011

Interview: Donna Wilson

Donna Wilson set up her company is 2003 after she graduated from the RCA. Now located in London, Donna's designs embellish varied products from ceramics to cushions to stationery. Her illustrations are bright, colourful and instantly recognisable. She was kind enough to take 10 minutes out of her busy schedule to answer some of our questions.

How would you describe your work/style to someone who hadn't seen it? 
Colourful, bold, tactile and happy

What is biggest highlight of your career to date? 
There has been so many highlights, working with a great team of people which help me to have the best job! Meeting designers like Rob Ryan and Orla Kieley, and making the creatures and props for a music video for Gideon Conn. This year it would also have to be winning the Elle Deco British designer of the year award.

Where does your inspiration come from? 
All over the place, the landscape, music, dreams, magazines, ceramics, Scandinavian design, people. Sometimes I just see a tiny snippit of something which triggers an idea, which is then developed into a product. I recently went to a small remote island off the coast of Newfoundland and came back feeling really inspired by its landscape boats and houses, but normally I find inspiration everywhere, it can be a tiny piece of cloth, a picture in a book, or found object from my travels.

Who would you most like to collaborate with?
 Michele Gondry the director in Science of sleep, I was totally inspired by that film, especially the cardboard world he created.

Where would you like to see yourself in 5 years time? 
I hope to continue developing interesting, happy, exciting, beautiful, cosy, friendly, products for nice people. 

What is the best aspect of your job? 
Designing, and I have only recently given myself a bit of time to do this, I used to design in my own spare time, and on the back of an envelope on the bus! But I have been spending the last few weeks making mood boards, sketching and trying things out on the machine, and I remember why I love it. Being creative is a fantastic feeling, and I'd recommend anyone give it a go.  What is it like to be in love? 
Like you’re walking on air with a huge grin on your face

Last meal on Death Row. What would you eat? 
That’s a difficult one as I love food! Thai green curry, or a big roast dinner, followed by a old fashioned triffle with loads of cream and brandy!

What is the greatest invention of all time? 
I think staplers are pretty clever, as without that my filing would be even worse , there’s something really satisfying about using a stapler!

If you didn't do what you do. What would've you liked to have done? 
I’d liked to have worked with animals, having grown up around animals, I really miss not having any around! Although I don’t think I could be a vet, maybe a dog trainer!

All products featured are available at

All images courtesy of Donna at

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