Papier Passions

Q&A: Symbolic storytelling with Anna Glover

Our latest collaboration celebrates everyday joys and meaningful motifs.

Q&A: Symbolic storytelling with Anna Glover

Anna Glover’s wallpaper designs add beauty and meaning to everyday moments, and her new stationery collab is no different. Known for her intricate wallpaper designs that celebrate art and storytelling, Anna’s collection features symbols of small things with big meanings – from gooseberries that represent Anna’s grandmother to birds that nod to Hackney, her favourite area of London.

We chatted to Anna about her wallpaper studio, creative inspiration and her most-loved stationery.

Why did you create your studio?
I always wanted to run my own business but I waited until I could see a gap in the design market for something I could offer. At the time, most of the luxury wallpapers were historical or chinoiserie and I felt there was space for something that blended contemporary design with a sense of nostalgia. It was a way I could celebrate art, storytelling and innovation, which remain at the heart of the studio today.

Where do you find creative inspiration?
I’m always collecting images that spark something in my brain. This used to be a physical library in a suitcase, now it’s mainly online. It means I have a huge catalogue to look back on at the start of a project. I look at a lot of ancient art from around the world for techniques, but for colour I really love a big clash of influences from art, film, fashion, science and nature.

What role does sustainability play in your studio practice?
We are a long way from where we would like to be but also very proud and excited about what we’ve achieved. We spent the last few years developing a wallcovering made from recycled fibres that we hope to offer very soon. Our next mission is to try and improve the circularity of the product. We are deep in the science of it all!

What’s your typical creative process for creating a new print?
I research until happy and inspired and then I pull everything together onto a concept and colour board. The next stage is sketching a painting, then scanning and lots of photoshop for layout and colour.

Little Things Anna Glover

How has opening your production factory in Wiltshire changed the way you work?
It’s completely changed everything, as we now have complete creative and technical control. We aren’t being held back by the constraints of another manufacturer, which is especially good when we need to test new colours and designs. We can offer an extremely bespoke, high quality service to our clients.

How do you use stationery?
I use stationery for gifts and life admin. I’m using my Laila Tara H Persian Dreams notebook for the allotment. I think she’s an amazing artist and would definitely approve of it being used for the love of vegetables!

What’s your most-loved piece of stationery?
Probably my collection of postcards from museums and travel. It means I always have something for birthday or thank you notes, and at the same time I get happy memories when I write them.

How would you describe your signature style?
Soft, rich, textured, large scale and often botanical. I try and balance classical influences with contemporary design.

Your designs have a lovely painterly quality. How does art influence your work?
It’s everything! I pore over art everyday in books, online and in museums. I can’t get enough of it. There is still so much I want to see and learn from.

Papier x Anna Glover

You help to create beautiful spaces for people to live and work in. What’s your favourite part of your East London studio space?
This is probably cheesy but it’s that I get to share it with my partner Ian. He’s a textile designer and I love working next to him.

How do you stay organised?
The answer is Rosa. She is my amazing colleague who keeps me calm and the business running seamlessly. She has a brilliant way of understanding how my visual brain works and designing systems that work in that way rather than fighting against it. I feel very lucky!

Can you talk us through the motifs you chose for your Papier prints?
I think good stationary creates very personal moments of happiness. It might be how it feels/ looks/smells or the thrill of organising, but it gives us those mini dopamine hits. That's what I wanted the collaboration to be all about, the little things that bring joy.

I painted things that help keep me happy and sane on a daily basis. The Little Things has my favourite objects and food – soft boiled eggs, baked potatoes, gherkins, and gooseberries (they remind me of my grandma).

The Garden is about my newfound love of gardening and attempt at an allotment. When I go there, I feel so far away from everything else, it's a little sanctuary.

The Parakeets are a nod to my hometown London, but mainly Hackney Marshes which are just the best. I walk and cycle through them, at dusk the sky is filled with parakeets.

What’s your favourite design in the collection?
The Little Things, I think it’s been in my system for a while. I really loved working on it.

What’s a piece of advice that you live by?
You can always tone things down, but it’s hard to add excitement at the end.

See the designs for yourself and explore our collab with Anna. For more about Anna, head to her website.

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