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Graphic design: How we turned an after-school hobby into a business

Lauren, 23, and Chloe Piper, 19, make up 2 Sisters, a mural and graphic design business based in Portsmouth.

We started mural and graphic design business 2 Sisters while we were still in school about eight years ago. It was a way of earning a little bit of money and having some creative freedom outside of lessons.

It never really had an official start date as we’ve spent a lot of years developing it from a hobby into a full-time job.

Have you always been creative?

We have always loved getting stuck into creative projects, and are always working on something new, either within the business, or a personal piece like making clay jewellery or painting skateboard decks.

Were you good at art and graphic design at school?

Art was both of our favourite lessons, and we had such inspirational teachers throughout school and college who really helped us develop our styles.

What do you love about what you do?

We both get bored very easily, so working for ourselves and having the freedom to choose our work is amazing! We love seeing our artwork go from a sketch on a piece of paper, to a full iPad rendering, to a finished piece on a wall. It’s a super fulfilling job and we really love seeing a happy customer. Our job is all about making something beautiful, whether it’s a graphic project such as a logo, or a hand-painted mural.

We also love travelling, so whenever we have a mural project that’s not local we get super excited. We love working in London, and we also got the chance to visit Birmingham and Cardiff last year which was great fun. However top of the list has to be when we were flown out to Venice to paint a mural and design some chalkboards for Wombats Hostels!

What advice would you give your younger self?

I think we’d tell our younger selves not to worry too much, and that everything will work out in the end.

We spent a lot of time trying to figure out ‘our style’ and we didn’t know how to price our work. After a lot of trial and error, we realised that you don’t need to be so strict and you should just go wherever the job takes us (and it’s usually somewhere pretty exciting).

Also, don’t just do one thing! As well as graphics and painting, we also have a huge selection of artwork prints that we sell online and at occasional markets. This is a great way of sharing our artwork at a lower price than our other services, and it’s amazing to see it up in other peoples homes.

What are your plans for the future?

We are super excited to see our business continue to grow, especially now that the pandemic is beginning to ease.

We plan on travelling further afield for work, and to also continue adding pieces to our local Portsmouth area.

This year, we have worked on more branding projects than ever before, which has been super fun, as we love being able to create something that transforms a business into something new and exciting!

To keep up to date with our projects please follow us on Instagram and check out our website at

Charlotte Harding
Charlotte Harding
Charlotte is a journalist and the co-founder of The Women's Work Collective.


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