Caroline Nisbett - Illustrator Designer Morris Dancer
Cotswold creativity with bells on
Creating visual 'dances with colour'
in my 18th century weavers’ studio nestling in the historic conservation area of Bradford on Avon set in The Cotswold countryside near Bath Spa, Wiltshire.
I’m inspired by England’s rich heritage, past history and rural traditions, folk music and dance and lively contemporary events. Farmers’ markets, local produce, country lifestyle. Also by the local Georgian era rural weavers who lived and worked in my home from 1775 and by Regency era Jane Austen and elegant Bath Spa.
As part of local Cotswold life I morris dance with a colourful Cotswold morris team in country villages and at folk festivals - hence “creativity with bells on” and “dances with colours”.
My creative work is expressed as colourful lively artwork images, designs, illustrations for art exhibitions, print, publication, advertising, product and packaging design. Also photography styling, copywriting, creative ideas for social media promotion and advertising.
2019 Fine art Giclée prints series on an English country theme, inspired by folk music and morris dancing in the Cotswold countryside throughout the seasons of the year, old country customs and festivities. Finding inspiration from folk music, morris dance, folk art and hobby horses. Uplifting togetherness found in music, festivals and celebration + an ongoing series of portraits of English folk musicians produced as prints on fine art archival quality paper.
Subjects + Inspirations
Bradford on Avon, Bath Spa, Cotswolds + English rural counties.
Music from foot tapping English folk music to classical music, from opera to world music.
Dance from morris dancing + dance festivals to bollywood.
Festivals + celebrations.
English tea parties + bunting, cake, coffee and foodie bliss.
Animals and creatures, real and imaginary, e.g. lions to unicorns in heraldic crests. Mysterious mythical beasts and hobby horses found in English morris folk traditional customs.
English countryside, woodlands, nature.
Gardens, produce, bees, pollinators.
Classical sculpture and formal gardens.
Children + Dolls’ houses + light-hearted humour.
The Conran Shop / Bibendum restaurant / Habitat / Heal's / Mothercare for Sir Terence Conran - whilst Senior Designer at Conran Design Group.
The Prince's Trust
The Royal Albert Hall
Royal National Theatre
The National Gallery
Pol Roger Champagne
Royal Philharmonic Orchestra
Academy of St Martin in the Fields
Trinity College London / Musiclink
Roald Dahl Foundation
Light Hearted Gifts Caroline's own brand
Contemporary Textile Gallery
L'Oriel / Laboratoire Garnier
Hardy's Gift Toiletries / Illumens Home Fragrances
Compass Group - Letheby & Christopher
Educational Communications / British Gas 'Think Energy' campaign
Tesco / BhS / Savacentre / Boots / Currys
Sky Television / London Weekend Television
Connected Pictures - promotional video company
Cotswold Voices Choir
Innocent Hare folk music dancers and musicians group
Clementine's Shop, Tisbury, Wiltshire - social media feeds
Bramley Products, hotel toiletries range - social media feeds
Mandarin Voices choir
Mandarin Youth Voices choir
Engage With China
2014 - 19 Recent work includes :
Textiles images in wool colours.
Fine art Giclée prints series on the themes of Folk music and dance, togetherness, festivals and celebration. Also an ongoing series of portraits of English folk musicians on fine art archival quality paper.
Logo design for Engage With China. UK-China international business.
Logo designs for Mandarin Voices and Mandarin Youth Voices - two choirs singing in Chinese mandarin language.
Logo designs for Cotswold Voices Choir, Innocent Hare folk music dancers and musicians group and Armadillo Jewellery.
Product photography for the Silver Street Studio website, a craft shop in Bradford on Avon. Work involved studio photography + photo editing + product styling + copy writing.
Social Media Consultancy - one year of promotional work for Bramley Products natural ingredients toiletries range supplier to 350 hotels, in Fonthill Gifford near Tisbury, Wiltshire. I produced concepts, original ideas, copy writing, seasonal studio and location photography + photo editing + product styling, hashtags, posting at dawn to Twitter / Instagram / Facebook.
Social Media Consultancy - one year of promotional work for Clementine's Shop + Compton Marbling Fairs Events + Wedding and events location hire in Fonthill Gifford near Tisbury, Wiltshire. Producing copy writing, photography + photo editing + product styling, hashtags, posting at dawn to Twitter / Instagram / Facebook.
Product Development for own brand gift range Light Hearted Gifts : brand identity / logo design / packaging design / products development / copy writing.
Drawing on location and working in beautiful locations near Tisbury, Wiltshire.
1987 - present Freelance art, illustration, graphic design, brand identity, brand development, product design, calligraphy. Designing and selling own brand gift range.
1980s - Teaching - guest Lecturer at Saint Martin's School of Art to Graphic Design and Illustration BA Degree students.
Teaching - Drawing tutor of Life Drawing and Figure Drawing class at Courtyard Arts, Hertford, Hertfordshire.
1981 - 1987 7 years - Graphic Designer for Conran Design Group at Neal Street, Covent Garden and later at Heal's, Tottenham Court Road, London. Designing products and surface decoration for products the home, textiles, rugs, ceramics, product packaging, drawings and paintings, informational diagrams, promotional print, and many popular best selling, long running product ranges for Habitat, The Conran Shop, Bibendum Restaurant at The Conran Shop, Michelin building in Fulham, London, also Mothercare, Heal's and other retail outlets owned by Sir Terence Conran.
1977 - 1981 B.A. Honours Degree Graphic Design and Illustration + Foundation Saint Martin's School of Art Covent Garden, London.
Grammar school Camden School for Girls, London.
Having designed many product ranges for other retail clients including Habitat and Heal's I then designed my own Light Hearted Gifts range of multi-wick and single wick natural wax fragranced candles and other fragranced gifts. The range design valued sustainable low impact qualities: local provenance, packs printed in Britain for low carbon footprint, natural ingredients of plant waxes and cotton wicks and recycled glasses - this direction was slightly ahead of it’s time but now sustainability is beginning to become a popular direction. This gift range sold for many years via CFA events in stately homes, private schools and colleges in Bath Spa and surrounding counties.
Copywriting - Creative Writing
I have written to suit a variety of briefs from factual or promotional text, tag lines and articles for websites and promotional pages to light-hearted magazine style articles.
I grew up hearing the sounds of wolves, elephants and eagles. This was not the African savanna but in a magical space between Camden Town, Regents Park and Primrose Hill, NW1, in Oval Road next door to Regents Park Terrace, adjacent to Gloucester Crescent.
A London location familiar for its long list of well known media names, including Sir Terence Conran (who lived a few doors down) whom I later enjoyed working for throughout the 1980s as a Designer at Conran Design Group.
My father, BBC TV Producer Alec Nisbett and mother, author Jean Nisbett were also part of the media scene there, but kept out of sight, my father behind the BBC television cameras producing copious Horizon science documentaries and writing technical books about sound recording, and my mother behind an author's manual typewriter writing ten books about the very grown up hobby of Dolls’ houses.
Having later combined freelance illustration and design work with motherhood and bringing up two sons, I then moved to the pretty, historic town of Bradford on Avon near Bath, to continue to develop new artwork and my own brand of local provenance gifts range.
Not surprisingly many of the famous media names also moved in the direction of beautiful Bath, away from the roaring and stampeding wild animals of London.
"Living a life with bells on."
My lively colourful hobby: I’m a member of the Bell's Angels ladies morris side of Holt village nearby Bradford on Avon, I've learned dangerous and complex choreography involving jolly jingling bells in pretty villages and folk festivals in the English countryside.