ORIGINS - Blog Post #1

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...


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E-mail me at 
allmyplantsaredead@outlook.com for info on comissions, projects and more.

© All My Plants Are Dead, 2019
Environmentally focused & illustration obsessed.