In conversation with Rosy Nicholas

When illustrator Rosy Nicholas received the email from Jigsaw about a possible British summertime collaboration, it couldn’t have arrived at a better time. “The email came through while I was on the Isles of Scilly, a little cluster of islands off the coast of Cornwall, where I spent many a childhood holiday,” Rosy recalls, sitting in her shared studio in East London, the space around her like an Aladdin’s cave of colourful trinkets.


“That kind of informed the designs in the end. It was all about rain and shrimps.”
Shrimps? “Yes, people go shrimping there a lot.”

The result is a collection of playful prints on umbrellas and Pac a Macs, taking influence from the forever-changing British weather.

After graduating from Camberwell College of Arts, Rosy began working freelance across a range of fields including illustration, props and fashion. With a back catalogue of high profile clients such as Nike, Selfridges, Ace Hotel and Estée Lauder, she calls herself “a craft-based maker, but it all just depends on who’s asking.”


And shrimping is not the only unusual thing to inspire Rosy. Intrigued by her list of favourite things – operations on the telly, potatoes, worrying – we asked her to elaborate. Here goes…

Operations on telly – that’s weird….

“I just find it really interesting! I feel like in a past life I could’ve been a nurse, I’m not squeamish at all. Shows like 24 hours in A&E and One Born Every Minute, I love the gore. The Hunterian museum in London – a whole museum of jars of animals, organs and a couple of willies in there, perfect if you ever need a good date.

Drinking milk – full fat, cow’s or almond?

Love milk. Full fat; I’ve not taken to the milk revolution. I just love milk and I’ve really strong nails for it.


Dancing – to what?

Everything. My favourite night out is just dancing. I used to do a lot of dance when I was little. I did ballet, tap and jazz. I was a three-times-a-week dance class child. I used to do pantos at Christmas in Richmond Theatre!

Worrying – about what?

Love worrying. That’s what I spend most of my life doing. I’m such a worrier. I don’t know anyone who’s not creative who doesn’t think like that. I worry about my life, siblings, parents, work, where I’m going to dance next. I’m an awful decision maker. Maybe it’s something to do with freelancing as you’ve only yourself to blame. That’s why shared studios are always quite helpful because if you’re by yourself and you’re a freelancer, that can be a nightmare so it’s nice to have people around.

Dresses with pockets – what do you put in them?

Oh. My hands?!? I think it’s something to do with the 80’s and I love that pose. Old Vogue editorials where the women had a pair of killer trousers or dress on and you had to have the hands in. *Demonstrates hands in pockets pose *


Potatoes – roasted or boiled?

Chips! I often worry “do I prefer bread or potatoes”? That’s probably one of the hardest questions, if you said to me I could only have one. It would kill me to even think of what answer that would be. So basically a chip butty is my dream.

Boys – who?

Just boys. Who doesn’t like boys? I don’t know why I wrote that! Maybe I was single at the time. These are all good snippets of my life when I’ve said all these different parts.


A new summer collection to put a smile on your face.

Shop Rosy Nicholas collection.

You can find more of Rosy’s work here.

Author: Jigsaw

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