Tell me a little about The Key Print House and how you both came about working together.
Olly: We both met at university studying illustration at Falmouth, graduating in 2012. During our time there, we often spoke about working in a studio together as freelance illustrators. Over the next year we spent the time doing our own individual thing, trying to find work as freelance illustrators and I started a little business (setting up clocks made from recycled objects).
Josh: Then it got to last July and we decided that we were going to work together – initially beginning with greetings cards and the rest went from there.
Olly: Over the next year we spent the time doing our own individual thing, trying to find work as freelance illustrators and I started a little business (setting up clocks made from recycled objects).
The boat must be a pretty unique place to live and work. How did the residency begin there?
Olly: We both were looking at places to rent, and the boat seems like a viable option compared to houses. It’s a 50-foot long boat and 6 foot wide, so it’s just enough space to live on.
Josh: About six weeks ago we moved to Hertfordshire, as family and friends are based there plus it’s a stones throw from London. Travelling on the boat was like a little voyage, but we’d seen a lot more than if driving making it an interesting and tough journey!
How have you found the transition between graduated life from Falmouth to full-time working creatives? Has there been any surprise obstacles?
Olly: The business idea was a little unexpected. It’s quite a romantic idea sitting in a studio and working together to produce work; whilst you’re at university but quite different once you’re working in the real world.
Josh: Our course was quite good in terms of doing the business lectures. Learning about tax and invoicing is a little bit of a struggle so far, but we’re getting there!
Working and creating your prints, you then go on to sell them – who is your target audience and why?
Olly: That’s a tricky question to be honest! Josh’s work tends to lead itself towards children’s illustrations as it involves animals quite often but mine is typography. It doesn’t tend to fit within one target audience, as the two styles sit alongside each other with a different aesthetic. This is something we’re always discussing though, giving us direction for the future.
Tell us one thing about both of you that not many people know?
Olly: Marmalade and marmite together on toast is my favourite thing in the world!
Josh: And I’m not a fan of chocolate, and in any form either.
Not a fan of chocolate?! Christmas must be torture… Collaborating together in a team can have its highs and lows, what for you is the one motive and one distraction?
Josh: Theres no better motive to hanging out with your best friend, getting some pizzas and beers in and spending the evening printing. We spend a lot of time together, as we both live and work in the same place. But saying that there isn’t anyone else I can think of who I would be able to spend that much time with. Living together and working in the same studio however can get a bit much from time to time.
Olly: That’s not really a distraction though. We’re both fairly easygoing and not highly-strung. I guess our styles do sometimes work quite apart from each other and collaborating is always tricky, but we’re experimenting with bringing the two together.
Josh: We’re definitely becoming more sensitive of each others styles. The one main distinction between our work is the design part – it causes a few disagreements between the two of us.
The Key Print House in five words?
Design, craft, print, tea and boats!
If you were a famous print, what would you be and why?
Josh: That’s a really tricky question and one that even answering for each other, I’d get a little stuck on what to chose. There’s actually a stall on the other side of this hall, which is called ‘Telegramme Paper Company’ (an award winning design & illustration studio) who be both aspire to.
Olly: Also, gig posters are one of the main reasons why we wanted to get into screen-printing. I’m also a huge fan of old style signwriting.