Step inside the studio and discover the magic behind our Liberty Christmas print; a menagerie of enchanted creatures from within our hallowed halls, who come alive at night from their wooden carvings to cause mischief throughout the store. Meticulously hand drawn by our very own designer, Ffion Griffith, the characterful prints accompany seven poems by young talent Gabrielle Djanogly, brought together in this year’s colouring book – Christmas at Liberty. Here, Ffion talks us through the creative process…
Christmas has always been my favourite time of year and I’m renowned amongst friends for being an absolute festive fanatic! I began drawing in early summer during the heatwave but relished the opportunity to feel Christmassy. There’s something so magical about the dark evenings, sparkly stars and the shared love and laughter of family and friends.
Bringing the charming Liberty carved animals to life was an absolute delight. Having frequently passed their watchful gaze on the third floor I had often imagined them becoming full of life and personality when the customers have left and the store’s doors are closed for the evening. Liberty is a particularly enchanting place to be during the festive season.
The process began by working with the talented poet Gabrielle Djanogly. We have a shared love of the animals and we thoroughly enjoyed the opportunity to envisage each one’s personality, from the cheeky monkey causing chaos with his glittery tail in the Christmas department, to the greedy yet lovable bear nibbling on the delicious Christmas treats in the Food Hall. As Gabrielle’s poems evolved so too did my sketchbooks of pen and ink drawings - capturing each animal’s movements and interactions around the Liberty store.
One of the most exciting parts of Christmas has to be the preparations and decorations to transform every home into a festive wonderland. I became totally absorbed in drawing more and more details from gingerbread men to snow globes, nutcrackers and strings of sparkling multicoloured lights. At my family home, we have always followed the motto “more is more” when it comes to festive decorations so this was a great inspiration.
Colouring prints is one of my most-treasured parts of the designing process. Breathing life into black and white line drawings is so very exciting and creating different looks which all embody a harmonious colour combination is something I find particularly rewarding.
I hope the animals and their Christmas escapades around the store will capture the hearts of even the most reluctant festive fans!