In this series, we're speaking to talented people with whom we've had the chance to collaborate. We hope you will join us in celebrating their work too!
When I was looking for an illustration for our first jigsaw puzzle, I had a pretty good idea of what I wanted. I wanted it to be modern, minimalist, and of course, inspired by travel. I'd been puzzling for a while by that point and, although I'm a keen puzzler, I'm not so drawn to the designs I could find out there. I longed for something a little different.
When I came across Aleksandra Saczewa's (founder of Alesa Designs) illustrations, I immediately fell in love. The lovely pastel colour palette and the minimalism evoked peace and calm; it made me feel relaxed. In the piece, Sunset Surf, I had found what I was looking for! Sure, it'd make a more challenging jigsaw, but the reward you'd get once completed would be well worth the effort. So I took the plunge and decided to go for it! I got in touch with Aleksandra, and she was really helpful and understood exactly what I was looking for.
Aleksandra creates beautiful prints, cards, and other designs inspired by nature, travels, and slow life on the Cornish coast. Her colour palette is gentle, using a lot of pastel shades. She loves when her work brings happiness, colour, and style to people's homes. She is also passionate about protecting the environment and conscious buying.
Naturally, I'm delighted to have collaborated with Aleksandra and I'm pleased to introduce her to you. Discover who she is with our little interview below, and make sure to check out her work.
RW: Hi, Aleksandra. Where do you call home?
AS: Even though I am originally from Poland, I call Cornwall my home. Right now, it is St Ives, but, in the future, I might change the place for a bit quieter town, though definitely still in Cornwall.
RW: How did you start your career as an illustrator?
AS: I started my career as an illustrator and graphic designer at the beginning of 2019 when I set up my Etsy shop. I graduated from Product Design and Fashion Design, but I always loved drawing and painting. It started off as a hobby, but more and more people were interested in buying my work, so I set up Etsy and joined some local markets.
RW: What inspires your illustrations?
AS: Most of my illustrations are inspired by a slow life on the Cornish Coast. But I love nature, so I get a lot of ideas on my coastal walks.
RW: Where can our readers find your work?
RW: What do you do to relax?
AS: Being around nature relaxes me, so a good walk in the woods or on the coastal path is perfect. I do enjoy a hot bath with essential oils and salts from time to time.
RW: What makes you happy?
AS: Spending time with my family and friends but also, as I mentioned before, any outdoor activities.
RW: What are your favorite eco-friendly travel products/brands?
AS: I always have my reusable rCup with me as I do love a good coffee or tea. I use an organic soap bar, which I always take with me in a wooden container. Something that I find very helpful is a bamboo fork/spoon, which is very small and saves any plastic cutlery when eating out.
RW: What was your craziest travel experience?
AS: When I was 18, my friend and I went hitchhiking from Poland to Barcelona. It took us 3 days, and we ended up on a campsite just outside Barcelona where we attended a festival for 3 days. We were absolutely exhausted after our travel but still managed to party for 72 hours straight. After that, we still had to hitchhike back home. When my dad picked me up from the train station (for the last bit of our travel we took the train to our hometown), he had to carry me to the car as I was barely walking and hallucinating from tiredness and lack of sleep, haha. Definitely worth it, though!
RW: If you could travel now, where would you go and why?
AS: I've always loved Italy, Sweden, Switzerland, and France, so probably somewhere there.
RW: Finally, are there any exciting new projects coming up for Alesa Designs?
AS: Yes! There is so much happening at the moment. I can’t share most of them, but working on some exciting products, commissions, and collaborations. So stay tuned!
RW: Thank you, Aleksandra!