Helena Carrington Cushions

Profiles: Helena Carrington

Helena CarringtonHomegirl London pays homage to Helena Carrington.  Helena produces distinctive illustrations and designs for cushions, prints and stationery.  Her work is very much inspired by buildings and architecture from her favourite cities; Venice, Paris, New York and of course London.

Helena also has a penchant for city transport; Italian Fiat Cars, New York Taxi Cabs and London buses.  You’ll probably be familiar with her interpretation of iconic vintage gems like the Holga Camera, Typewriters and Camper Vans which feature illustrations in fresh, bright colours.  I caught up with Helena to find out more …

Q: Tell me about your design background.

A: I studied Contemporary Textile Practices at Norwich School of Art and Design.

Q: Why set up your business?

A: When I was at university I decided that I wanted to have my own business so that I could design and make my own products.  I wanted to be able to design based on things that really do mean something to me.

Q: Where are you based and why?

A: I’m based in Norwich which is where I moved to go to art school.  I like the buildings here and there are plenty of nice cafes and streets to wander around.

Q: How many people work at your company?

A: It’s just me but I must say that I do have friends and family who are always ready to help out if I need some assistance.

Q: Describe your design style.

A: illustrative, architecturally inspired and ‘graphicy’ with bright with bursts of colour.

Q: Where do you draw your creative inspiration from?

A: Creative inspiration comes mostly from my travels to cities; the buildings and architecture and new places that I visit.  I always have my camera at the ready so take lots of photos wherever I go and then draw from them later.

London Buildings Illustration

London Building Illustration Print, £10

Q: What’s your fascination with buildings and cities?

A: I love looking at different architecture and all the different shapes, patterns and textures on buildings, especially older buildings. I like being able to use buildings on a design to create a sense of a place.

Q: Tell me about your collections.

A: Italian Collection: Inspired by travelling around Italy which features illustrations of buildings in Venice and some photography including Fiat cars and Italian coffee.

Italian Venezia Cushion, £45

Italian Venezia Cushion, £45

Paris Collection: Featuring the buildings and streets of Montmartre.


Streets of Montmartre Cushion, £45

London Collection: Designs featuring some buildings in London as well as a London bus and a special Westminster Abbey design for the royal wedding.

London Buildings Cushion, £55

London Buildings Cushion, £55

London Bus Cushion, £45

London Bus Cushion, £45


New York Collection: This is my latest range which features buildings and iconic New York things such as the yellow taxi.

 New York Taxi Cushion

New York Taxi Cushion, £45

New York Brooklyn House Cushion, £45

New York Brooklyn House Cushion, £45

Iconic Collection: Featuring vintage cameras like the Holga, typewriters and camper vans.

 Holga Camera Cushion

Holga Camera Cushion, £45

Typewriter Cushion

Typewriter Cushion, £45

Q: Tell me about your bespoke service.

A: I provide custom / bespoke illustrations – I’m currently working on a cityscape for someone as a print.

Q: What’s the best thing about owning your own business?

A: I can design and make whatever I want to or feel inspired by.  Also, I like all the different things involved in running a business, you’re not just doing the same things all the time – there’s a variety which spices things up and keeps it interesting.

Q: What one piece of advice would you pass on to someone wanting to set up their own business?

A: To talk to other designers and illustrators who have their own business and try and do some work experience with someone if you can.  It’s great to be able to have a network of like-minded people to have a chat with.

Q: What’s coming up for the rest of 2013?

A: I’m working on some new designs to add to my New York collection.  I visited NYC last year and there was so much inspiration everywhere you looked so, of course, I photographed everything I could and will be taking inspiration from my pictures to create designs.

To give you an idea on prices; Illustration Prints from £10, Cushions from £40, Tea towels £10 and Greetings Cards £2.50.  You can buy from Helena Carrington.  Credits: text by Homegirl London, images courtesy of Helena Carrington, special thanks to Helena.