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Introducing the talented, Karl Bradshaw.

This Pride Month, we’re all about uplifting and spotlighting our favourite LGBTQIA+ creatives. To not only give them the platform that they deserve, but to also raise awareness for the communities around us. 

 

We had the great opportunity to collaborate with 3 extremely talented creatives to create our Awesome Pride Pack, but keep your eyes peeled, all isn’t revealed just yet for those. In this post we’ve had the chance to get to know the wonderful Karl Bradshaw a little bit more, and find out some top tips on starting your own business and his view on Pride.

 

 

Who are you and what do you do?

 

My name is Karl Bradshaw (pronouns he/him), I’m a graphic designer/artist/illustrator from Leeds. I work part time as an in-house greetings card designer as well as offering freelance design services for surface pattern, kids book illustration, branding and product design.

 

 

 

 

How and when did your creative journey begin? 

 

My career officially began 10 years ago but for as long as I can remember I’ve loved Art. One of my most prominent early memories is of a time in primary school when I was asked to walk around assembly and show all the other pupils one of my paintings. I was so embarrassed but the other kids seemed to be impressed and I thought “I guess this is my thing”. I stuck at it ever since and while I didn’t know exactly what my career would look like there was never any doubt that it would involve art in some way.

 

What made you want to start your own business? 

 

I’ve always dreamt of having my own brand, I have a vision for how I’d design just about anything, whether its cards, homeware, clothing, stationery, I just love variety, I never want to be stuck in a box and having my own brand gives me the chance to do it all. Haus of KB is still very new but I’m super excited about the future of it!

 

 

 

What equipment is vital for your business? 

 

I love to experiment with mixed media within my work so I have a studio full of paint and inks and old school art materials but the two pieces of equipment I need above all else are my iMac and Wacom tablet (oh and a creative cloud subscription). 

 

 

What would you say has been your greatest achievement since starting your own business? 

 

Launching my first small collection of products was a huge achievement. I’m a total houseplant addict and really wanted to design my own fabric planters. It was super important to me for the products to be handmade, however sewing isn’t one of my strengths so it made me very happy to be able to support another talented local maker (@madeoncecreations) in producing them. Together, myself and Stella were able to plan the collection down to the last cm of fabric making the collection as sustainable and low waste as possible. I couldn’t be happier with how they turned out and the fact they’re completely original, limited edition designs makes them even more special. There are just a few of each size left on my website if you want to check them out! www.hausofkb.com

 

 

 

What’s your favourite project that you’ve worked on? 

 

Last year around the start of the pandemic was obviously a tough time for everyone, many creatives I knew were facing redundancy, furlough, an unstable period for freelance work or even just isolation working from home. I decided to ask around on Instagram to put together a group of designers for a print swap project in which each person would be secretly assigned another to create a print for. There was no strict brief, just to create something that would brighten that person’s day when they received the surprise print in the post. 20 designers got involved and it was a lovely collaborative project to temporarily distract from what was going on around the world. Upon completion we offered the full collection of designs for sale as postcards raising £600 for the charity Mind. 

 

 

 

Are there any other makers that you look up to / gain inspiration from? 

 

Oh just SO many, the industry I’ve worked in for the past 10 years is absolutely bursting with creative talent, I’m constantly inspired by my friends and colleagues. Someone I look up to more specifically related to my new business would be Matthew Williamson, I’ve always had a passion for interior design so combining that with my print and pattern design and expanding my homeware collection is the dream.

 

What would be your dream project? If you could work with anyone, anywhere in the world.

 

I’d love to see my designs used on clothing too. Brands like Lucy and Yak would be amazing to work with, I love that their clothing can be worn by anyone, they’re super inclusive, ethical and I believe the creators are also from up north!

 

If you could give any other people any tips for starting your own business what would they be? 

 

My best advice would probably be “don’t be afraid to ask for help“. Chances are there’s someone out there who’s done something similar or has different skills and expertise to you. Creatives especially, I find, are always happy to help and lift others up, you don’t have to figure it all out on your own.

 

How do you feel to be a part of the LGBTQ+ Community? 

 

Would it be too cliche to say PROUD? Growing up as a queer person can be isolating, but finding your tribe and knowing there’s a huge community of people who share similar experiences there to support you means everything, I’m very proud to be a part of that.

 

Why is pride important to you?

 

Pride is important because it’s a celebration of our differences, a safe space for self-expression where everyone can feel accepted and supported. It acknowledges how far we’ve come, but also serves as a reminder that we shouldn’t take for granted the rights previous generations had to fight for.

 

What is Awesome to you?

 

Pride. Creativity. Yoga. Plants. Self Care. Supporting small businesses. All things Good, Gay and Green. ✌🏼💚

 

Happy Pride everyone!

 

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