London Artists Ep. 3 - Charlotte Berridge
Updated: Sep 28, 2021
"London Artists" is Within London's series of interviews with the capital's most effervescent, fascinating, and passionate creatives. Let's get to know their captivating personalities while exploring the greatest city in the universe through their life stories. Ready? This episode is all about Charlotte, owner of Charlotte Berridge Studio. Over to you, Charlotte!
Who are you?
I’m Charlotte, an Ealing-based designer & illustrator. I launched my business 5 years ago creating illustrated prints, cards, tea towels, and mugs of West London landmarks. I started by illustrating Ealing (my home) and have gradually added more areas of West London as my business has grown.
All my prints and products feature places not far from my home so they are places I love and know well. It’s wonderful that so many other residents feel such a connection to the area we live in, too. People have rediscovered their local areas throughout the various lockdowns and I believe that sense of community and belonging is now stronger than ever.
I’m possibly best known for my illustrations of historic pubs. People always have great memories to share about dates, birthdays, and events they have celebrated in each of them. We are luckily spoilt for choice when it comes to great local pubs and for me, researching both the inside and the outside of each pub makes each print even more fun to produce!
Life story in a nutshell
Born in Northamptonshire, teenage years in Suffolk, studied Graphic Design in Bath, and forged my career in London. Reached the top of my game as Creative Director of Marie Claire UK but took a career break & decided not to go back but to reset my life with a lot less stress and a much healthier work/life balance.
What’s your first memory of London?
I remember coming to London, probably once or twice a year for a big day out & clothes shopping with my mum.
When have you decided London is the place to be? (Why here?)
I moved here after uni even before I got offered a job as knew it was the best place for me to find the job of my dreams.
What are the 3 worst & 3 best things about London?
1. Culture - Art Galleries & Museums.
2. Green spaces - so many fabulous parks.
3. Multiculturalism - The diversity of residents makes it a culturally rich place to live (eg. so many fantastic restaurants!).
1. So many identical housing blocks going up in all parts of London at the moment erroding its rich architectural heritage.
2. No affordable homes so generations of families are being pushed further & further out of the centre of the city. Sadly the high cost of living is driving true Londoners out.
3. Not enough schools, hospitals & services to cater to the boom in building development mentioned in point 1.
What makes London so special for you?
Anything is possible.
Do you love living in London? Why?
Absolutely! Everything I could possibly want or need is practically on my doorstep.
Have you ever considered leaving London?
What do you absolutely love about London?
I love how London is broken up into little areas, or villages as I like to refer to them, giving a unique feel to each area. I also love being swept up in the history of its historic landmarks.
Your personal favourite London hidden gems (top 3)
1. Pitzhanger Manor in Walpole Park - practically on my doorstep, the manor underwent an amazing lottery-funded renovation and reopened in 2019. It’s certainly the jewel in Ealing’s crown.
2. The Thames Path - my favourite walks in London are always along the Thames
3. Chiswick House & Gardens - another local gem, inspiring views, and beautiful follies at every turn.
What makes you tick?
I love nothing more than an urban ramble around London, deciding whether to turn left or right and stumbling across hidden parks or discovering buildings I’ve never seen before. Then heading to a lovely old pub to chat about what we have seen.
What do you do and why?
West London is my home & inspiration so I love illustrating the places I know & love, to share with fellow locals. My most popular prints feature our historic pubs. I have over 150 illustrated pubs in my collection so far and love researching each one (inside & out 😉) My work features Acton, Brentford, Ealing, Chiswick, Hammersmith, Hanwell, Kew, Northfields, Richmond, and Twickenham.
Can you share a few creative life hacks with our readers?
Be original, don’t copy other people's ideas. Take a while to experiment & find your style before deciding what direction you want to take. It’s a good idea to specialise in one thing so people remember you for that, not a business that is a bit of one thing & another.
Your main 5-10 inspiring sources, activities, books, bands, museums everyone should know about
1. Kew Gardens - my favourite escape from the city to marvel at the wonder of nature. A place for all seasons 💕🌳
2. V&A - Definitely my #1 museum in London. So many inspiring exhibits and the Dior Exhibition in 2019 was absolutely my favourite exhibition ever - I went 5 times! I chose different floors & galleries to browse each time I go. There is so much to see. I’m a member, so enjoy hanging out in the exclusive member's room where, I must add, the cocktails are amazing!
3. Tate Modern - is directly behind the building I used to work in so on the rare occasions I’d take a lunch break just wandering around the latest exhibition or even browsing in the book shop would help to refresh my creativity.
4. Tate Britain - although often labeled as “chocolate boxy” I do love the impressionists and always take a peek at John Singer Sargent’s Carnation, Lily, Lily, Rose. It was one of my mum’s favourites and the impressionists were really how she introduced me to art galleries.
5. Sunbury Antiques Market - Get up early on Tuesdays to head out to Kempton Racecourse, not just for a bargain but to be inspired by the huge collections of antiques & bric-a-brac.
6. A little different to the above: a book - Dr. Seuss, "Oh the places you'll go." I was a latecomer to Dr. Seuss but this book is particularly special to me & my sister and has often helped us on the rollercoaster of life.
What advice would you give to your 18-year-old self?
Don’t worry so much about what people think of you.
What does "supporting local" mean to you?
What makes a difference to your community, wherever you live, is the small local businesses and independents. Hunt out the quirky coffee shop, buy from the local gift shop and drink in the independent pub. Spending your money within your community helps to make it flourish and gives it the unique identity to makes it special.
I’m a supporter of the #justacard campaign. A grassroots campaign to encourage people to buy from Designers, Makers, Independent Galleries & Shops. All purchases, however small, even 'JUST A CARD' are so vital to the prosperity & survival of small businesses. When you buy from a designer/maker, know that each item has been created with "love."
How to get in touch with Charlotte:
Website - www.charlotteberridge.com
Instagram - charlotte.berridge_studio
Facebook - Charlotte Berridge Studio
Twitter - CBerridgeStudio
*All the photos in this article were provided by Charlotte. (Thank you, Charlotte! 🤗)
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