Meet O’Connor Design (OCD), the latest in our series where we’re shining a spotlight on the amazing independent designers behind the cards that you know and love. Discover what inspires the designer behind these lovable greeting cards and learn more about the story behind O’Connor Design below, as well as exploring some of Bev’s incredible designs!
Hey! My name’s Bev O’Connor and I’m the face behind O’Connor Design (OCD). In 2017 I took maternity leave and found I really missed my creative job role. I took the opportunity to further my passion and explore illustration by creating cards for family and friends. The cards had such a good reaction I decided to launch OCD and put my cards out into the big wide world! Four years on and all cards are still designed from start to finish by me in my home studio in Bedford. I love what I do and hope you do too!
What are the challenges you face as an independent artist? And the joys?
The biggest challenge I face as an independent artist is time. I have a busy five year old, a part time job and a head full of ideas. The lists are endless, but I wouldn’t change a thing. Finishing a design and seeing the reaction it gets is the biggest reward. I just love the thought of something I have created making people smile on special occasions all around the world.
Describe your typical work day…
I don’t really have a typical work day, I cram things in around my child and part time job. If an idea comes to me the first thing I will do is jot it down in my phone. I use my tablet for illustrating on the go and have a couple of days a week for admin and artwork. And there is a lot of coffee involved too!
What sort of cards do you love to design?
My favourite cards are the ones where I have someone particular in mind. I always come up with new ideas for friends and family. I love that it’s personalised to them and always find these are the ones that do well as they resonate with people.
What are your favourite cards that you’ve designed & why?
Birthday Sheep Grandmaaaa – this is one of my first designs and the first card to really take off so holds a special place in my heart. It’s so simple but makes me smile every time.
Birthday Rock – inspired by my husband. We all need our rock.
Birthday Sloth – within the last couple of years I’ve been able to spend a little more time on my illustrations and this is one of the first ones where I got more in depth. I’m very proud of how far my illustration has come and this is a perfect example. Designed for my best friend.
How did you get into greeting card design?
I have a background in design and have a career in the creative industry, but wanted to explore illustration. Greeting cards are a great way to keep me illustrating and it’s also very rewarding to have something for myself.
What’s your creative process?
Ideas come to me everywhere and I always jot them down in my phone, no matter how rough. I’ll look back through the list, pick one out and sketch up a really rough idea, then start refining. I use my tablet to illustrate as it’s so similar to pencils and paper and I can take it with me everywhere. I then transfer to my Mac and work it up into a greeting card. There can be a bit of back and forth between illustration and design to get it right. Some ideas work instantly, some take more time and there’s also some that get abandoned halfway through. Every card has a story!
What or who inspires your work?
Family, friends and the greeting card community. If I’m designing with a close friend or relative in mind it always comes out well. And my fellow designers are awesome, it’s great to be able to chat with likeminded people. Everyone is so helpful, friendly and encouraging.
What do you like to do outside of work?
Anything that takes me away from the day to day, with people I love. I love music, and have enjoyed many a festival. I also try and cram in a few exercise classes a week to keep energy levels up.