We talk to Daisy De Villeneuve about her latest book I Should Have Said

This month sees the release of iconoclast illustrator Daisy De Villeneuve’s latest book, I Should Have Said. De Villeneuve’s latest charming addition to her illustrated oeuvre is by all accounts a deadpan dream, cleverly collating personal experiences in a journal like manner that we can all certainly relate to. Widely known on London’s social scene, Daisy is best known for her flamboyant bold as brass aesthetic and knack for creating an often facetious feast for the eyes that has enlivened the brand identity of various clients.


When it comes to this pressing, her trademark quirk has found its most engaging body of work. After deciding which of its pert tips we’d choose to live by and on finally being able to put the book down we decided to talk to Daisy herself about the thought process behind the book.

What is your present state of mind now that I Should Have Said has just made its debut?
I am very excited.

In I Should Have Said you chronicle a number of personal anecdotes and render them through the medium of your fanciful illustrations. What was it that made you want to do this?
This new book, I Should Have Said is actually the sequel to my first book He Said She Said and that came out in 2001.  My second book, I Told You So came out in 2003. I had always wanted to do another book, but felt like I wasn’t ready. I needed the space, some time and the experiences … Then a couple of years ago I decided that I had to do it!

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In some ways, it is almost a diary of vivid bon mots a la Daisy. Have you always kept diaries, scrap books or anything of the sorts during your career?
Yes, I have always kept diaries and day journals, regularly jotting down notes. When I was younger I had scrapbooks and sticker albums. More recently I decided to do a scrapbook of stuff I like; stamps, restaurant cards, envelopes, invites, ticket stubs, newspaper clippings etc. I wish I had been better at keeping photo albums, that’s always on my ‘to do’ list but it never happens.

The new book comes brimming with a number of entertaining scenarios that you have experienced yourself. Is there any specific one that is the most indelible for you?
I love the one that says, “You went from hot on my tail to completely disinterested” I said. He corrects me, “Uninterested”. It’s so mean, and as the guy was saying the words to me I knew then that I had a book! It was so awful and I was hurt yet great material.

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At Glass, we are big fans of your unique stylised aesthetic and we’ve never had the chance to talk to you more about it until now. When did you first pick up a felt tip and discover that it was you?
I’ve been colouring with felt-tip pens since the age of three and throughout my childhood. In my teens I would use felt tips to handwrite envelopes in all different colours. Then for my final graduation show at art school I had used them for a series of drawings which later became He Said She Said. After that was published, Topshop commissioned me to design their shoeboxes and afterwards, I was on a roll … everything was felt tips, which I quite liked as it’s unusual. Now, I make a career out of it!

We have all certainly learnt a thing or two about the way in which we should compose ourselves thanks to your charming rhetoric. But what would you say is the overarching “lesson” that I Should Have Said can impart?
People have to take responsibility for their actions, especially guys (I mean the types that are encountered in the book). Firstly, think before you speak and you can’t treat a person like a pair of dirty old socks.

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Did you learn anything yourself from sitting down and composing such a wealth of reflective yet wonderfully lampoon-ish credos?
A few of these anecdotes span back in time to my early 20s. Some stories were thought about but didn’t end up in the first book, but on contemplation used in this new book.  I thought a lot about my friendships … perhaps some of these friends weren’t so nice after all. I felt, and still do in fact, feel quite torn by that, people that I’ve had a history with and an attachment to over the years.

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Finally Daisy, do you envisage this new addition to your lexicon as leading onto any specific in your future?
I hope to do more books in the future. I’d like to do a book of portraits.

by Liam Feltham

I Should Have Said by Daisy de Villeneuve (Hardie Grant, £7.99)

Images courtesy of Daisy De Villeneuve


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Glass Online fashion writer

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