I'm Rose, an award-winning graphic artist, living and working in London. Using pattern, texture and colour to create vibrant pop art portraits and murals, often featuring animals.
I trained in textile design at Chelsea University of the Arts (1st Class Hons) and for the past 15 years have worked on bespoke designs for personal, business and celebrity clients, as well as holding solo exhibitions in both the UK and Japan.
Whether I’m illustrating your much-cherished pet, painting a statement wall piece, or giving a workshop, I love bringing people joy and pleasure through my work and believe that art should be fun and accessible.
Producing portraits of both people and pets including my signature ‘Make my pet famous’ series. If you’re looking to celebrate your beloved pet and show how special they are, I can use your photos to create a custom artwork to enjoy for years and years to come.
All pieces are designed from my studio in North London and printed on brushed paper, canvas or cotton satin to the highest standard in the UK.
Design and paint large-scale murals for those wanting to completely transform a room, gallery or other space and stand out from the crowd. Past commissions have included commercial spaces such as a co-working space, bookshop, and 1920s-themed bar, or I can create a statement wall design for your home or office. A wonderful talking point to share with family, friends, or colleagues!
I love sharing my knowledge and have run workshops for the V&A, British Museum and Women’s Institute (WI) on topics from Mary Quant to making cards and colour theory.
If you want to learn, expand your skills and be inspired, I can put together a fun and entertaining workshop for you and your friends or colleagues.
If you’d like to discuss an idea for a fabulous new artwork or workshop please get in touch
If we're not connected on Instagram yet, say hello. You can also find me on Facebook and Twitter, too! And if you want the inside scoop, hear about the world through Rose Hill Designs tinted glasses. Most of the time, you’ll only hear from once a month and on a very odd occasion more if something is time-sensitive or important.
If you would like to read more please see an interview and photoshoot with Lapdog photo productions in June 2020. All photos below are taken by Dana Mendonca.
Q1: Can you tell us a little about your creative practice?
I love using pattern, texture, and zingy colours to create fun and vibrant portraits and murals that often feature animals.
My portraits are of both people and pets, including the ‘Make Your Pet Famous’ collection which celebrates clients’ beloved cats and dogs. I digitally hand draw each subject before adding multiple layers of geometric patterns and a bold and bright colour palette. Each design has at least ten layers and hundreds of separate elements; reflecting my passion for mixing modern technology with traditional craftsmanship. The designs are then printed onto brushed paper to give them a fabric-effect finish onto canvas for large portraits or cotton satin so they can be made into dresses or other fashion items.
Doting pet owners who’ve previously immortalised their pooch (or themselves!) on canvas include Sadie Frost, Robert Webb, and Charles Saatchi.
More recently, I’ve been going big, blowing up my designs into large-scale murals to completely transform rooms, galleries, and other spaces. Last year I painted a bookshelf-themed wall at a co-working space to enhance the environment and inspire the creatives working there.
Q2: Where do you get your inspiration from / What influences your work?
Art is everything and I really believe it can change the world in an accessible way. I love making people happy and bringing them joy and pleasure through my work. When you’re happy you are your best self, making you kinder, more successful, and making an impact on the world! It’s so much easier to do anything when you’re happy and have good relationships.
The best thing is seeing customers’ reactions to my designs after taking them on a creative journey from start to finish and giving them something they can enjoy for years to come.
Q3: Has the lockdown and the current social climate affected your creative practice?
Yes definitely! As an artist, I really wanted to do my bit to bring as much joy and happiness to everyone as I possibly could and thank our amazing frontline workers! Over the lockdown, I created a whole new series of work including free ‘stay at home’ posters for people to print off and put in their windows, a colouring version for parents to entertain their bored kids. And a step-by-step tutorial of a rainbow mural for people to try. Including a time-lapse of me painting it in my daughter’s room which she was thrilled about!
I also designed a collection of prints honouring frontline workers including our NHS heroes, posties, and delivery drivers for people to stick on their doors, windows, or bins to say a massive thank you. Some were downloadable for a donation to the NHS Charities Together charity and used in a ‘thank you’ music video that I collaborated on with the band Sowth. I’m delighted to say that so far it’s raised over £600.
Who knows what the future will bring but at the moment I’m aiming to focus on what I can do. With all this uncertainty, I think being adaptable and open to new ways of doing things will be key to making any business a success.
Q4: What are your plans for the future? / And any upcoming exhibitions, talks, or workshops.
Future plans are always fun to talk about, many were postponed because of lockdown but very exciting to say I will be creating a super cool geometric mural in my signature style covering the whole basement floor and staircase for Life Design London interior studio.
I'm fortunate enough to have a new commission from my number one supporter for a large family portrait that will combine 13 people, four pets, and all their favourite things including Hawaii, Glasgow skyline. Yoga, guitar, and everything 80s!
Keeping up to date with the times, I'll be teaching an art workshop with essential drawing techniques with the Women's Institute on 26th August and 29th September via Zoom so other students are welcome.
I'm really looking forward to a ‘Make Your Pet Famous’ exhibition on 26th September in Newcastle with The Aviary Art Gallery. Mixing both creative elements of Pet Portraits and murals. Bringing people together through the love of our pets: the human and animal bond. (unfortunately cancelled again due to COVID 19 restrictions)
Other plans include two Alice In Wonderland Workshops with the V&A Museum where you will learn the art of pattern design. (5th September 2020 workshop cancelled due to COVID 19)
Looking further ahead into Feb 2021, I'll be working with Amsmoon Youth Center, doing a series of mural workshops where we will be bringing colour to the streets of Morocco. (If we can travel again?)
And then there are discussions of more ‘Make Your Pet Famous’ exhibitions in Mayfair, London Bridge area, Germany, Monte Carlo, Japan, and Helsinki.
Q5. Is there something you've particularly missed during these three months? Something that you're really looking forward to doing next week as we emerge out of lockdown?
If anyone knows me they would say I’m such a social person and always busy with work, carving time out for my family, meeting friends, going to talks, networking events, and doing yoga but what I’ve truly loved about lockdown is the slower pace of life! Not always being on the go and knowing even more than ever before. What a workaholic I am!! Every evening I’ve worked even more than before, my husband is a butcher and out of the house by five am. So often he is in bed by10 pm-‘ish. I work until early hours into the morning every night. The lockdown has really made you look at life and given you space it came at the perfect time too. The space I mean, not the pandemic as don’t think there is ever a time for that! As I recently lost my dad – this is the exact year of his death, so the space to grieve has been invaluable!! Instead of missing stuff, I feel like I’ve gained something: more time with my daughter and husband and having real family quality time! More face times with my mum! More time to work and not feel like I’m missing out on things. Not feel pressured to be on the go and go to every invitation.
Q6. I know that in addition to having to adapt to the lockdown, you've also been dealing with a personal loss. Do you feel that your creative work has been transformed as a result?
It has affected my work in the sense of how much I work and my productivity. When my dad first passed away I threw myself into work as an escape and did job after job without a single day's break.
I went from painting two large bookshelf-themed murals at a co-working space, to painting 600 sustainable Christmas tree window display for Whistles, back to the Clean Prose co-working space for the grand opening, to doing my own ‘Make Your Pet Famous’ exhibition with a live mural painting with the V&A lates, auctioned a ‘Make Your Pet Famous’ artwork in Glasgow for Action Medical Research, auctioned off a life-size lion for charity, to numerous ‘Make Your Pet Famous’ artworks for Christmas presents and prepared a workshop for the V&A Museum in the new year, with more work between! I didn’t really see my husband and daughter or friends for months.
Then lockdown hit and I had space and it already came up to the year and the grief changed because I stopped running away from it and felt it!! It came tumbling down like a ton of dirt; my dad was in hospital for 8-weeks. Only ever sitting up twice. Having so many procedures, almost dying three times and every organ failing, when the start of those 8-weeks arrived my grief changed and instead of throwing myself into work I have been paralyzed by the grief and not able to work in the way I usually do! It’s a real struggle to work at the moment but hoping it will pass soon and I will enter another stage.
Q7: What advice would you share with other artists and creatives out there right now?
Now is a very tricky time and it’s very important to stay creative if you don’t have any projects on. I would 100% recommend that you continue to develop your practice, whether it’s building your portfolio or experimenting with things you’ve always wanted to do but didn’t have the time. Updating your website or creating a social media plan is another useful way to use your extra time or consider researching new leads or collaborations with other artists.
I once heard that when a girl gets a pencil in a developing country she breaks it in half and gives one part to her friend so they both have something to write or draw with. Isn’t that the most beautiful thing? Kindness is key and when we have so much to do it is so easy to forget that, if we can give back I think it’s such an incredible thing we can do!! Saying that, if you’re feeling all the pressures of everything that’s going on and you feel like that will be the straw that will break the camel’s back please don’t! Self-care is incredibly important at all times and especially in these uncertain times and please know everyone will be struggling with this in one way or another!!