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Sunday, 28 May 2017

Meet eco-friendly illustrator Tasha from Dirty Work

I love Dirty Work, from the tongue in cheek slogans to the beautifully intricate illustrations that go with them, Dirty Work are a great brand if you're wanting something just that little bit different. But what's even better, is that, at the heart of this brand are a strong set of ethics, so I caught up with founder Tasha, and had a chat about the brand, the environment and advice to anyone wanting to start out in business.

Q. Tell us a bit about Dirty Work

I’m Tasha the founder of Dirty Work, based just outside Cambridge in a fairly boring town where nothing much ever happens. At the moment it’s just me! I started out as a product designer for a party company, then as a jewellery designer – which were both fantastic jobs, but illustration is where my heart lies. I’ve always wanted to have full creative reign which is why I started my own illustration business: now I can be as quirky, weird and farfetched as I like.

Q. What makes your homewares and phone accessories different?

One thing that really made it difficult working for other companies is that they never shared the same ethics as me and weren’t concerned with the enormous amounts of plastic waste they were producing. I wanted to create really fabulous products for your home that don’t exploit people, but also aren’t ‘throw away’, filling up landfills with stuff that is temporary.

My designs are inspired by so many things: I love old movies, vintage postcards, art galleries and I own every edition of vogue since 2008. I’m always jotting things down or waking up at midnight with an ‘ah-ha’ moment.

Q. The environment is obviously at the heart of your brand, how important was that to you when setting up your business?
It’s a lot more time consuming to create products that are eco-friendly. It takes dedication to find the right suppliers use, it makes the process worth is when you find someone that knows their craft. I can then combine their skills and knowledge with my illustrations to create something wonderful. I put a hell of a lot of effort into sourcing and making sure all my packaging is eco-friendly.

Of course I abide by the same ethics in my office always recycling etc. That’s something a lot of people don’t realise big companies just don’t do. I know a lot of people don’t have time to search for hours on the web sourcing eco-friendly and ethical products, which is why independent suppliers and places like are so great – it takes the hard work out.

Q. You have some really funny tongue in cheek designs, where do you find your inspiration?

I like to keep things light hearted. I love drawing and creating pretty floral illustrations and enjoy juxtaposing them with a smattering of swears and funny phrases. Everything I make I would use, and all the phrases are things I say – I guess you could say I’m a little eccentric, or maybe that I swear like a sailor.

Q. How hard is it for illustrators to turn their passion into a business? And what would you one piece of advice be to anyone thinking about starting up?

Starting your own business will be the hardest things you ever do. But if you love it, it will also be the best. I’m still at the very beginning of my journey, but if I could give advice to someone else starting out I’d say it’s going to be hard, real hard – some days you may feel like putting your face through a wall. But you must never, ever give up – and that is why in the end you’ll succeed.

To see more of Tasha's work or to shop the collection CLICK HERE

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