In the studio with…Jacqueline Colley
J Colley working in her studio
Illustrator and pattern designer Jacqueline Colley studied BA Graphic Design for Communication at Chelsea College of Arts. A range of her colourful printed products – including cards, enamel pins and trays – are available to buy from not just a shop.

Where is your studio?

I work from our spare bedroom in Hackney. It has lots of natural light so it’s great for drawing and photographing my products.

Describe your typical week

I spend one or two days each week freelancing for high street fashion brand, which I love and provides me with a steady income. The rest of the week is spent on my own practice. I generally split my time between admin, chasing work, sending invoices and being creative – doing something like silkscreen printing or designing a new pin or greeting card.

What are the key stages of your design and making process?

Weird things will spark ideas; an object in a museum or a book at a car boot sale! Once I have an idea I will sketch it out roughly, then research and collate reference images. Finally I draw using ink and felt tips, before scanning and finalising everything in Photoshop.

What is the best thing about your job?

The fact that I get to earn money from what is essentially my personal work! I also enjoy the variety; there’s always something new to learn about photography or digital tools, which keeps things interesting!

J Colley working in her studio

Do you listen to music in your studio?

I tend to listen to music when I’m drawing or printing. My top tunes are: California Sunset by Poolside; Teeth White by The Staves; and Skeleton Dance by Teleman.

What’s on your desk right now?

A vintage pineapple ice bucket, which I use to store stationery odds and ends like glue rubbers. Also a neon cactus light from Paperchase (I’m obsessed with cacti so couldn’t resist this little guy), and an I am very busy diary by Shop Bando (a good diary cannot be underestimated and I love this brand)!

Who do you look up to as entrepreneur?

I love the illustrations and products of the textile designer Karen Mabon, her prints are so fun and her sleep wear is amazing!

What three resources should every entrepreneur know about? 

The Design Trust is my go-to place for creative business questions, Instagram has been incredible for getting exposure and leading to commissioned work, and taking part in Crafty Fox markets has helped me to understand my customer base and develop my products accordingly.

Why were you interested in having your products sold at not just a shop?

UAL’s Careers and Employability department has been so supportive of my business; offering me a spot at Pulse in May 2015 and selling my products at their Creative Outlet in both 2015 and 2016. Having graduated in 2008 it’s amazing to still be involved with UAL, there is a huge network out there and it’s great that UAL works to keep us connecting with each other!