INK INC Illustration is the new collaborative venture of Laura Fray and Jess Turley, who both met about six years ago while working in commercial fashion. The pair decided that they wanted to try something different in the commercial fashion industry, so they began by designing a gig poster together for Laura’s brother, Liam Fray, as he was on an acoustic tour. They soon came to realise that their illustrative styles were remarkably similar, and with little persuasion, the pair joined creative forces and set out to make their hobby their business.
Another thing that INK INC makes clear is people’s love for their pets; from bulldogs with flowers to cats in spectacles, this studio is a cove of affection. Laura tells us how much she enjoys reading through the commissions they receive, ‘People have such passion for their pets, and the emails we receive from people are filled with such detail and information.’ The girls also add how much they love it when customers immediately engage with the designs in store, but especially when they can share a giggle or two at the character’s expense.
It was hard to choose a favourite, but if One M had to pick a print, we’d probably go for ‘The City Slicker‘, a chic looking hipster-parrot that’s ready to work hard and play harder. The girls point out another special artwork, ‘Bottoms Up‘; a finely drawn and colourful illustration of a duck ‘bottomed-up’ in a cocktail, ‘It’s just a really good piece that’s full of fun, but for the same reason, the ‘Singing Kitty’s‘ always do really well too’.
While Jess and Laura consciously strive to use all local suppliers, the products that currently feature the INK illustrations include a variety of high quality cards and framed prints, ceramics, cushions, totes, tea towels and gift wrap, and are all well worth a peruse. Based in Studio 20 on the first floor of Manchester Craft & Design, INK INC is a hidden creative gem in the heart of Manchester’s thriving Northern Quarter.