At The Royal Mint, craftsmanship can be found at every level of all we produce, from the coins we strike to the special touches that make each product’s packaging a pleasure to open. Our Wedding Gifts are no exception. We caught up with Rachel Sulek, the illustrator behind the designs for our Wedding Collection.
How did you become an illustrator?
“I have always loved illustration and it’s just something that I have always done. It’s not work, it’s a passion, and it’s something I also do for relaxation – it is my way of telling a story, of conveying ideas that are hard to express in words. It can improve and enhance a piece of writing and bring a story to life, opening your imagination and your mind to create new worlds.
“Like most children, I loved drawing when I was young but as I grew older this didn’t change for me and I was never happier than when I was either drawing or creating and even attended art classes on the weekend to develop my skills. As I grew older, my ambition was to become an artist of some kind and my interest in all forms of art deepened. After finishing school, I completed a degree in Graphic Communication at the University of Glamorgan and began my career by designing websites.
“In the past couple of years, I’ve started becoming more and more interested in illustration and, in January 2021, decided to start a Masters in illustration parttime at Falmouth University to develop my skills in that area.”
How did you create the designs for the wedding collection?
“This is the first project I’ve worked on for The Royal Mint and I was excited to get started on the wedding illustrations. I was keen to convey the traditional floral designs from coins throughout the years but with a modern twist. I looked at a series of different coins and sketched out some of the floral designs from them on paper. I then picked a selection of the flowers and plants that I thought worked well together. The flowers I chose were a rose from the current 20p coin, a thistle from the 1953 sixpence, and the flowers from the modern silver six pence, as well as some leaves to fill in the gaps.
“My preferred way of working is with my iPad and Apple Pencil so, after this stage, I put the sketches into Adobe Fresco (a digital drawing and painting app) to refine them, as well as decide on the line weight and style. I wanted to keep the same shapes so they were identifiable, but make them look more delicate and appropriate for the wedding theme.”
How do you feel about the fnished range?
“I’m really happy with the finished pieces and was delighted when the feedback for my designs was positive. I feel proud and privileged to have my illustrations
featured by The Royal Mint and hope they’ll be enjoyed by lots of happy couples.”