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Meet the Designer: Fay Shoesmith

Guide Dogs is delighted to partner with illustrator Fay Shoesmith who founded Print Circus Studio in 2015. The studio proudly offers British designs with a focus on animals, colour, texture, and patterns. Fay designed the Modern Dog Notecards exclusively for Guide Dogs, using her eclectic style to craft a beautiful distinctive design with inspiration from our dogs.

Guide Dogs caught up with Fay to talk about her background and why she wanted to work with us.

Fay Shoesmith with her dog

How did you become an illustrator?

I studied Printed Textiles at University and have always had a keen interest in surface pattern, colour, and design. Painting animals has been something that I stumbled across by accident whilst experimenting with paint and materials. I thoroughly enjoy mixing these elements together. I’ve worked in various design roles but started my studio when my children were babies and now do this full time, with a small team behind the scenes.

Modern Notecards in two variations, one with golden Labrador the other a black Labrador

How would you describe your style as an artist?

I enjoy using various techniques and often cut up designs and layer with other pieces. I like to paint over things, save bits and bobs of work and use it years later. Other Textile Designers often stop by at trade shows and ask if that’s what I did - I think it’s the colour language I use and all the techniques. I would say it’s a style of contradictions. I like smooth with textured, scruffy marks with neat, bright colours paired with muted grey tones.

Goldern Labrador Modern Notecard

Where do you find your inspiration?

I am inspired by animals I have known and our dog who is my constant companion. She makes me laugh every day! I am also inspired by the environment around me, so it can come from everywhere; plants and trees, objects such as ceramics or art history and fashion.

Why did you want to work with Guide Dogs?

As a child I used to collect money for Guide Dogs as I had seen the charity fundraising at an event. I had felt at a young age that because I loved to paint, and loved my dogs, it was something I would really like to help with. More recently, and far closer to my heart, we have a family member diagnosed with a degenerative eye condition which has quickly resulted in him being registered blind at a very young age. Our nephew now has the huge support and comfort of a Buddy Dog which has been homed with him through Guide Dogs. I am proud that my designs will be used to raise money for such an incredible charity.

Shop Guide Dogs Modern Notecards here.

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