Conversations with Designers

CREATIVE SPOTLIGHT :: Jane Cumberbatch’s Pure Style Online

You know when you love something so much you want to share it with everyone so they can enjoy it too? That’s how I feel about Jane Cumberbatch’s Pure Style Online (and her books, too!) Jane’s talent for expressing simplicity through photos and words is unmatched — entering the Pure Style world is like going on a relaxing mini-vacation.

Jane Cumberbatch's Pure Style

In this and future installments of Conversations with Designers, I’ll be sitting down with various talented bloggers to find out a few tips and tricks of the trade. We can all use some encouragement and inspiration, right?

Jane was gracious enough to take time out of her busy schedule to answer a few questions on the topic, which I am thrilled to share with you today…

Pure Style Summer Garden - Jane Cumberbatch's Tips on Blogging

How long have you been blogging?
Jane: I’ve been blogging properly for 3 or 5 years, although I started my website in 2005.

How would you describe your blog to someone who’d never seen it?
Jane: My blog is like a kind of photographic and written notebook of the simpler things in life that inspire me, such as roses in the garden, a hand crafted piece of furniture or a wonderful fabric print.

My favourite Constance Spry rose - Jane Cumberbatch's Pure Style Online Tips on Blogging

Do you remember the first blog that really inspired you?
Jane: I can’t think of one particular blog that really inspired me, it’s more the excitement of being to take my own photographs and have the ability to create stories on online. An amazing leap for me, having worked behind a camera as a stylist for many years.

Jane Cumberbatch's Pure Style Online summer garden furniture - Pure Style Tips on Blogging

What are some blogs you read every week?
Jane: I have to say that I don’t really follow other blogs — just not enough time in the day as I’m also running my house as a location for shoots, and what with that working on my new book, walking dog, doing the laundry, etc, etc, etc…I do like catching up though on Remodelista.com for design ideas, and that’snotmyage is inspiring for an over fiftier like me!

Rose Petal Colour Band  from my new collection of wallpaper borders - Jane Cumberbatch Pure Style Online

What is one thing people might not know about your blogging journey?
Jane: Blogging has been a great way to engage with readers of my books. In the past before authors would only encounter readers at live events — now with blogging I get to engage with people from Swansea to Santiago!

What are your top three tips for other bloggers?
Jane: Be stick to your concept, keep your writing succinct, and be ruthless with editing your pictures — less is more!!

Thank you so much, Jane! Your work is so refreshing and it’s always a pleasure to see your latest.

Pure Style Online | Books | Shop | Blog

Babiekins Magazine, Conversations with Designers

CREATIVE SPOTLIGHT :: Gigi Rose Gray, the Artist Behind the Illustrations

This past year, I’ve experienced the incredible thrill of having my work illustrated. Since the illustrations are arranged by the publisher, I don’t see the art until long after it is completed — and I often don’t know anything about the artist who transforms my words into images. So I was especially delighted to see this interview with Gigi Rose Gray, whose tremendous illustrations appear alongside my childhood tale “The Egg Man” in the current print issue of Babiekins.

When I first saw the two pieces she drew for my story, I was in awe of how someone else could capture the essence of my childhood so well. How could she know what a little girl would see in another country? How could she know what it looked like through my young eyes?

The Egg Man in Babiekins Magazine - by Gina Munsey and illustrated by Gigi Rose Gray

It all made sense when I read what she said about her own childhood: “In Brittany I have memories of a towering armoire teeming with jars of homemade jams, walking along the ramparts of the medieval city. In Normandy I remember the ‘moules frites’ and fisherman hauling in their catch, witnessing a thief make his escape in Barcelona and galloping on horseback through the wild fields of Provence. My work has been strongly influenced by my childhood, as I remember it to be a time of wonderment and exploration which was no doubt largely thanks to my travels.”

How neat is that? This story was illustrated by someone who really gets it. That’s so awesome.

You can see more of her art on sale for a limited time here — and don’t miss the fantastic illustrations she did for another one of my stories here, here and here