Who are you?

I’m Cat Lawson a Scottish artist and illustrator. I studied fine art at the Glasgow School of Art and have worked in digital design for many years.

What does your business do?

I create quirky, vibrant and colourful cards and prints. My Thistle Kingdom Collection brings Scottish words to life in the form of colourful thistles. My Just Bee Collection features big fluffy bees and are positive, mindful bee cards and prints. As a fan of the environment and out bees I donate 10p from the sale of every card to the Bumblebee Conservation Trust.

Where are you based?

I am based from home in Glasgow’s West End, which is a creative hub and an inspirational place to live. I immigrated to Australia and returned after 2.5years in the land of sunshine. I love Glasgow and its culture, architecture and people. This is where I am most inspired to create and feel Scotland really wants to support its artists. I work from home at the moment to keep costs down and also because I recently got a wee rescue dog.

How did you get started?

When I went to GSA I wanted to be an illustrator. Fate conspired to send me in a different direction. Having worked in digital since 1998 as a web designer and more recently a User Experience (UX) Consultant last year I decided it was time to return to my original desire to make people smile with my artistic skills. I still work as a UX Consultant while I build the art side of my business as it will take me some time to become my main source of income. I work at home in a small one bedroom flat that is bursting at the seams with my prints and cards, with my pens, watercolours and iMac being central to everything I do!

What is your background?

I studied a BA (Hons) Fine Art Photography at Glasgow School of Art and graduated with a 2:1 and dissertation distinction. I then went on to study an MSc I.T. at University of Glasgow where I also graduated with a dissertation distinction. I worked at BBC Scotland as senior web designer for 5 years and then went on to run my first business as a photographer and web designer. I then went back into full time work as a web designer for Prudential and then NHS. I then emigrated to Australia where I worked as senior web designer for Curtin University, where with my team I redesigned their website and built a code framework from which it could grow. I then returned home to Scotland and worked as a Senior UX Designer for ACCA and then a UX Planner at Screenmedia. All of this experience has taught me a diverse range of skills which I apply to my new business.

What is your top tip?

Talk to people, get opinions, share ideas and take compliments when they come!

How long has your business been running?

Since Jan 2017

Has anyone helped you get started and how?

Jobs & Business Glasgow – Gail Connelly, Business Start-up Adviser, has been extremely supportive from the beginning and continues to help me on learning about how to be a business women. Job Centre – Danny Boland my workcoach was very supportive and directed me to various agencies for help. People Plus – Gordon Gardener was supportive and Business Gateway - Women into Business – Went to the monthly evening meetings – great to meet other women who are starting up – very supportive environment and good talks.

What was your first deal?

Owen Bisset (now Concept 65) a local gift boutique owner took a set of my prints.

What was your biggest mistake/or what would you do differently?

I’m fairly early into the business, but I think I could of been more brave and bold with regards to self publicity.

Where do you plan your business to be in five years time?

I would like to be creating my own illustrated children’s books and making my entire living from my art.

Useful contacts e.g. business emails, websites etc - entrepreneurial spark/Chamber of Commerce etc.

Women into Business – Business Gateway

Jobs and Business Glasgow

Glasgow Etsy team and Etsy.com seller handbook