Good Wives & Warriors
London-based illustrators Becky Bolton and Louise Chappell
How did Good Wives & Warriors come about?
We met studying painting at the Glasgow School of Art and became friends. After working together on a few different projects after we graduated, GWAW was officially started in 2007.
What is the story behind the company’s name?
We spent a long time trying to come up with a name, it really is one of the hardest things about starting a brand! In the end we decided on Good Wives and Warriors as it is the etymology of our names, Becky and Louise. Rebecca comes from the Hebrew meaning to be a good wife and Louise from Louis, the warrior king.
Can you talk us through your design process?
We work together on almost all commissions and usually start with a collecting a large amount of visual research. Mostly we then work by hand using pen, paint and in the case of the Orlebar Brown collection, Quink inks which give a great texture and flow to the linework. The artwork was then scanned and coloured using photoshop. We like using the mix of traditional drawing and painting with digital creative tools.
How do you divide the work between you?
We try to make sure that we contribute evenly to the initial drawing stage of any project and then divide up any computer work depending on studio workload.
Do you ever hide any secret messages in your illustrations?
Yes, we love to hide little things in paintings as jokes or private messages!
What is the biggest challenge you’ve faced professionally?
Each new job has its own set of unique challenges. We are lucky that we rarely have the same brief so all our work is quite different. Timing can often be a challenge as our work can be very detailed. We have created some very large-scale paintings on the side of buildings but we actually find that type of work quite easy!
Where is your favourite place your work has taken you and why?
We have been lucky to travel to lots of fun places with our work, mostly to make large-scale wall paintings. We made some large wall paintings in Brazil a few years ago which was amazing. We also worked on a series of wall paintings for a charity in Kathmandu which was a wonderful experience.
What do you always take with you when travelling?
Usually a selection of small paint brushes and our trusty black paint are the key items for any work trip abroad.
Colour or black and white?
Black and white is easier but colour can be more fun!
Sketchbook or MacBook?
Our favourite surface to work on is a massive wall but probably sketchbook over MacBook.
Seaside or poolside?
We do like to be beside the seaside. Especially the hot and sunny kind, though we did take a very enjoyable and bracing walk along the beach at Margate a few weeks ago!
We would love to hear from you.