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ORIGINS

Blog Post #01


How All My Plants Are Dead came about

Written by Sophie Rawlingson
July 2017



I studied Graphic & Media Design at the London College of Communication (UAL) with the intention of working as a Graphic Designer post-graduation in 2017. (This was my dream and end goal ever since I was 15). But during my education, I started doing freelance illustrations for people - literally falling into freelance work as if by accident. All My Plants Are Dead came about as a concept because I wanted to keep these two design practices separate.
I saw my Graphic Design work as proactively working towards having a sustainable and possible career that I could actually make money in, while my illustrations were purely for fun. I wasn’t trained in drawing and the techniques, so how could I take that side of my creativity seriously?

But as I wanted to keep doing both, I had separate websites and portfolios for each, as well as doing them under different names.
In one of my interviews for The PLANT Club (a separate blog I had at the time, though now is aligned with AMPAD), I spoke with Illustrator Cécile Gariepy who also talks about changes in practice - she fell into illustration while studying her Masters in another subject too. I think it surprised us both equally, and in some ways is a great way of finding your practice.


 

Some of my earliest commissions: Left - a poster for Koumis & Kettle. Above - designing and illustrating issue 02 of GIRLS CLUB Zine.




As the second and third year of my degree came around, I was doing more illustrations for people than I was doing graphic design work. I was finding my style over time as small commissions came along. For my final year degree show, I decided to brand the illustrative side of me - I still saw it as myself, but just under another name.
I wanted to make a mailer pack of items that I could post to potential clients, labelling myself / AMPAD as a ‘Freelance Illustrator’.

It wasn’t until my passion project - The PEACH Diaries, a zine I make alongside my sister Elinor Christie - took off that that other people started to define my practice during interviews.

In our online interview with DAZED Digital, I was called a Graphic Designer - I felt as if I had been mislabelled because by then I had started seeing myself as a multi-disciplinary artist, rather than someone who was specific to one practice alone. It made me realise how much I valued learning illustration as an art form and how much I wanted to delve deeper into that world.





Final Year Show piece: A mailer pack to send to potential clients, branding myself as an illustrator.



A year on, and All My Plants Are Dead has evolved into an online shop. Although AMPAD is being described as a shop at the moment, I can definitely see it evolving as I do over time, into something else... perhaps.
I think that the focus at the moment is on making environmentally focused products that you won’t feel guilty buying. I have so much planned already for the first three collections/themes of products, as well as outside collaborations and other commercial projects.
It’s definitely hard to put my vision for AMPAD out in the open, partly because I think it can be hard to define, but also because so much can change in those years to come and wouldn't want to jinx it! I am excited to see where it will go...






ISLAND DREAMING

Blog post #2


About the collection

Words by Sophie Rawlingson

05 July 2018


Shop the toucan pin ︎






It was this collection of items that inspired me to start a shop that lived it’s life based on the ways I myself wish to live. Vegan / environmentally friendly / using sustainable materials / being ethically conscious with suppliers.
I wanted the shop to have a brand name - rather than using my own name - so that it takes the pressure off of myself to live a perfect life. While I try to live by those rules, it is hard. I wanted to make it everything an imperfect human living in a polluted city could not always achieve...











Before I even had the name ‘All My Plants Are Dead’, I had the idea of making a toucan pin. It was a product that is so small and so easy to make. To me, making a first item was concrete evidence I was serious about starting my own shop.

Brand names I came up with were all centered around the idea of land / people / animals / magic. ‘The Land & Me’ being the one I trialed for a while. I wanted the name to conjure images of people and animals living harmoniously together on some tiny island, unknown or seen by the rest of the world - living together, but also with a little magic.
After a family holiday in 2017, ‘All My Plants Are Dead’ appeared in my mind, and I was set!

The toucan drawing throughout this time had already been drawn in a sketchbook, and I was looking forward to making him once I got home from my holiday.

Then, in my final year of university, I set up a website with my first (and only) product. I came up with a business proposal and branding outcomes that became my Final Year Project. 

The model in the photoshoot for the pin is my friend Leticia - it was nice having someone see the product from start to finish, and she really routed for me when the shop first started. <3










Fast forward a year to 2018, the collection of items for ISLAND DREAMING have taken a back burner. I still have the original products planned out that will be made at some point, but it was the GIRLS SUPPORT GIRLS Collection that helped me gain interest in the very beginning.

The PEACH Diaries - a zine I make in collaboration with my sister, Elinor Christie, made positive waves after the release of Issue 01. Projects and collaborations came about afterwards that led me to make highly personal and feminist outcomes. It was amazing being able to talk about personal issues very publically, and for them to be recieved well, but also be relatable to many other people. 
These events inspired me to make prints for the new collection GIRLS SUPPORT GIRLS.

So, if you’re reading this wondering when in hell are the next products for the ISLAND DREAMING Collection coming - STAY TUNED. I have not forgotten about my original plans / products - they are definitely on their way.

This shop / project is entirely self-funded and currently managed entrirely by myself. I have big plans for the two collections you see online rn, but also for a host of other collections and collaborations. If you can, appreciate the passion that goes into wanting to make something so badly, you are willing to wait months / years of saving and planning before they come to fruition...

It’s going to be wild.







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GIRLS SUPPORT GIRLS

Blog post #3


About the collection

Words by Sophie Rawlingson

05 July 2018


Shop the custom magazine covers ︎





GIRLS SUPPORT GIRLS as a collection is about friendship / support / love. It’s about raising people up and sticking together.

While I long for a future where gender does not cause boundaries, and may not even be a topic of conversation, so many people aren’t even there yet. Cis women still put down other cis women, and acceptance and understanding of anything outside of individuals’ bubbles is a long way off for some. 
And so, for the people who don’t even consider themselves feminists, and do not understand the most simplist of ideas that many other people live by, I am hoping to preach feminism 101 to the community at large. Let’s start with the basics - stereotypes are harmful, support working parents, ‘sleeping around’ is not a phrase used for insult, the phrase ‘boys will be boys’ has been cancelled, and listen/support trans individuals. 

One of my favourite activists online right now is Chidera Eggerue, aka @theslumflower - definitely follow her for some daily feminism. She talks about life, history, feminism, relationships, and racism.










In my own personal projects outside of All My Plants Are Dead, I worked on highly personal and honest works that were collaborative in nature. It was and is so inspiring / uplifting to work with people that inspire you and who you look up to.

I wanted to continue this act of spreading positive messages through open and honest visual media, and started making posters and prints for AMPAD.

The bunting in particular I am so fond of because I love their message. ‘I’m All Yours’ & ‘Love Is All Around You’ are talking about love and relationships.

100% the profits of these two bunting pieces goes to an LGBT organisation - the Albert Kennedy Trust - who helps homeless youths find safe places to live and a whole lot more... thank you to my friend Kyle for showing me their work!

PS - Not in connection with the organisation.
The other project I love from this collection is actually the first one I made - Custom Magazine Covers. I wanted to continue to celebrate loving yourself publically. Taking selfies and celebrating what is amazing about you is a superpower all on it’s own. To the people that sent me their selfie - YOU INSPIRE ME and you are 🔥. So many people also sent me their friends’ selfie and listed all the things they wanted me to write about them on their cover. SO MUCH LOVE.

I love celebrating friendships!!





For Justina #badbitch



Through friendships over the years, I have changed the opinions of others, as well as chaned my own countless times more. The women I am currently surrounded by think similarly to me in numerous ways, but it wasn’t and isn’t always like that.

Sometimes I write life affirmations of things I believe in and want to live my life by. The GSG collection of items are those life affirmations drawn into imagery. They aren’t even difficult or absurd ideas, but are ones that I sometimes don’t even see being practised by people on my own Facebook feed.
I will always keep an open mind to new ways of thinking. I hope I actively change the things I realise about myself that no longer seem right or inclusive, and I forever hope that my art demonstrates positive messages openly and honestly. Lastly - I hope that seeing a cis female being unfailingly supportive of other women / people, seeps into the brains of those that aren’t there yet...

If you are in need of visuals / installations etc. to help promote an idea you’re working on, get in touch!

allmyplantsaredead@outlook.com








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ILLUSTRATION FAIRS

Blog post #4


Brighton Illustration Fair 2K18

Words by Sophie Rawlingson

06 November 2018


Shop new products ︎





I was very happy to be selling new prints and products at Brighton’s Illustration Fair, this November 2018!

I sat alongside my sister - Ellie - who was selling Issue 2 of The PEACH Diaries - a zine discussing the role of negative mental and physical health when using various contraceptives.

Together, we sold our new works, alongside so many other artists. Both the range of work and the quality on show from our peers was amazing! We had so much fun meeting new people - artists and customers alike.
These fairs are so important for independent and small artists because they get your work seen by a different crowd of people. Even if you sold less than what you were hoing for, the ability to have your work seen and have bsiness cards handed out, can be an invaluable experience in itself.







I sat next to the super lovely illustrator abs bailey - @barbawk on Instagram - go follow fo cute narratives and comics!
To shop new prints and products, head to the Shop New Products page

Thanks to everyone that bought some things from my stall ︎was so fun!








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STARZ IN YOUR EYES

Blog post #5


About the collection

Words by Sophie Rawlingson

22 November 2018


Shop collection ︎





I have always been fascinated with space and what it means to live on a floating blue dot in a vast nothingness. Isn’t it crazy? I think about that daily.

I find it very comforting, that when I am going through something stressful or sad, or even happy, that my life means nothing - I am an organism that is alive purely by chance, and I am just wandering around this blue dot - living my life - doing the same sorts of things day in day out.

When I feel stressed, I zoom out of my location on Earth until I am looking at myself from space. (Inspired by ‘Powers of Ten’, I’m sure). How cool and interesting and also dull and nothing it is to look at yourself from afar and see that you are here for a blip in time, and then you’ll be gone. 
I am by no means someone who believes that because we are here for a short time that what you do on Earth doesn’t have to equate to anything, but I feel assured and safe in the idea that on the whole scale of things, I am probably not going to do anything too crazy that you can see that craziness from space. I am low key crazy, or sane, living an invisible life, unseen by 99.9999999% of the population and inhabitants of this planet.

Anyone else?

Anyway, this collection of products and prints is dedicated to my love of space and the solar system and all things out there - the things that I can not comprehend. When buying anything from this collection, try to have Professor Brian Cox’s voice from the TV series ‘Wonders of the Universe’, in the back of your head...




Meteor Dude
A4 Print
£5

Star Power
A4 Print
£5




As with everything I do, you’ll see a lot of anthropomorphism happening - giving non-human things, human characteristics. What kind of personality does a meteor have? Find out here.

This collection will cover everything from magic, to space and the things we find in telescopes, to constellations and folklore and things like horoscopes. I will be inventing new zodiac signs and thinking about tardigrades. There are so many amazing things that this collection can cover, and I am so excited to start sharing products from this collection with you!
In terms of bodies of work, All My Plants Are Dead always set out to have only three collections. We now finally have them all! 
GIRLS SUPPORT GIRLS shows femme or female bodies living their lives - ignoring or not succumbing to the male gaze. ISLAND DREAMING shows humans living harmoniously with animals and nature - lots of environmental and eco-warrior work for this. And lastly, STARZ IN YOUR EYES will depict my last and final passion in life - aliens and space and the VAST NOTHINGNESS.

Get in the mindset for this collection by visiting your local planetarium and learn about how to spot Jupiter with your naked eye. Watch videos on tardigrades or other theories on how life on earth came to be...











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