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Print and Textile Designer, London

The South London skater girl brings bold and playful prints to all manner of mediums

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Canada-born and London-based illustrator Liisa Chisholm operates on the bright side of life. The running theme amongst each and every of her print designs - be they on socks, bowls or beer bottles - is the confident splash of colour. 

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Perhaps her sunny disposition is born of learning to find a chink of light when all seems bleak. From the ages of 12 to 18 Chisholm was training for biathlon, a sport combining cross-country skiing and rifle marksmanship, six days a week, eleven months of the year in her hometown of Calgary. A foot injury turned out to be a break and a frank conversation with her coach signaled the end of what she’d hoped was her future. “It messed me up a lot,” Chisholm explains. “That’s what I wanted to be doing with my life. I had to make some decisions very quickly.”

A strong work ethic has always been essential to Chisholm’s visibility and success -“I had a friend who gave me a really big pep talk before I started in first year about getting my work out there.” This means that throughout her university years she was already working and collaborating, continuing into her time at Stella McCartney Kids and the freelance life that she now leads. In recent months she’s shown work in London and Tokyo, illustrated a bottle label for Beak Brewery, was the guest illustrator at the Blast Skates Brixton pop up shop, and worked with Cord Ceramics on a range of bowls.  

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“I like to be really playful with things and work in as many mediums as I can,” Chisholm exclaims. “I don’t think that I’ll ever stop experimenting. I hope that I never lose that desire to play and try all sorts of new materials”

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And 2018 looks set to be as eclectic as ever for the workaholic. There’s a collab with East London skate brand Lovenskate in the pipeline. Plus, Chisholm’s ambitions are boundless - “I’d really love to work with Marimekko one day,” she exclaims. “Growing up my mum would tell me about the Marimekko dresses that her Mum had. I love that idea of heritage and lasting memories.” It looks like Chisholm and her prints are here to stay.