Pushkin Things Forward

Old friends Sam Bajdala-Cressey and Tom Walton created NL Wall Art in 2012, channelling their ideas into minimal art prints and other wall décor. The magic happens in their new Hillsborough-based studio where a variety of collections are designed and made, such as Sam’s popular Henderson’s Relish inspired prints which have since made it onto t-shirts and into the official Hendo’s cook book. The lads recently decided to rebrand as Pushkin Creative, so Kerre Chen got in touch to find out the reasons why and what the future holds…

 So how did this all come about initially?
My dad and grandad set up a family-run sign making company in Hillsborough during the early ‘90s (New Leaf Sign & Design formally known as Sign Language) around the same time I was born. So I’ve grown up around design, manufacturing and printing from seeing it first hand from being a toddler. I studied Graphic design for 4 years at Norton College, which sadly is no more. For 2 of those years I did a foundation degree. After I graduated I did an internship at a design agency in London this made me realise I wanted to take a risk and work for myself. Tom and I set up NL Wall Art in 2012 working from New Leafs workshop utilising my design skills and their machinery to create my prints. I have known Tom since I was small and our dads are both directors of New Leaf now so it all happened quite organically.

Why have you decided to change to Pushkin Creative?
We are going in a bit of a different direction to what we started out with over 3 years ago. I think starting so young – I was 19 and Tom was 17 – we made a lot of mistakes and bad decisions. We have learned so much from the mistakes and are both a bit wiser than before. We just wanted to mark a new era with a new look.


What’s behind the name?
One of the biggest inspirations in my life is my Grandad. He came over from Ukraine after WW2, and worked as a barber on Division Street. Anyway, other than free haircuts all my life, he gave me and younger members of the family the nickname of Pushkin – “You little Pushkin”. We still don’t know why he called us that – but it stuck. So, yeah, we went with Pushkin Creative. The creative bit outlines what we do without being too restrictive.

So what else is behind this new direction?
We are introducing another sector to the business: to go more in the direction of a design agency, rather than just designing products to sell online. We want to branch out and use our skills to solve design problems, so we have started a word-of-mouth design service covering all aspects and sectors of design. We want design challenges of any form to put our stamp on.

Got any other big plans for Pushkin?
I am planning a big trip, probably 2017 now, but I’m going to do up a caravan and take Pushkin Creative on the road, travelling around the country, selling my prints and creating new ones in the new locations I stop at. In the meantime, we’ll be focusing on well-made products and hopefully move on to products for the home – all designed and made in Sheffield of course. That’s the beauty of design: everything you look at has been designed so it can take you anywhere.


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