Indie Designer Q&A: TeePee Creations

Published on: January 19, 2022

Meet TeePee Creations, one of the amazing independent designers working to create a brilliant range of cards for Funky Pigeon. This Valentine’s Day, Toni Pilling has put together a funny range of Galentine’s cards to celebrate the female friends in your life, as well as her usual Valentine’s Day cards aimed at couples. So, whether you’re looking for a cute card to send to your partner or celebrating being single with designs like ‘chicks before dicks’, you’re sure to find something that’ll make their day!

Introduce yourself…

Hi! I’m Toni Pilling, a designer originally from Bolton and now based in Bradford. As soon as I graduated university in 2017, I started my business from my Dad’s living room. I ran TeePee Creations alongside working as a Graphic Designer, building up my business any chance I got. In 2019, I left my job and now run my business full time from my own home studio. If you’re wondering where the name ‘TeePee Creations’ came from, back at school my nickname was TeePee, taken from the initials in my name.


What are the challenges you face as an independent artist? And the joys?

One of the main challenges I struggle with as a small business owner is the lack of social interaction as I am always alone in my home studio. This became even more apparent during lockdown.

However, I do have an amazing community on social media who I regularly talk with, and their support is one of the highlights of running a small business for me. Every like, comment, share and message means so much and really keeps me going.


Describe your typical work day…

I split my days into different job roles to ensure I work on every part of my small business. Monday is admin, Tuesday is designing, Wednesday is marketing, Thursday is research & development and Friday is a day I pick to work on what I want. My morning usually starts with a coffee then moves onto my specific days activities followed by making & packing orders, then lastly a trip to the post office to send everything off.


What sort of cards do you love to design?

My favourite cards to design are the ones on the cheeky side which are also relatable. I get my inspiration for these from my own life and love to make something that is a little naughtier than the norm.


How did you get into greeting card design?

I got into greeting card design whilst on a work placement during my Design for Industry course at Northumbria University. I learnt a lot about how to run a small business whilst there and was encouraged to start selling my own illustrations on print on demand sites. This placement was a huge contributing factor for starting TeePee Creations.


What’s your creative process?

My favourite place to sketch is normally away from my desk, snuggled up under a blanket on the sofa. I like to be comfy so I can get fully into the zone when drawing.

I design all my cards using Adobe Fresco and an iPad. I start each design using a pencil brush to create a template. I then go over this with digital vector brushes, layering up colours and shadows. This then gets brought into Adobe Illustrator on my iMac where I will do any final colour and text edits.


What do you like to do outside of work?

My favourite thing to do outside of working is mainly hanging out with friends, whether that be at the pub or just round at someone’s house, I just thrive when I am socialising with them.

I also love a quiet night in with my other half, we are both big gamers so spend a lot of time doing that together.


What are your favourite cards that you’ve designed & why?

My favourite cards that I have designed has got to be my Galentine’s collection especially my ‘V is for Vibrators’ one as I had fun creating something a bit naughtier. My single friends all love these cards as they find them super relatable.


Galentine’s and Valentine’s Day Cards from TeePee Creations!

Whether you’re sharing a romantic evening with your partner or celebrating single life with your gals, why not spread the love this Valentine’s Day? Explore the full range of Valentine’s Day and Galentine’s cards from TeePee creations and find your perfect card to make their day!