Artist Spotlight … Lauren Childs, of Dinky Rouge, illustrator & surface pattern designer

Experienced greeting card designer and illustrator, Lauren Childs took the plunge to go freelance at the end of 2018; and as a result is now experiencing a better work-life balance and more creative control over her artwork. What’s more, every day she now gets to enjoy the company of her moggie and a wonderful mountain view from her home studio in Wales.

Tell us more about who you are and what you do?

I’m Lauren and I am an illustrator and surface pattern designer working under the studio name Dinky Rouge. I left my job as a Greetings Designer in November 2018 to go freelance. I work from my home studio just outside of Cardiff. I’m a Wife, Mum to an amazing Boy and I have a beautiful moggie who keeps me company when I work. I went freelance for a better work-life balance and to have more creative control over my work. I absolutely love to create quirky and whimsical characters for greetings and surface pattern designs and I’m an aspiring children’s book illustrator.

Lauren – a self portrait

How do you like to create, what’s your favourite medium to use and your normal working method?

I usually start with a pencil sketch and then I scan this in to the computer and work it up in Photoshop. I create my own handmade textures with pencil, pen and ink to incorporate with my designs. I’m really comfortable working in any style and love to experiment with traditional media when time allows.

Lauren’s working environment, which includes a fabulous mountain view and the company of her moggie

My studio is currently a work in progress as it doubles up as a guest room. It’s such a cosy space though and I have a beautiful mountain view and there’s lots of natural light. I always have the sketches I’m working on pinned up around me

What design trends are you seeing that you are excited about and think suit your style of work?

I’m really excited that larger companies are starting to consider the environment and paving the way to create more eco-friendly cards and packaging. This combined with the handmade / hand-finished trend is resulting in some really beautiful products that are greener and often high quality. I love that this pushes designers and publishers to be even more creative in their design approach.

Probably an impossible question, but what is the most favourite card design you have created in recent years?

My most favourite card design will always be a Santa I designed that was picked by Tesco. He was originally designed for something else and had these awesome check trousers but they weren’t deemed commercial. He sold so well that he was commissioned again the next year in different poses. He then sold again to Wilko a few years later. As a greetings designer you usually have to be able to work in many styles and this can be a lot of fun. But this Santa was truly my style and I’m so proud that he made it into the shops! I also had my first designs in Waitrose last year, including a cute penguin wrap.

Lauren’s Santa design that just keeps giving.
Lauren’s penguin wrap design for Waitrose

Finally what would be your dream card brief / project?

I would absolutely love to create a range of die-cut 3D Character cards. I loved creating 3D cards in-house and I haven’t yet had the opportunity to do this since going freelance. I might be exploring this option with my own Christmas card range this year.

A 3D card design by Lauren for Tom Smith

Want to see or know more …

Want to view more examples of Lauren’s work, then take a look at her Instagram page or visit her website Dinky Rouge . Lauren’s greeting cards can also be seen and purchased on Thortful

Lauren is available for freelance commissions, she can be contacted on

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