Studio Visit: We Three Club
We Three Club are Alex and Chris White, a design and illustration couple based in Cambridgeshire. Their creative and personal lives ran oddly parallel but separately for many years until one day they collided through the creation of a poster. A relationship was formed both personally and creatively which spawned We Three Club, a marriage and a daughter. Their output ranges from t-shirts for Take That and giant billboards for Manchester City Football club to posters for bands including Blood Red Shoes and Queens of the Stoneage. Whilst juggling work commissions, family and life commitments they also found time to help found UKPA, an organisation dedicated to promoting and supporting UK poster artists.
Names / Occupations:
Alex White & Chris White – both illustrators/designers.
How did you meet / how did we three club come about?
We both met through the gig poster ‘scene’. We were asked to do a poster for a weekend festival happening in Reading. I did the poster for one day and Chris the other. This was when I was made more aware of Chris and his work, and at this point I was diving more into the world of Gigposters.com so was keen to meet new faces. Just so happened he had a good face. Our lives kinda ran parallel but we weirdly never met. Even down to the point of me designing and nearly releasing a 7 inch single of Optimist Clubs ‘Panic Button’, whilst Chris’ old band were on tour with them in Europe. Chris even remembers seeing the designs. So yeh we then met, got married and decided to work together under the name We Three Club. The name came about because when we met I designed under the name Thr33 designs, and Chris 3d Glasses..just felt right to stick with the three theme.
Where is your studio based and how long have you been there?
We are currently based in Cambridge. Our studio is a room within our home, but we are in the middle of moving into a new studio soon. I have lived and worked here now for 7 years.
Working from home, what are the pros and cons to this?
Working from home requires you to be really self motivated. It is sometimes hugely surprising for people to learn how hard it is to work from home, as you are constantly aware of the washing up that needs sorting, or the sideboard that needs dusting. To completely separate yourself from that is sometimes difficult. Being self employed though is something that we both absolutely love. To have the freedom to travel, spend more time with our daughter. I made it part of my personal life mantra to never live for the weekends.
How would you describe your workspace?
Our space is an organised mess. Full of tools and inspiration. I love having books around for research, even having them staring down at you is something that I find inspiring. A room with no books has an empty feeling.
Tell us a little about your average daily schedule / at what time of day are you most productive?
Our daily schedule is ridiculous as we work around looking after Audrey. We generally will decide what days each other will work according to what jobs we have on. Then either myself or Chris will head to the studio, put on some music, and get started looking over emails and planning out our day ahead. I would say I am most productive probably just after lunch. I fiddle about looking over things, deciding what im doing, checking out what ive already done etc, and then tend to nail it more in the afternoon.
Is the work you produce in your studio mostly personal or commissioned based?
Most of the work we currently do is commissioned as time is tight right now. We are hoping to produce more personal art prints and bits and bobs real soon.
Where do you want to go in the future?
Well we are on the verge of moving into a new studio and gaining more time to work together full time for the first time, which is really exciting. Personally I want to concentrate more on the stationery that I have been producing as that is something I am really passionate about. Chris’ work largely continues to revolve around producing art for the music industry and a lot of that is gig poster commissions. We will always be strongly involved in the gig poster scene, and hope to continue to head to SXSW each year for Flatstock, and push the UKPA to get more people aware of the incredible amount of gig poster artists here in the UK.
Favourite studio snack?
I am currently addicted to natural peanut butter on rice cakes with banana.. Chris just drinks about 30 cups of tea a day.
Photos and Interview: Owen Richards / Published 4 December 2013