London Mum & star author Alice Tait reveals how the British Capital inspires her work
- Mums Tips
- Mumpreneurs & Mums at work
- Published on Thursday, 13 July 2017 11:05
- Last Updated on 12 July 2017
- Monica Costa
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I am honoured to share my chat with London Mum & star author Alice Tait who reveals how the British Capital inspires her work in this exclusive interview. She also has created a special logo for London Mums which we are using for three special issues. You can view the first one here.
Q: Where does the inspiration for your work come from?
Alice Tait (AT): I’ve kept social media at arm’s length for years, but since joining Instagram I’m hooked. After having my little boy, I’ve been working from home so that I can be a bit more flexible with my hours, but I truly miss being part of a creative workplace. Scrolling through Instagram feels a bit like being back in a buzzing, creative studio with everyone sharing their work and ideas, and the odd joke over a cup of coffee.
Q: What inspired your London pop-up book, No, Nancy, No??
AT: London was my first love – my Dad used to take us on car rides to Piccadilly Circus and I’ll never forget the awe and excitement of those adventures out city with him. It’s been a lot of fun to capture on paper that feeling of joy, vivacity and discovery that London can bring to a child – and even an adult! Also, my little sister Nancy was quite cheeky and I could not resist bringing her in on the act!
Q: What advice would you give to anyone wanting to become an illustrator and a writer?
AT: For every job I’ve had, there are ten rejection emails. I’d say that you have to develop a rhino-thick skin to survive in this industry, and the resilience to keep putting your work in front of the right people. I’m absolutely blessed to have a steady stream of work right now: in the last year I’ve worked for Walker Books, Penguin Books and Waitrose, and have an own branded product range, ‘Alice Tait London’, that sells in John Lewis. But to get to this level has taken a crazy amount of hours of work and sacrifices.
Q: How tough is it to enter the crowded children’s publishing world?
AT: Children’s publishing is famously tough to break into, so I’d really recommend getting an agent if you are serious about becoming a children’s writer. My wonderful agent, Stuart Cooper at Metrostar, approached me to ask if I’d considered writing a children’s book, and then once I’d produced a concept book for him, he personally secured me a contract with Walker Books, who were my number one choice to work with. I could not dream of having got in without him.
Q: You are a born-and-bred Londoner. What is your favourite part of the Capital? And your favourite attraction??
AT: It’s the street names that mean the most to me: growing up on Clancarty Road in Fulham, my best-ever job working for Hamleys on Regent Street, meeting my husband near Portobello Road and being proposed to in Hyde Park. If I had a favourite attraction it would have to be standing on the mighty Tower Bridge, looking down the Thames with the whole of old and new London laid out before you.
Q: If you were Mayor of London for the day what would you do first?
AT: Imagine if you had a day where instead of taking photos on phones everyone had to do drawings if they wanted to capture buildings, people, funny moments! You see things in a whole new light when you have to draw them, so it would help people see London in a different way. And lots of people would come away with some inspired little sketches, too…
Q: What are you up to next?
AT: I am just about to add some exciting new lines to my Alice Tait London range – I am most excited to be designing artwork for a sweet new umbrella!
Monica Costa founded London Mums in September 2006 after her son Diego’s birth together with a group of mothers who felt the need of meeting up regularly to share the challenges and joys of motherhood in metropolitan and multicultural London. London Mums is the FREE and independent peer support group for mums and mumpreneurs based in London https://londonmumsmagazine.com and you can connect on Twitter @londonmums