IT IS an unusual source of inspiration, but the jazzy tablecloths in her local café have helped a young designer win customers and fans all over the world.

Eilidh Maclaren works in Millport’s famous Ritz Café but when it had to close during lockdown she found herself at a loose end.

“I love art and I enjoy using digital drawing apps so I started coming up with designs based on my favourite places,” explains the 20-year-old.

“It was really just to curb boredom, to begin with, but then I found the Redbubble website I could add my designs to and they would transform it into different products.”

She adds: “It’s great if you’re just starting out and you don’t have the ability to manufacture products. They do all the hard work. I thought I’d just give it a go – and people really seemed to like my ideas.

“Everyone who knows the Ritz loves the tabletops so that seemed like a good place to start.”

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As well as images based on landmarks close to home – like Millport’s Crocodile Rock and the town’s famous bicycles – Eilidh - who is on Redbubble as Lunajane, has created a range of cheerful designs inspired by places much further afield, from New York to Australia.

“Some of these places I’ve been to, others are on my wish list for when life gets back to normal,” she says.

“I enjoy taking photographs, and those have been the inspiration for some of the designs.”

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Glasgow icons, like the Duke of Wellington Statue complete with traffic cone hat, have also made it into Eilidh’s collection, which appears on everything from stickers and face masks to baby-gros and mugs.

“I’ve had a great response to the Glasgow ones, especially the Duke – it’s such an iconic image,” she smiles. “But I think the biggest response has been to the Millport images. The Ritz especially is such an institution, it’s been around for more than 100 years.

“I’ve had customers from all over the UK and from America.”

Glasgow Times:

The Ritz Cafe was opened by Luigi Coia, who walked from Italy to Scotland, arriving in Millport via London and Glasgow. The fourth generation of the family have recently sold the place to new owners and it remains an island institution, famous for its ice cream and retro atmosphere.

Eilidh, who lives in Millport with her mum and dad, Lynn and Scott, and brother Craig, started working at the cafe six years ago. She juggles her job there with her studies – she is currently completing an online course run by the British Academy of Photography.

Like most young people, Eilidh has found her plans disrupted by the pandemic.

“I was hoping to go to California on a Camp America placement, but that couldn’t happen,” she says.

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“It’s a weird time right now, but I really do want to go travelling again at some point, and I am really interested in pursuing art and photography.

“I want to keep developing my designs – I love doing them, and I’m glad they cheer people up. We could all do with that just now.”