Lisa & Elena are sisters, remarkably talented sisters who are better known as Biro Robot, a unique design studio creating beautiful ranges of prints along side commercial illustration & design projects. Combined they have a very inpresive list of clients including Habitat, Ikea, Paperchase, BBC, Time Warner, Homes & Gardens, Waterstones, Whistles and Armani.
We talked to the duo about the ups and downs of working together, upcoming projects and where they find their inspiration.
BB: When did you first start working as a duet? And were you working individually before teaming up?
Being sisters we grew up creating everything together (from cardboard Wendy houses to toilet roll Christmas tree decorations) so I guess you could say we have always worked as a duo. Before biroRobot finally launched professionally around two years ago we were both established independently as illustrator and designer getting together on occasion to work on personal projects.
BB: Working collaboratively must have its challenges, how do you divide the work and who takes on which roles for design/printing etc…
It’s the question we are asked the most, and honestly we both do everything.
We both have our hands on the design of each piece, and take in turns running to the drying rack. Even the other artists at the studio we print at often refer to us as one person!
BB: As well as producing beautiful prints you also work as commercial artists can you tell us a little bit about some of the clients and projects you have worked on, and about the up’s and downs of working with clients!
The commercial side of our work is a major part of the biroRobot studio. Producing work for commission, licensing and surface graphics has allowed us to be diverse and develop. We are lucky to work with a wide variety of clients and there are always ups and downs, being open to others ideas, restrictions in each project but great things can come of those limitations. We recently had couple of great commissions - an open briefed nursery school identity and a really fun kids stationery range.
BB: Are there any commercial clients, companies or individuals out there that you would like to work with either for a campaign or in a collaborative way?
We haven’t got any of our designs onto textiles yet so we’d love to work with a fabric or homeware manufacturer.
BB: Can you tell us a little about your educational experience and any advice you would give to students of a similar discipline heading into the big wide world of printmaking & illustration?
One of us has an art degree and the other went straight out to work in a design office.
The route you take is individual and both have pros and cons, regardless always go the extra mile.
BB: Are there any illustrators, artists, designers out there that are inspiring you at the moment?
There are so many to choose from; Children’s book illustrators, the classic designers like Saul Bass and Alexandra Girard instantly spring to mind, artist and our great uncle Erasmo will always be our lifetime inspiration, and more recently Lisa’s 4 year old son, Sonny, who draws the best animals and trees at the moment!
BB: Which website’s do you visit regularly?
Pinterest, it is the visual rabbit hole to so many wonderful other websites, the world between worlds and of course the best mood board know to man and alien. Did we mention we like Pinterest?
BB: Tell us about your workspace
We are between desks whilst we build a studio and hire printmaking facilities in Guildford.
BB: Do you have any interesting projects coming up?
This is the perfect time of year for us to start designing some new prints so we are hoping that that’s next on the drawing board.