We catch up with Serge Seidlitz, Kenyan-born designer and illustrator, and three-time gift designer for Lush. This year, he created the design for our multilingual Congratulations knot-wrap
You worked with our gifts team last year as well, on the Christmas Fun Tin and The Night Before Christmas gift; have you designed many gifts before working with Lush?
The Fun Tin was my first collaboration with Lush, I really enjoyed working on it as it's such a great product. I had a few fun baths testing it out – I like to think of my self as an old fashioned 'method' illustrator, a bit like a 'doodling De Niro', so in order to create I really have to get into character!
How do you usually work and where do you get your inspiration?
I delve deep into the psyche of a brief and try and find the essence of what the piece should be, for instance, for the 'Fun Tin' I lay in a steaming hot bath for several hours until my fingers went wrinkly and finally I had these visions of colour and form which led me to my climactic moment of inspiration. Only then did I feel ready to put pen to paper and make the Fun in my mind, into a reality.
What usually happens when you’re designing gift packaging, do the gifts team give you a name and then you’re free to create whatever you feel?
I was sent a box of Fun by the team at lush and then I was free to interpret, but with the 'Night before Christmas' gift box from 2013, I was sent a David Bowie album cover that the team at Lush liked and asked me to use it as my starting point for inspiration.
Your website describes you as an ‘English/ German hybrid’, and mentions that you travelled a lot whilst growing up, does this influence your work?
I think that travelling as a child gave me a wider view of the world, I was exposed to a lot of art and pictures and my Dad always made me keep a travel drawing diary on all my trips. Somehow organising lines and colours on a page does seem to help make sense of the world around you.
Are you a Lush lover, or was it your first taste of Lush when you were approached by the Gifts team?
I'd not used Lush before I was approached by the gift team, but now it's great because I can give people gifts from Lush with my artwork on!
Will you be knot-wrapping this Christmas?
I will KNOT be doing anything else!!