Nikki, a seasoned card & stationery designer with experience both as an in-house designer and freelancer, shares her creative journey. Read on to find out why Nikki is head and shoulders above the majority of us!
Tell us more about who you are and what you do?
I am Nikki Golesworthy and after graduating from Leicester Polytechnic with a degree in Surface Pattern Design, have spent most of my career in the stationery industry. I have been a freelancer designer since finishing my degree and stayed on in Leicester as there seemed to be more going on and opportunities than in my pretty home region of Farnham/ Fleet on the Surrey/ Hampshire borders.
I have been creating greetings cards ever since for agents and direct with publishers. I have created many designs over time for Card Connection when they were still based in Farnham and also ranges for Statics, Second Nature, Noel Tatt to name but a few.
I have had a fab studio above the Leicester rooftops since 2000 on Leicester High Street, cold and Victorian, with floor to ceiling single glazed windows, but I love it!
Like many freelancers it’s been a bit of a portfolio career. Alongside sitting in my studio I worked for many years lecturing part time at De Montfort Uni, luckily a 10minute walk from the studio. I always loved working there, so many great students, so many fun memories. Love meeting ex-students in my current roles or on Instagram! Cut backs and redundancies put a stop to that twice though! I also worked as a Design Manager, commissioning art and creating ranges in a job share in Burton at Webb Ivory, sorting the Christmas stationery ranges for NSPCC, RSPB amongst other charities. Another fun job with lots of variety and I met so many lovely designers there. Redundancy loomed and the art dept closed.
Another string to my bow has been in-house designing and formatting in Bradford and living out of a suitcase! Many fun designs created at Tailormade for 8 years and more recently lots of formatting and designing at Hallmark HQ since 2014. Learnt lots about MACs and got my head around Illustrator to add to the Photoshop which I had always worked in since the late 2000s.
As another sideline in 2006 I started creating wedding stationery and along with my husband, Tom AKA MrTP, who joined the business in 2011, we have a busy small business called Tickled Pink Wedding Stationery. I design all the collections, we have over 30 now, I work out how to create them from card and we print and make them in-house. Very varied and I have learnt lots about weddings! I spend most Sundays in the spring and autumn at wedding fairs with MrTP. I love the hands-on direct to the general public design aspect, a much quicker response and I can see a design on sale in hours rather than months!
I have been meeting people in the stationery world for a while now, met so many lovely people. I am hard to miss at trade shows, I am the 6ft 2” one with curly hair! I am also the shortest in my house as kids1 & 2 are both taller than me. Kid1 is even curlier too and now doing her art and graphics ‘A’ levels and if I am honest far more talented than I have ever been (I have seen enough students over the years to see her skills!) and maybe her and her 15 year old brother are my best designs to date!
How do you like to create, what’s your favourite medium to use and your normal working method?
I was always a media based designer, loved experimenting with paints and techniques for applying them. LOVED free stitching with the sewing machine or by hand. Inks with salt, or baking and icing biscuits, lots of playing! Wasn’t happy being forced to learn Photoshop and missed my paint when the industry went that way, but now I LOVE Photoshop and Illustrator and creating using them and formatting my designs for cards or wrap repeats. Recently though it’s been lovely to go back to my roots as trends change again and dig out the inks and paints and create and then format them into artworks in Photoshop. So it’s nice to mix these skills again.
Probably an impossible question, but what is the most favourite card design you have created in recent years?
That’s too hard… I don’t have a set style, so I have many favourites. From most recent designs, I’m particularly fond of the ice lolly image and the Christmas gingerbread house.
Want to see or know more …
Nikki is available for commissions and can be contacted at