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From Boats to Butterflies: multi-talented Nicola Corrigan is in the spotlight

By in Interviews


Nicola Corrigan is a designer, maker and illustrator working in both decorative and illustrative arts. See more of Nicola’s work at:

Being an artist

Please give us a few words of introduction about yourself

I am a designer/maker/illustrator. I produce designs for the textile, papergoods, ceramics, wallcoverings and packaging markets. I also produce a range of textile products and cards under my own name.

Dancing Butterflies by Nicola Corrigan


When did you decide to pursue art as a career?

I left college in 1983 and have worked as a designer, artist and maker ever since.

What training did you have?

Four years at arts chool… Portsmouth College of art (foundation) and Textile design at West Sussex College of Design. I also have a degree in English and creative writing from the Open University.

What has been the high point of your career so far?

I designed the Christmas packaging for Harrods.. this became the theme for the whole shop that Christmas. I have designed extensively for many other large companies including Elizabeth Arden, Estee Lauder and many others. I also ran a very successful design agency. On a different level, I have been very pleased to see my range of textile products and cards selling well!

General Questions

What’s your favourite quote?

My work is important enough

Babushka Ladies by Nicola Corrigan


Who is your favourite artist?


What are you aiming for?

Great success and personal happiness! I want my products to be produced sustainably and for my business to grow and be a national and international brand. I’d like a range of shops and to write books on art and design.

How will you get there?

Keep working, planning and growing…

Is anything holding you back?

I am very busy outside work and need to subcontract more.

You and art

What feelings or reactions do you hope to arouse in people who view your work? Are you ever surprised by reactions that you get?

My work is well received. People are surprised that I make and paint/illustrate too…

Cake Cherry by Nicola Corrigan


From start to finish, how long does it take for you to create your work?

Paintings and designs take one to two days. Products take one to three hours.

What music do you like to listen to when you work?

Normally radio four or retro music…

What are you working on next? Any future plans or projects in the pipeline that we should look out for?

Making products and producing a print range…

Being inspired by art

Who (living or dead) inspires you? and why?

Chagall, Picasso, Kandinsky, Constable, Monet and everyone…

What feelings, subjects or concepts inspire you as an artist?

Galleries, days out, holidays, walks, running, research, the sea, vintage shops, china and fabrics…

Artwork by Nicola Corrigan


What is your favourite work that you’ve produced so far and why?

A cake tile design (large painting ) I decided not to sell it but to produce it myself and keep it…

an artist’s advice

For those thinking about turning a passion for art into a career, could you give any advice?

Believe in yourself, it’s a great career…

Any tips on how to get your work seen and get the commissions coming in?

Promote yourself, go to events, be creative.

Summer Flowers by Nicola Corrigan


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