Next up in our Remarkable Women series, we had a chat with Judith P Raynault, Graphic Designer & Illustrator.
During lockdown Raynault featured a Birdsong dress in her illustration ‘Sweet Summer Lovin’’. Now, years later we're delighted to be transforming it into a T-shirt, with another exclusive Birdsong x JPR T-shirt alongside it.
What are you working on currently?
I split my time between my graphic design work and my illustration work, so I usually have multiple projects going on at the same time. At the moment I'm putting more energy into selling my prints through my online shop and at markets. It's been a side hustle so far but I'd like it to have more of an equal partnership with the other things I do! I'm a member of Crafty Fox Market and they recently introduced a mentorship program, so I now have a lovely mentor to help me bring my shop to the next level.
I always have an illustration going on, which I work on first thing in the morning while I'm having my coffee. I illustrate on an iPad so it's easy to drink and draw.
What are the main inspirations for your work?
My illustrations are inspired by great storytelling in all its forms, be it books, podcasts or images. I use those inspirations to inform the storytelling within my illustrations, as well as some elements in it. I also literally draw books that I love, just to make people discover them.
I started a series called 'Women I Admire' a few years ago, in which I draw various women I admire (some famous and some less so). I've now extended it to non-binary people as well. My current 'Women Reading' series is kind of a mix of all my inspirations, as the characters are all reading female authors.
What fills you with optimism?
The resilience of nature. There's this tree in my local park that has all of its leaves completely eaten by caterpillars every spring. But by mid-summer the leaves have grown back. Every time I see it, it gives me hope that what seemed desperate can be fine again.
What is the best professional advice you've been given?
Work out what your definition of success is, and don't get distracted by what others are doing. Also, don't undersell yourself (I’m still working on that one).
What do you love about Birdsong?
The fact that there's a lot of emphasis put on the people who make your clothes, and that they are paid fairly. It's amazing that you're using sustainable fabrics and that you don't over-produce, but real sustainability comes with financial security for everybody involved.
How do you try to live and shop more sustainably?
I try to cut as much plastic out of my life as I can, be it in clothes or objects. It's pretty much impossible to do so with food packaging though!