Previously a curator of contemporary art more used to working with Turner-prize winning artists than holding the paintbrush herself, Caroline Kent is the illustrator behind beautiful stationery brand, Scribble & Daub.
Working with a traditional dip pen and vibrant coloured inks, her distinctive designs have featured on the pages of Vogue and The World of Interiors among others. She has created work for leading luxury fashion, beauty and lifestyle brands including Hermes, Selfridges and Mr & Mrs Smith, and collaborated on collections with two of Britain’s most famous and beautiful gardens, Charleston House & Great Dixter. Her own garden & wild flower meadow in deepest rural Sussex recently featured on the pages of the New York Times.
We are so excited to launch our collaboration with Caroline so we thought it would be lovely to sit down over a virtual coffee and catch up.
(Portrait image - David Fernandez)
What was the inspiration behind creating this collaboration?
Beautiful line drawings and flowers by Matisse and Picasso were a starting point, and while flowers are always a treat to draw, I was keen to explore the simple, hand drawn lines of Icelandic poppies and roses - nothing too exuberant and in an idiosyncratic colour palette. Muted tones came via Winifred Nicholson who is a family relation of co-founder, Freya Nicholson.
A lot of ‘life’ happens in the Scribble & Daub meadow? How does it all fit together?
Having a child helped me find my way back to my own childhood love of drawing, and I sometimes wonder if I hadn’t had a baby and had felt a need to find a new and more flexible way of working, would Scribble & Daub even exist at all?
So it started as something I could grow around the children and which would allow me to be the main carer (as my mother was to me). Things have shifted in the past few years and now my husband does the valuable work of looking after the kids, the house and helping with my business.
My children see me at work in the studio and entirely accept that I can be a mother to them whilst running a business; their pride and excitement about what I do is really precious to me.
What is it like to be the mother of 3 boys?
(Laughs) This year has been a particularly bad year for the bulbs, there’s been a lot of trampling of them in my meadow.
Actually, it’s so predictable being told that with three boys, I must have my hands full because these stereotypes are just as damaging as the ones girls have to endure. My eldest, Arlo was the gentlest, easiest baby and still is. Everyone who visits ends up trampling on something.
And I have to accept there will be breakages and to find the middle ground. There is a path which runs through the middle which the boys take care to use most of the time.
Being a mother is without doubt the best and yet hardest thing I’ve ever done. I am also aware that despite its challenges, it’s also a huge privilege. It’s a constant lesson in what to let go of and what to hold on tight to. I still try to keep hold of things that matter to me – which is possibly why, every autumn, without fail, I still plant hundreds and hundreds of bulbs in the meadow.
Which is your favourite Plum & Ashby scent?
The fireside embers candle is wonderful.
Follow Caroline's Instagram account to see more of her inspirational work
Shop the collaboration here.