Saturday, 14 December 2013

Susan McGill Phone Case & Designer Interview

Hello everyone. You may have seen in my Country Living Christmas Fair Haul that I bought a new phone case from Susan McGill designs. I've decided that I'm going to do a while post about it because I love it so much. I bought my first iPhone case off ebay and whilst I loved it at first it broke pretty darn quickly and I wasn't very happy with it. I decided I'd invest in a really good quality phone case that would last me forever and ever(kind of).

When walking around the fair I hadn't really been intending to buy myself a new phone case there but as soon as I saw it I knew I had to buy it. It's no surprise that I love dogs so I was super happy when I saw this. Most phone cases with dogs on them are pugs. I hate to ruin the typical blogger picture but you honestly couldn't pay me enough to own a pug. I prefer bigger dogs so I was pretty happy to see this, I especially love the 'dug' name tage. That's the perfect finishing touch for me! Handing over £15 for a phone case was a big deal for me but now I'm really happy I made that decision. If you would like to buy one then you can do so here.


I got in contact with Susan via her Facebook page and asked if she'd answer some questions for me. Thankfully she was very happy to answer my questions and has given great responses!

Most of your designs contain some sort of Scottish poem or song. How important is it to you that you include your heritage in your designs?

My heritage is very important to me. I grew up with Scottish stories,songs and poetry around me and loved the romance and history attached to them. I like the idea of making a piece of work that can sit in a family home comfortably and functionally with part of a verse or saying incorporated in the pattern. When I have a show and people are singing lines from songs, laughing and sharing memories it’s a great feeling.

It says on your website that the design on my phone case is inspired my your dogs. What sort of dogs are they and what are they called(brownie points for any photos)?

I have got two Jack Russell terriers called Stig and Stella! Stig is 7 and he is Black, white and brown and Stella is 5 and she is all brown. I work from home so I only have them to talk to, and they are great company. They even have a really smelly, grotty bed in the pottery.



How much time would you say you spend on a design from start to finish?

It depends on the design really. A lot of the designs I have used on my printed pieces are designs that I have developed in my ceramic work. I studied ceramics at Duncan of Jordanstone Art College in Dundee and I have been working in clay since I graduated in 1991. So the ideas that have appeared on the phone covers, trays and tea towels in the last couple of years have usually been hanging about in a sketch book waiting for their moment of glory! The process usually goes - once I have played around with an idea in my sketch book I will produce a large finished drawing (usually A2). This could take anything from 12-48 hours to draw up. I keep the scale big so that when it is reduced for printing it looks really sharp. Then the drawing is scanned and cleaned up on the computer so that its ready to send off to a printer

What is your favourite design from your store?

My Favourite design at the moment is my Luckenbooth Brooch. It is a very traditional Scottish design taken from a 15th century silver brooch originally sold on the Royal Mile in Edinburgh. The brooch was sold as a love token or to ward of the evil eye and was said to have been given by Mary Queen of Scots to Lord Darnley as a symbol of betrothal. I used the traditional engraving “Of Earthly Joys Thou Art My Choice” but had it cut in Fluoro Perspex. So we have it in Lava Orange or Acid Green!

What would your advice be for anyone that's wanting to get themselves out there as a graphic designer?

I am struggling a bit with this question as I couldn’t ever formally call myself a Graphic Designer. I think the important thing for a designer is to have a recognisable style so that people can look at a label or a logo or a bowl or a phone cover and know it’s you. It can take a long time to establish yourself so don’t give up at the first hurdle- “A Stoot Heart”

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