Behind the Illustration | Love, Hope & Freedom
We’re delighted to have unveiled our brand-new collection Love, Hope & Freedom in partnership with Falmouth University and UK anti-slavery charity Unseen.
For every candle sold from this special collection, we’re donating £1 to Unseen to support the inspiring work that they do to eradicate modern slavery and help those whose lives are affected. We are proud to be working in partnership with Unseen towards a world without slavery and an end to child exploitation.
We tasked third-year BA (Hons) Illustration students from Falmouth University to design labels for this limited-edition collection embodying the simplicity of St. Eval and symbolic of the important charity connection. We were blown away by the talent and creativity shown by all the entrants, but one student in particular stood out to us and we felt that their designs were perfect for this special collection.
The Winning Illustrator
22-year-old Francesca is from Bergamo in the North of Italy, and she moved to the UK when she was 17 to study illustration. Fascinated with drawing and art from a young age, Francesca has just graduated from Falmouth University and is working at turning her creative practice into a profession and her designs, with their minimal and elegant illustrations, perfectly encapsulated the theme and charity connection in a fun and vibrant way. We spoke to Francesca to find out a little bit more about her and her winning illustrations.
What was your first reaction to hearing about this project?
‘I thought that it could have been a great opportunity to test how my visual language would work with packaging design and I was also very motivated to take part in the project because of the collaboration with Unseen Charity. In fact, I always try to select my projects and commissions with the intention to put my artistic practice at service of good cause, to help people and the planet.’
These designs are truly stunning, can you talk us through some of the inspiration behind them?
‘Inspired by the minimal and elegant identity of the brand St. Eval, I decided to use symmetric compositions that convey balance and harmony. In order to represent the themes related to Unseen charity, I decided to use a symbolic approach that silently communicates the feeling of love, hope and freedom in a subtle and sophisticated way. My goal is to design decorative labels that carry interwoven messages, speaking to people’s heart, as I believe that art can reach souls and inspire to make positive changes.
I can talk a bit about the design for Hope, which is my favourite of the three. In my design the nettle grows in the adversity of a desert. From the plant blooms a white flower that has the shape of a hand reaching up, towards the sun. I envision hope as a tiny crack in the darkness, that allows a glimmer of light to reach us. This is why I decided to show three guiding stars in the background and the sun rising in the middle: because dawn is the transition from dark to light and represents a new beginning. The stars are positioned within a rainbow that has always been a symbol of hope and peace in war times. In the desert there is also a path, because the hand reaching up, asking for help, is the first step of a long path towards a real change.’
How did it feel when you found out your designs had been chosen as the winner?
‘I was in the studio, working late in the evening at my desk and I started receiving so many texts from my best friends telling me to check my emails. I took part in this project purely for the fun of trying packaging and enjoy the process of creating. I had no expectations, but I also truly believed in the potential of my designs, so it felt very rewarding to receive such a positive response from a brand like St. Eval. I am still very grateful for the opportunity and where it led to!’
With the talent that you’ve shown in these three designs we’re sure we’ll be hearing your name again in the years to come, what are your plans post-university?
‘I recently started working on collaborative hand painted murals in collaboration with one of my best friends and illustrator Ioana Sabau. I am really enjoying this niche area of advertising, so I am aiming to find more opportunities for us to paint large scale artwork addressed at sharing awareness about different topics and help sustainable companies grow. I am also working at a packaging design portfolio as I would like to work in this area of illustration, creating designs for brands with solid core missions and values. But I will be working from Spain, as I will move to Madrid in September. I think that this big creative city will help me find connections and inspire me to structure my art career.’
You can find Francesca's beautiful designs showcased on our Love, Hope Freedom collection, available to shop here.