A Chiswick 5 minutes with…Charlotte Berridge
It’s time for another dose of my regular feature catching up with some of the fab local people from Chiswick and environs, that make this little patch of West London a fab place to live.
As I write, the BBC is covering the hung parliament and while I do hold my own fairly strong political views, I keep this blog non-partisan. So today, in amongst the political commentary that’s online, I celebrate local life and art with a Q&A with local artist Charlotte Berridge.
Read on and find out why ditching the stress, market stalls and greetings cards help make up Charlotte’s West London life.
Name: Charlotte Berridge
Business: Design & Illustration (Charlotte Berridge Studio)
How long have you lived / worked in West London?
I’ve lived in Ealing for eight years. After many years working as a Creative Director in Magazines I decided to “ditch-the-stress” and after a bit of time out I launched my business in November 2015.
What’s your top local tip?
We are so lucky to have lots of diverse local businesses & independent shops in West London, run by great passionate individuals. They are the corner stones of our community, if you don’t use them, you’ll lose them!
And your hidden gem?
Keep your eyes peeled for Ealing based Spanish foodies “Bocaface” They did a fabulous pop up residency at Electric Coffee Company last year… fingers crossed they will be back! Failing that look out for their cute vintage horsebox kitchen, their food is always delicious! It’s great to pop down to our local food markets, there are always loads of local traders & amazing food offerings.
A little further a field…
I love having a drink in the smallest public bar in the UK! The front bar at the The Dove is listed in the Guinness Book of records. It’s a fantastic old pub full of history and sitting there you can watch everyone coming & going. It always feels special and I even get a buzz leaving there to pass the space on to its next lucky occupants.
What’s your perfect Saturday in West London?
If I’m not running my market stall, my Saturday mornings are always spent picking up groceries on Northfield Avenue. I shop local whenever possible and love catching up with my friendly butchers, bakers, cheese shop & green grocers (Parade Fruitiers on St Johns Parade).
Weekends are generally about an ‘urban ramble’. We love exploring different parts of London, simply deciding on an area & seeing where we end up… we’ve stumbled across so many beautiful hidden parts of London in the process.
We’re so lucky to live in this amazing city and my favourite rambles are the ones closest to home. Walking down to Brentford, over Kew Bridge, along the Thames past Barnes then back over Hammersmith Bridge and along to the pubs on Strand on the Green is always one of my favourite walks! It’s a long walk so you definitely deserve a couple of pub stops on the way.
Tell us about your day job in a nutshell…
I’m a designer & illustrator with a range of local prints cards & tea towels. I started with Ealing (my home) and have added Hanwell, Chiswick and Acton too. I hope to expand my work across more areas of West London in the future.
I sell my products online (www.charlotteberridge.com), at local craft markets (CraftedW5, outside Ealing a Town Hall, 1st Saturday of every month) and in a couple of local Ealing shops too (All Original, 20 Ealing Green W5 5DA and Mooch, 90 Northfield Ave W13 9RT).
I was part of The Wonderland Collective Pop Up shop in Acton earlier this year as part of a four strong collective. Kate McKenzie of ‘Eat Me Drink Me’ spearheaded the shop and she sells fabulous gifts from unusual independent designers based in London & beyond. Raman’s company ‘Mala & Bunga’ has the most beautifully curated collection of jewellery, also from independent makers and Lucy of ‘Handmade in Ealing’ makes delicious chocolate.
Philosophy on life?
You only live once so live it to the full!
Glass half full or half empty?
Mostly half full (…but we all have our moments!)
And now some questions about Charlotte and illustration:
You create a lot of art based on our local neighbourhoods. How important is community to you and your art?
I’m passionate about my community and the area in which we live. We are so lucky to have so many fabulous parks & amazing historic buildings. My work celebrates the unique landmarks we have around us. I love how London can be described as a string of little villages and how proud we each are of the village in we live.
A lot of your art is functional – greetings cards, tea towels: how important are aesthetics in everyday life?
As a designer, I love surrounding myself with beautiful things. I enjoy creating cards & tea towels alongside my prints so there are smaller affordable products for my customers to buy.
Did you know you could draw as a child?
As children we were always making things. I remember always sitting at the kitchen table with paints & craft materials. I didn’t read much as a child, I preferred picture books & making up my own stories from the images infront of me.
Where do you sketch out your initial ideas?
I always carry a note book in my bag or have one by my bed so I constantly create a combination of drawings & lists of ideas.
Your website has the ‘just the card’ logo on – can you tell us a bit about this campaign?
Just a card’ is a fabulous campaign that everyone should know about. justacard.org want to encouraging people to buy from designers, makers, independent galleries & shops. All purchases, however small, even ‘just a card’ are vital to the prosperity & survival of small businesses.
Quick fire round
Favourite art gallery?
Oh gosh, just one choice?! Musee d’Orsay in Paris. Or closer to home I can happily spend hours wandering round the V&A.
So sad to hear Dick Bruna died recently. Miffy was always an icon of our childhood.
Massive soft spot for John Singer Sargent’s Carnation, Lily, Lily, Rose (1885–6) Pop & see it at Tate Britain.
Favourite colour? Pantone 812 (haha, trust a designer to give you the colour reference!) It’s a bright floro pinky orange colour, it reminds me of glorious geraniums & brightens up the dullest of days!
Thanks for taking part Charlotte. I want to dip myself in bright orange paint now! Do you know someone who should take part in a Q&A, or would you like to take part yourself? Drop me a line – firstname.lastname@example.org