Grad Spotlight: Abigail and Chloe Baldwin

Twin sisters Abigail and Chloe Baldwin graduated from University of Leeds earlier this year, and have since collaborated on numerous personal projects under the name Buttercrumble.

At a time of growth, personal development and new beginnings, we caught up with Buttercrumble for our latest Grad Spotlight feature to find out what they’re working on next.


Tell us a little bit about your career so far – what is your background?

Whilst studying at school in my hometown of Scarborough, Chloe (my twin sister) and I, began sharing our illustrations online. This is where our career started. As our work improved, we realised we could earn a living from being creative. Our love for art and design continued to grow and in 2013, we decided a degree in Graphic & Communication Design at the University of Leeds would be the perfect fit for us.

Whilst studying, we both found jobs at creative agencies. This gave us confidence, valuable experience and the skills we required for working on our business, Buttercrumble. Applying for these jobs were the best decisions we made at university.

What aspect of your design course have you most enjoyed?

Watching the quality of our work improve over the three years. The tutors at university push you hard and it can be challenging at times. You may have moments where you think “have I chosen the right path?” However, when we look back, there is unbelievable growth in our skills. It makes the three years worth it and we wouldn’t have had it any other way.

Your work features a lot of colour and faces  – where do you get your ideas from?

Our childlike love for drawing has never left! We were (and still are) huge Disney fans, so Mary Blair’s illustration has to be one of our biggest influences. We are in love with the characters she produced for Disneyland’s ‘It’s a Small World’. The colours we work with are often inspired by mid-century ephemera as we are mad about anything vintage, retro or kitsch.

Once an idea has sparked a light in our minds, we begin sketching. The only limit is our imagination!

How would you describe your working process? What materials do you most enjoy working with?

Once an idea has sparked a light in our minds, we begin sketching. Sketches can be quite loose at this stage, but this is where the idea can be developed creatively. We then usually work digitally to bring the sketch to life. Adobe Illustrator allows us to make bold distinctive shapes which then form the characters, buildings, animals and objects in our illustrations. The only limit is our imagination!

Who are your creative heroes?

Orla Kiely is one of our favourite designers. Her simple bold prints look fabulous on clothing, handbags, homeware, stationery and anything else you can think of. This is the beauty of well-designed surface pattern. Orla Kiely is not only a brilliant designer, but a successful business woman. The ability to be enterprising is an important skill for all creatives.

Do you like to travel or visit new cities for inspiration?

We love to explore. Taking a break from the computer screen and wandering outdoors can always boost creativity. The UK has many creative cities to visit such as our current location, Leeds. We are soon to travel to Spain and will be carrying our cameras and sketchbooks in the suitcase. It’s so exciting to feast our eyes on new scenery and soak up all the inspiration.

Are you excited about the future? What are you going to be working on over the Summer?

We graduated in July and since then we have continued working. We were so enthusiastic to get cracking! Chloe is currently a designer at a paper-crafting company and I am working at a Leeds-based digital marketing agency. We have also been teaming up on some personal design projects for Buttercrumble. This is a time of growth, personal development and new beginnings. Watch this space!

Where do you see your work taking you in the next decade?  What kind of projects, collaborations, experiences do you hope to cultivate for yourself?

The Buttercrumble ethos is to produce illustration that makes us smile, you smile and hopefully everyone else smile too! This is something we strive to continue cultivating. We’d love to have our own illustrated product range one day. Each day brings more news and we can’t wait to see what is waiting for us around the corner.




Posted on Sep 2nd, 16 by | Twitter: @lisahassell

Founder & director of Inkygoodness, Lisa is a published writer and arts journalist, focusing on creative business, graphic art and illustration and design education. Her words regularly appear in Computer Arts, Creative Bloq, Digital Arts and IdN.

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