We caught up with designer Carolyn Gavin, one half of the brother and sister duo behind eco-friendly company Ecojot. Here’s what she has to say about flowers, plastic and kids’ books.
1. How would you describe your work to someone who hasn’t seen it before?
Happy, joyful, colourful with a twist of fun and the unexpected.
2. Which book illustrations have stayed with you from childhood/influenced you?
I adored Roger DuVoisin especially Petunia. Richard Scarry, Dick Bruna and Brian Wildsmith.
3. Flowers feature a lot in your work. If you could be a flower what would you be?
That’s a difficult one but I would choose to be a Poppy.
4. Describe your perfect day.
A perfect day is the sun shining on me, feeling healthy and strong, creating beautiful work that I’m happy with and realizing that I have such beauty and love all around me.
5. What’s the best thing about being creative for a living?
At the moment I love making creative decisions about my life and being in the drivers seat. I’m so lucky to be doing what I love.
6. You studied as a graphic designer; do you think graphic designers should be more environmentally aware?
I would say so yes, and learning about the most sustainable materials out there right now is important, especially if you’re doing package design.
Let’s try and get away from all this plastic!
7. Your company Ecojot uses paper that is 100% post consumer recycled. Do you know what it did in its previous life?
I believe it’s paper waste from household and office environments… so paper, newsprint, cardboard, cereal boxes, packaging etc…
8. How can people help build towards a sustainable future for the design industry?
I think using recyclable materials is important and trying to get manufacturing to be local and not shipped out all over the world.
Also using materials that are sustainable is important and knowing what’s new and possible, to make a difference.
9. What type of artwork do you have hanging in your home?
We have a mix of local Canadian art (Jeffrey Harrison, Julia MacNeely) and some of my paintings. I also love textiles and fabrics from around the world, so Indian kantha cloth curtains, kelims, Mexican otomi embroidery and Belizean and Mayan woven blankets… African baskets and carvings… etc.
10. Do you see your designs moving beyond stationery in the future?
I design a lot more than stationery… fabrics for Windham textiles, colouring books, packaging for Swedish Candy, homewares etc. I would love to do wallpaper and bedding.
Chloë Owens and Catherine Wells