I studied Graphic & Media Design at the London College of Communication (UAL) with the intention of working as a Graphic Designer post-graduation. (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 it. 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 me seriously?

But, I wanted to keep doing both and so had separate websites and portfolios for each, as well as doing them under different names.
In one of my interviews for The PLANT Club, I spoke with Illustrator Cécile Gariepy who also talks about changes in practice - she fell into illustration while studying her Masters in another subject altogether! I think that that is such a nice and natural way of finding your practice, and I think it surprised us both equally.


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 design work. I was finding my style as small commissions came along, whilst learning how to draw at the same time. For my final year show, the project I wanted to do was 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 and we started getting interviewed online about, that other people started to define my practice.

In our interview with DAZED, I was called a Graphic Designer. I felt as if I had been mislabelled because I then 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. For now, I see this as being the best way to present it to the world, but I can definitely see AMPAD moving into other categories.
I think that the focus at the moment is on making environmentally and socially 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 can go...

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