Waikato designer and illustrator Bron Alexander grew up in the midst of her family’s catering business, surrounded by wedding trimmings and inspired to one day have her own business just like her parents. Instilled early with an appreciation for the intricacies of paper doilies, Bron’s love of paper now manifests itself as limited edition prints of her gorgeous illustrations.
What do you make?
Limited edition illustrated prints, sweet little greeting cards and personalised baby emblems.
Do you have formal training or qualifications in your craft?
I’m a completely self-taught designer and illustrator. I fell in love with design when I worked at the Waikato Museum in the mid ’90s so I just started experimenting with design and taking on freelance projects until someone was crazy enough to employ me and let me loose with their brand. I’ve been so fortunate to have landed some jobs with wonderful employers that have allowed me to learn as I go.
How did you get into your craft?
Making the transition from graphic designer to illustrator was quite natural; while working for a local magazine, my design became quite illustrative and typographic in nature. I always wanted to go quite mad with some graphic design projects but there were always limitations I had to adhere to, so I took my illustrative elements and started creating some prints for people close to me, and the rest is history.
Is there a philosophy behind your work?
It’s quite simple, each and every illustration I make just comes straight from my heart.
What inspires you?
Nothing inspires me more than hearing stories about wonderful creative people who have been able to give up their dreary jobs and follow their dreams running their own craft businesses. This inspires me to work hard!
Describe your workspace:
My workstation occupies a teeny tiny part of our living room; sometimes it expands and takes over the dining table, coffee table and a good part of the kitchen. I constantly dream of having my own studio space….
Five words that describe your mind:
Determined, optimistic, a dreamer, multi-tasker
galleryYour favourite feedback from a customer:
A really lovely customer of mine recently organized a baby emblem for her sister’s little baby boy. She emailed me when I had sent her the draft to say how it had moved her to tears. Having created something for someone that elicited such a beautiful reaction was an amazing experience for me!
My Mum is my hero! She is unfailingly dedicated to charity and volunteer work – to a fault. Both my parents volunteer and I really worry that they are a dying breed in this day in age where everyone is just so “busy” doing their own thing.
A favourite quote: What will be will be.
What was the last handmade item you bought?
I purchased a sweet little hand-knitted bow necklace from the lovely Emma at Attic and Glory.
What are you currently listening to?
I’ve made a little mix online of all the tunes I’m listening to currently. If you are on Spotify you can listen to it. The playlist is called “Silver Streets”. It’s got a bit of everything from Birdy to Sufjan Stevens to Jack White. It’s all I listen to at the moment.
Recommend an album: Jack White, Blunderbuss
Your favourite childhood book?
I have so many favourite books, but my favourite story is one out of my favourite Brothers Grimm fairytale book, it’s called The Colony of Cats.
Do you have any pets?
I have the most charming and at times overly aggressive cat named Bailey. She is so often the centre of attention because she is just so clever (and/or naughty), she plays fetch and does incredibly cute things all the time.
Paying hommage to Noa Bembibre’s Cats Let Nothing Darken Their Roar, Bron has created her own calendar with a New Zealand twist, and has one to give away! Leave a comment below and you’ll be in to win her 2013 Glowworms In Caves Like It Quiet and Dark calendar. The draw is open to New Zealand residents only until Friday 23 November.