Asking for Trouble: hump day happiness

This week’s hump day happiness is provided by Asking for Trouble.

Asking for Trouble’s illustrations are influenced by Japanese popular culture and feature lovely Kawaii (or cute) characters. Marceline Smith is the magical human being behind Asking for Trouble. She is based in Helensburgh, Scotland and often shares lovely pictures of Scotland on her Instagram account. I will hand you over to her more capable hands to tell you a bit more about herself:

  1. Who are you and what do you do?


I’m Marceline and I’m an illustrator, blogger and designer. I split my time between creating cute character goods as Asking For Trouble, editing daily kawaii blog Super Cute Kawaii and some freelance work.

  1. How/where/why did Asking for Trouble begin?
Asking For Trouble was originally my record label but releasing records is so expensive and time consuming that I gave up after the first one (a ridiculous four band, two 7″ vinyl box set). I reused the name when I started making things by hand after RSI in my wrist required me to stop using the computer so much. I started Asking For Trouble properly in 2007, quit my corporate web design job not long after and almost 10 years later I’ve never been happier! The name comes from my slightly unique way of getting through life where I tend to figure out my own way of doing things instead of learning the correct way. Luckily, it’s all worked out for the best!
  1. What inspires your designs?
Japan. I’ve been interested in Japanese culture and characters since I was quite young and when I eventually got to visit I found that kawaii really is a way of life there with cute characters on every corner helping make everyday items and tasks more fun. I’ve visited four times now and every time I come home full of ideas.
  1. Who inspires you?
All my fellow designer makers. There are so many amazing makers and illustrators out there and it’s great to be able to connect with them on social media. Seeing how hard everyone works at coming up with new ideas and projects keeps me going.
  1. What tools do you use to create your designs?
Mostly Illustrator and Photoshop on my laptop. I invested in an iPad & Apple Pencil a few months ago and I’m having a lot of fun making looser, sketchier work which is starting to turn up on a few products. I also love my Silhouette Portrait, which lets me cut my designs out of card.
  1. What is your favourite item to make?
I love designing repeat patterns. Whether it’s a complicated seamless repeat or a simple pattern, I get completely absorbed in it. Plus it’s so much fun applying the finished pattern to fabric and products.
  1. What is the best piece of advice you’ve ever received?
Know your worth. I feel lucky that I started my self-employed life as a freelance web designer because it’s all about charging enough to live your life. Knowing my hourly rate makes it much easier to price products, turn down opportunities that are not worth my time and which tasks to outsource that someone else can do much more cheaply and quickly that I can.

Asking for Trouble’s Treasures

UK seasonal fruit and vegetables – set of 2 Kawaii postcards: £2.00

I couldn’t leave these postcards behind. Lots of veggies are eaten in our house each week because I’m a vegetarian and my boyfriend eats mainly vegetarian food at home (I think this is called a flexitarian these days?). These little postcards are great for keeping up with what’s in season and inspiring your shopping list. If you want to keep with the veggies theme, Asking for Trouble have this veggies inspired meal planner and shopping list too.

Look around letter set – Kawaii writing paper, envelopes and stickers: £6.00

I was so happy when I was scrolling through Asking for Trouble’s Etsy account because she has letter writing paper for sale. I used this lovely letter writing paper to send all of my pen pals an intergalactic themed letter this month. The envelopes are so colourful and jam-packed with cute characters, I would love to receive one of these in the snail mail. The letter set comprised of twelve letter writing sheets, six envelopes, and six envelope seals/stickers. It was good value for money. The lines on the letter writing paper meant that the paper was really easy to write on. The paper is only lined on one side but when I turned the paper over, I could just about make out the lines through the page so my writing didn’t veer too far off course.

Kawaii Ice Cream & Kawaii Ice Lolly Card: £2.00 each or 2 cards for £3.50

These ice cream and ice lolly cards have got me looking forward to the summer! I couldn’t resist a two for £3.50 either. It’s such a good deal!

Thanks Marceline for adding some Kawaii cuteness to our day!

Make sure you check out her:



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