Just in time for Christmas and after several months in the making, I am delighted to share some very exciting news about recent work I have been doing for top Scottish luxury leather goods brand Strathberry.
For those of you who don’t know, Strathberry is based in Edinburgh’s West End and has a retail outlet in the city’s Multrees Walk, along with 3 stunning boutiques in London’s Covent Garden, Kings Road and Burlington Arcade.
They are internationally renowned for producing high quality, beautifully hand-crafted handbags and are the go-to brand for the likes of Kate Middleton and Meghan Markle according to Marie Claire.
It was just over a year ago that I was approached by Amber, Chief Marketing Officer at Strathberry, in a particularly serendipitous twist of fate. The company was about to celebrate its 10th anniversary and wished to use their stunning 4 storey Georgian townhouse, in Edinburgh’s Melville Street, as the new face of the brand. She had googled ‘Edinburgh artist’ and, as a result of that search, came across a previous blog post of mine where I had detailed the various stages towards completion of a commission I had recently done of a similar townhouse in the city’s Rutland Square (see that image below and click here to read that post).
Impressed by the end results of that project and looking for something similar but uniquely ‘Strathberry’, they commissioned me to produce a detailed ink drawing of their HQ. The brief was not only to create something that was representative but something that could also be utilised in a variety of novel ways going forward: for example, an image that might be flexible enough to appear on packaging, tissue paper and product care booklets, as well as being featured in a variety of media online and in print.
With all of that in mind, I created the image above – deceptively simple in design and finish, but far from simple to produce. In order to fit the whole building into the frame (including the roof and chimneys as well as the basement) I had to somehow show it from mid height (I used a drone to get a variety of photos at different heights for this purpose). However, this created its own problems in that a bird’s eye perspective had the effect of warping the entire image, revealing too much basement and moving the focal point away from what I hoped would be a welcoming doorway that would lead the viewers into the building – so to speak.
In the end, and after a couple of time consuming false starts, I managed to compose an image which shows the entire building without warping the perspective at all, while giving equal prominence to every storey (roof and basement too) but maintaining the entrance way as the main focal point. I submitted my final ink drawing in April and, thankfully, Strathberry owners Guy and Leanne were delighted with the result.
Now it was time to paint the townhouse (see below)!
Again, I wanted to keep the painting as simple but effective as possible, while showing the Strathberry townhouse at its very best. 34 Melville Street, Edinburgh is not only the company HQ, but it’s also the place where products are designed and marketed (as shown to great effect in the magical Christmas animation above). It also happens to house a sumptuous showroom on the ground floor. All in all, Strathberry HQ is an extremely elegant Edinburgh townhouse – sophisticated, yet warm and welcoming – and I hope to have created something that reflects those qualities with these images.
Commissions are never straight forward or relaxed affairs but, much to my relief, Guy and Leanne were again delighted with the final painting, which I delivered in June (see handover picture below).
I’ll post a more detailed account of the whole procedure in a future blog piece, including a stage by stage breakdown of the creative process involved. But for now I just wanted to show the final images produced for this prestigious commission and give a little more information about how Strathberry have been using my images to help celebrate their 10th anniversary and also to showcase their stunning World Heritage listed HQ.
And and how’s this for a bit of unashamed name dropping … ? I was recently informed that ex US president Bill Clinton, while on a shopping trip to London, was entranced by the animation while walking through the Burlington Arcade store. So much so that after watching the whole clip he was enticed into the store and purchased 4 handbags for Hilary and Chelsea!
Strathberry have also used an inverted version of the ink drawing on menus for a recent press event at the Kimpton Hotel in Edinburgh.
The Strathberry story will continue to develop over coming years and I am very excited to see how the image I created for the company will be utilised in exciting new ways going forward.
In the meantime, I hope to do more of this kind of work in future. So if you are looking for a similar (but different!) picture of your own elegant townhouse, or anywhere else for that matter, and would like to discuss how to make that happen, then please do not hesitate to get in touch via the contact page or by emailing me at: email@example.com
Wishing you a very Merry Christmas and a prosperous and Happy New Year!