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The Comedy of Errors

Art Works: Heidi Hargreaves of Dukki

7 July 15 words: Art Works
Have you seen that Nottingham-themed shop in Broadmarsh? The lady who runs it has told us a thing or two about the craic
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Bill’s Mother

All my work is created digitally, either using a pressure-sensitive stylus, hand-drawn directly into a computer, or with a good old-fashioned maahse. I usually come up with the idea, sketch it out roughly by hand, then either scan it in and tweak it, or redraw it in Adobe Illustrator.

I made this particular illustration to sell in our shop Dukki as part of a series, with the same characters featuring in a lot of the cartoons. The stuff we sell is quite tongue in cheek, but ultimately celebrates the unique voice we have.

“It’s gerrin’ a bit black ovver Bill’s mother’s” is a common phrase in the local dialect, certainly among the older generations. Some think it’s to do with the reign of King William I, whose mother was from Holland, which the landscape of the Midlands was likened to. It simply means, “It looks like rain”.

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People love it because they can relate to it. They say things like, “Oh my God, me mam used to say that!” or “I never realised that was a saying, I thought it was just something my dad said.” I’m dead pleased with the reaction from the public – getting to create artwork, knowing that it will immediately be seen by people, is a real privilege. I bleddeh love my job.

I created this piece late last year, and eventually I hope to have the whole series made into a calendar for 2016. Each piece takes about a day, but it depends on whether I can indulge in just drawing when I should really be serving customers.

I don’t have as much time to draw since opening the Dukki, but our customers give us so many new ideas, and it’s great to have a platform to sell things and gauge reactions. I run the shop with local artist Ian Jones, so we share our time between doing that and creating new pieces.

I started out as a freelance photographer, and then retrained as a graphic designer, which took me down the more corporate route. When I was made redundant in March 2014, I thought, “This is my chance to be creative. If I don’t do it now, I’ll end up designing packaging for the rest of my life.”

I never thought I’d be running my own business, let alone a shop in Broadmarsh. Ultimately, I’d like to make more people aware of the Dukki brand, and also educate people on the local dialect. I’d love to keep making these little cartoons, and who knows, maybe Dukki could be a destination store one day.

Dukki, with all its lovely trimmings, can be found upstairs in the INTU Broadmarsh Shopping Centre.

Dukki website

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