Desert Island Desk with Debbie Drake

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This month’s desert island castaway is Debbie Drake, Associate Director and Head of Graphic Design at KSS

A supply of sketchbooks and notepads, from Moleskine and Smythson, to the humble envelope and everything in between. I could not exist without paper; to sketch, doodle, make lists, write a diary or even start that book. When thoughts and ideas clarify, pencil and paper is still my immediate go to. With time on my hands, I could even get around to making my own paper to maintain supplies, foraging for, and trialling the best natural materials available on the island.


Armed with a solar power charger, so that electricity is not an issue, my compact system camera or smartphone would not leave my side. I would be quite happy to record every day of my stay. There is a simple beauty in the variety of patterns formed by nature on the coast that I never tire of being impressed by and wanting to record for eternity. I promise not to upload them all to Instagram though!

Two deck chairs on a tropical sandy beach with beautiful colorful sunset

As a graphic designer working in the built environment, I am ashamed to admit that it took me too many years to appreciate the importance of a well-designed chair. I apologise on behalf of all of my fellow creatives who have ever claimed that they are all just the same. A Lafuma sun lounger and footstool has been my favourite find for my usual place in the sun in the South of France.

In my spare time I’ve recently embraced my passion for art history and it would be interesting to create an art gallery on the beach. To start my collection perhaps I could acquire a luxury item and take a collage by Peter Blake which would be both inspirational and with plenty of interest to peruse.


My biggest problem might be how to survive on a desert island, especially since I am not taking anything to eat or cook with, but I would still need a daily puzzle to resolve. Finding creative solutions to a client’s brief and seeing a project come together is the part of my job that I most enjoy, so problems to keep the creative juices flowing and my mind working would be great.

To relax I love playing and watching sport. Whilst this seems to be the perfect time to learn to surf, tennis is the sport closest to my heart. Assuming that a full size practice wall is out of the question, I wonder if my old Swingball would fit in my bag for a bit of nostalgia – wearing my favourite graphic tee in my personal ode to everything Wimbledon – and at least I would win every time.