We are sooooo excited to introduce the brilliant duo behind the colour-tastic designs by Fox and Velvet. The quick fire questions and artistic influences on this interview are particularly good!
Can you introduce yourselves for our readers?
We’re Mark & Suumin, two mid-century inspired artists who work together under the name Fox & Velvet.
Where is home for you at the moment?
We have lived in Liverpool for the past 5 years. We absolutely love it here, it’s such a vibrant and fun city.
Tell us about the process of creating your designs as Fox and Velvet? We’re really influenced by Mid Century design, so most of our ideas flow from there. We often follow themes with our work and like to create collections of our work - our city range, food range and abstract range are some of our biggest collections.
When did you first begin making and designing together?
We started after we went travelling for 12 months. We had quit our jobs before we left, but while we were away we had been inspired to start something for ourselves, so we thought we’d give it a try and started Fox & Velvet.
What are some of the thoughts or influences that are fuelling the direction of your current design work?
We are always looking to the design greats - mid century graphic design is our biggest influence, but we’re also hugely into retro kids books. Mark takes a lot of influence for his abstract art from the mid century colour field movement.
Do you have a studio? If so, can you describe it in 5 words?
We work from our home studio. It's currently in the middle of renovation so we don’t have any lovely pictures at the moment, but it’s a nice bright space which we’re going to fill with art (we have a bunch of favourite prints which will go up on the walls as soon as we’re done).
How are you dealing with the current lock down situation, any tricks to keep concentration or ways to unwind the mind?
It’s not been too disruptive for us as we already worked from home. There have been a few challenges with working along with a helpful toddler, but it’s actually been mostly great for our work/life balance. It’s definitely made us a bit more focussed on what is important, so we’re finally taking the time to start working on the things which we always hoped we’d do but never previously found the time for - Mark has been wanting to develop his abstract work more, and Suumin has always wanted to write and illustrate a kids book, so we’re giving a bit more time to both these things!
Who are your favourite inspirational artists, makers or thinkers and why?
Suumin: I’ve always loved Saul Bass and Paul Rand for the way they communicate ideas so strongly and so simply. I’ve also always adored mid-century kids books, and have a little collection of my own.
Mark: Mark Rothko, Ellsworth Kelly, and Jean-Michel Basquiat are some of my biggest influences.
What’s you in your glass or mug in the studio?
What’s the last book you read?
Our toddler loves reading so we read a lot of kids books - he discovered our vintage book stash a little while ago which we’ve really enjoyed exploring with him, but we’ve been able to add some beautiful new books to the collection too. At the moment we’re all enjoying ‘Carmela Full of Wishes’ by Matt de la Peña and illustrated by Christian Robinson - it’s absolutely gorgeous.
What’s your go to quick lunch? Sandwiches
Cats or dogs or both? Dogs
What is the best song to play to shake off your worries? Veracocha - Carte Blanche
If you had to choose between being able to eat cake or chips for the rest of your lives, which would it be? Chips