Edinburgh-based designer Rebecca J Kaye shares the story of how she came to set up her own brand selling cycling-inspired prints and products.
Q. Looking back, can you remember how your interest in design began?
A. I guess it began when I was a child. I was always drawing. I went on to study Maths at university, so I didn’t take what you might call a typical route into design. Although it might explain where my love of geometric design came from.
Q. When did you decide to start making and selling your own products?
A. I took a weekend course at a brilliant printmaking studio in Edinburgh about six years ago and loved it. We had to create an edition of five prints as part of the course. Someone asked if they could buy one of mine and it just went from there.
Above: ‘Over The Rainbow’ – one in a series of cycling-inspired lithograph printed posters by Rebecca
Q. What was the biggest challenge you encountered when setting up your own brand and how did you overcome it?
A. Fear! I was producing work that I was pleased with, but putting it out there for other people to decide whether or not they like it was a different story. Luckily enough they did and the feedback I’ve received has been lovely. I’ve found online communities such as Instagram to be great places to showcase your work, as well as meet really nice people with similar interests.
Q. How do you go about making your images?
A. Making the actual image is usually quite quick. The longest part of the process is coming up with the idea. I always have a notebook with me and tend to think of my best ideas when I’m hiking up a mountain or out on my bike.
Above: A look inside Rebecca’s illustrated cyclists guide to Scotland
Q. On the subject of your bike, cycling seems to be a popular subject among your designs. How did your interest in cycling begin and how does it influence your work?
A. I suppose the reason most of my designs are bike-related is because the ideas come to me when I’m out on my bike. I’ve always enjoyed cycling and the feeling of freedom it gives. I think the main influence it has is clearing the mind. When I’m out on my bike, I’m just enjoying being outside, which allows me to let my mind wander and come up with ideas.
Q. You’re based in Edinburgh. Where are the most inspiring places to visit in the city?
A. Edinburgh is an amazing city. It’s quite small so you can walk almost everywhere, but it has everything a big city does. Both the Edinburgh Printmakers and Ingleby Gallery are full of great art to be inspired by.
Above: ‘Great Minds Ride A Bike’ from Rebecca’s poster collection
Q. So far you’ve made tote bags, postcards, badges and t shirts. What would you like to make next?
A. I’m currently working on a few things for my new brand, middle of nowhere, all of which will be made in Scotland. In terms of pipe dreams though, if I could make or design anything it would have to be a postage stamp!
At ICON Printing, we like to showcase the work of other print professionals here on our blog, we produce screen printed t-shirts and tote bags and some of us have a love of cycling! Be sure to check back to see more inspiring work soon.