Designer Spotlight: Emily Hamm

HELLO, PLEASE INTRODUCE YOURSELF:

Hi, everyone! My name is Emily Hamm, a graphic designer & pattern designer out of Oklahoma. I spent about 10 years at an in-house design studio, where I designed patterns, products & packaging. Although I have lots of experience as an in-house designer, I am new to this side of the pattern world. Thanks to the support of my husband, a little over a year ago I began Emily Hamm Design, a graphic & pattern design studio. Currently I’ve been freelancing design while developing my personal pattern design style, taking classes, and designing lots of patterns. My hope is to begin freelancing/selling/licensing my pattern work soon.

HAVE YOU ALWAYS WANTED TO BE SURFACE PATTERN DESIGNER/ILLUSTRATOR?

I have always wanted to be in a creative field of some sort. Being unaware that pattern design was a career path, I chose graphic design instead. I love graphic design and still use those skills daily. As long as I can remember I’ve always been drawn to patterns! Recently, going through some art I did in grade school I found drawings & paintings of guess what? Patterns! I guess I really was a pattern designer before anything else.

WHAT DOES A TYPICAL DAY/WEEK LOOK LIKE FOR YOU?

I work from my home, a cute little, hundred-year-old, farmhouse with a studio that’s just perfect for me. With a flexible schedule, I work 4-5 days a week, depending on my workload. Coffee in hand (I’m NOT a morning person), my day usually starts around 8:30, where I begin by checking my emails, social media and planning out the day. From there, I work on developing patterns or working on graphic design projects for clients.

IF YOU COULD GIVE YOUR 10 YEARS YOUNGER SELF ONE KEY PIECE OF ADVICE OR AN INSIGHT, WHAT WOULD IT BE?

When it comes to design… keep things in perspective and don’t put too much pressure on yourself.

As a good friend of mine always says, “We’re not saving lives here!”

WHEN YOU FEEL STUCK OR IN A DESIGN RUT, HOW DO YOU GET YOURSELF OUT OF IT AND BACK ON TRACK?

If I can switch gears and work on another project I will do that. But sometimes, when I am really struggling it helps to take a break, go on a walk or do some market research. It also helps to step back, and look at the big picture of my goals for my designs.

WHAT ARE YOUR FAVOURITE DESIGN TOOLS?

Being a graphic designer too, I am all about working within the design programs. Adobe Illustrator is my favorite program.

HOW WOULD YOU DESCRIBE YOUR DESIGN PROCESS? 

1st, I conceptualize: Research, look through books, write word lists that come to mind, & thumbnail/sketch.

2nd, I develop: I get on my computer, and start developing work from my sketches or straight from my head.

3rd, I refine: step away from it for a bit, come back and refine the designs, make major and minor changes until I am happy with the result.

As far as apps go, I like Adobe Capture: an app that quickly vectorizes photos.

WHAT ARE SOME OF YOUR FAVOURITE DESIGN PROJECTS TO DATE?

A few of my favorite projects have been working on Christmas paper goods & fabric for Hobby Lobby.

WHO ARE YOUR DREAM CLIENTS OR WHAT IS YOUR DREAM PROJECT?

I would love to see my pattern designs carried by brands like West Elm, Target or Cloud 9 fabrics. I dream of projects such as fabric lines, paper goods and home goods.

THERE HAS BEEN AN ART SUPPLY SANCTION IMPOSED AND DESIGNERS ARE ONLY ALLOWED TO POSSESS 3 ITEMS/TOOLS, WHAT DO YOU CHOOSE?

Graph Paper, Pantone Swatch book (color bridge), & my computer.

WHERE DO YOU FIND INSPIRATION?

All over really. Social media of course, design books, the beautiful variety of the flowers at the park, trendy packaging at a local boutique, or a vintage illustrated book at an antique store. I also gather inspiration from other creative fields such as furniture design, architecture, fashion or music.

WHO WOULD YOU SAY THE GREATEST DESIGNER IS?

Saul Bass.

WHEN I'M LONG GONE:

I hope people remember me as someone that inspired them to love others and live a full (and pattern filled) life.

Where you can find me:

emilyhammdesign.com

@emhammdesign on Instagram

Emily Hamm Design on Facebook

@emilyhammdesign on Twitter

Designer Spotlight Angela Nickeas

Hello, please introduce yourself:

Angela Nickeas Headshot (1).jpg

My name is Angela Nickeas and I am a freelance surface pattern designer. I set up my own studio - Hiccup Studio Designs in 2009 and began to undertake various design projects in the interior, stationery and giftware industries. Prior to this, I worked for a number of studios and retailers, designing and styling ranges mainly in the home furnishing and textile market. I am also represented by the amazing Pink Light Studio and my work is available for licensing.

I live in Manchester, England with my husband Oliver and three young children Lola, Theo and Otto.

If you could give your 10 years younger self one key piece of advice or an insight, what would it be?


I always knew that ultimately I wanted to work for myself, but don’t rule out gaining employment as part of the process. I honestly don’t think that my self-employment would have happened if I hadn’t worked in-house first. The experience, knowledge and contacts I gained along the way were invaluable. Also work hard… work really hard!

When you feel stuck or in a design rut, how do you get yourself out of it and back on track?
I generally go online and search for inspiration. There are so many amazing design blogs and websites out there and I love to delve in and get lost and I quite often feel invigorated and motivated after. It’s important to accept that these moments of ‘artists block’ will always happen but will pass eventually!

What are your favourite design tools? 

I’m definitely a digital designer so I couldn’t live without my Mac and Wacom, but I also like to use pen and ink to create textures and shapes which I scan and use within my Illustrator pieces to give them some depth and quirkiness.

How would you describe your design process?


I spend a lot of time at the beginning of the design process doing research and gathering reference – this could be an inspirational colour palette or a single flower motif which may then spark a myriad of ideas. I like to sketch layouts and motifs first before turning to the computer where I use a combination of Illustrator and Photoshop.

I love to browse Pinterest and Instagram (sometimes for hours!) for inspiration and trends.

Who are your dream clients or what is your dream project


I’d absolutely love to illustrate a children's book one day! My children are still young so we have lots of books around the house and some of them are just so inspiring with their whimsical and playful illustrations.

Where do you find inspiration?


Everywhere. My children are an incredible source of inspiration and their sense of wonder never fails to amaze me. I love nature - my work often features flower forms and shapes and the delicacy of birds and butterflies. My background in home textiles means I am inspired by current trends within interior design particularly wallpaper.

Designer Spotlight: Bianca Pozzi

HELLO, PLEASE INTRODUCE YOURSELF:

Hi ! I’m Bianca, an Illustrator and Surface Designer from Brazil. I’ve graduated in fashion design and worked developing prints for fabrics at the fashion industry and since 2015 I started my freelance business. I’m represented by Cinnamon Joe Studio and I love what I do : )

HAVE YOU ALWAYS WANTED TO BE SURFACE PATTERN DESIGNER/ILLUSTRATOR?

Oh definitely no. I’ve graduated in journalism but it was never my thing. I’ve became a pastry chef and had my own shop for about 6 years. That’s when I realized I loved anything art related, and also loved to be able to work creatively. When I closed my shop I decided to continue pursuing a career in the creativity field so I studied Fashion design. That’s when I found out about illustration and surface design in my life and at that moment I knew that’s what I wanted to do, and never looked back.

WHAT DOES A TYPICAL DAY/WEEK LOOK LIKE FOR YOU?

I’m a morning person so I like to start working around 7 am and usually stops around 5pm. Work includes trend research, making lists of things I need to do, sketching, painting, digitizing and working in Photoshop. I take small breaks to walk my dog and eat :D Some days I have classical ballet class which I absolute love and help me stay out of the computer for a few hours.

IF YOU COULD GIVE YOUR 10 YEARS YOUNGER SELF ONE KEY PIECE OF ADVICE OR AN INSIGHT, WHAT WOULD IT BE?

Good things take time.

WHEN YOU FEEL STUCK OR IN A DESIGN RUT, HOW DO YOU GET YOURSELF OUT OF IT AND BACK ON TRACK?

I go through this in every few weeks. There’s this lovely cartoon by Matthew Innman where he says that creativity is like breathing – when you’re creating you’re exhaling, but you can’t exhale forever. We have to stop and breath in, and that’s exactly how I feel after a big project or a few weeks of creating in a row.  Now I understand it is just part of the process, and usually I spend an afternoon researching new trends, studying other artists, watching documentaries, walking outside, etc. I also like to make lists to get everything out of my head. This is equally important as the periods I’m working in the studio.

WHAT ARE YOUR FAVOURITE DESIGN TOOLS?

Gouache paints, hot pressed watercolor paper  and brushes.

HOW WOULD YOU DESCRIBE YOUR DESIGN PROCESS? 

I guess it’s pretty standart – research, sketch, paint, digitize and finish in Photoshop. This is my most natural workflow. I try Illustrator from time to time but it’s not intuitive for me as it is Photoshop. I like Procreate with Ipad pro too, but I’m slowly adding it to my workflow.

WHAT ARE SOME OF YOUR FAVOURITE DESIGN PROJECTS TO DATE?

I have a few collections coming up soon that I can’t show yet, but there was also scrapbooking collections, stationery and nursery bedding that I love to see the final products.

WHO ARE YOUR DREAM CLIENTS OR WHAT IS YOUR DREAM PROJECT?

I’d love to illustrate children’s books in a near future. 

THERE HAS BEEN AN ART SUPPLY SANCTION IMPOSED AND DESIGNERS ARE ONLY ALLOWED TO POSSESS 3 ITEMS/TOOLS, WHAT DO YOU CHOOSE?

Brush, paint and paper... I would miss the pencil to sketch first though !

WHERE DO YOU FIND INSPIRATION?

Art history, vintage things, movies, nature, books,  my childhood...

WHO WOULD YOU SAY THE GREATEST DESIGNER IS?

If I can pick only one person I’d choose an artist, Van Gogh  for his unique style, passion and ability to paint fellings.

WHEN I'M LONG GONE:

I hope people remember me for being dedicated and making people happy through my art.

Where you can find me:

www.biancapozzi.com.br

https://www.instagram.com/bianca_pozzi/

Designer Spotlight: Heather Rosas

HELLO, PLEASE INTRODUCE YOURSELF:

Hello! I'm Heather Rosas. I'm a surface pattern designer and illustrator. Most of my work is for the Children's and Baby Markets, but I'd like to start expanding into other markets as well. I started out in college as an Architecture Major, but after two years I became much more interested in Graphic Design. I ended up transferring to the Massachusetts College of Art in Boston majoring in Graphic Design. I always wanted to focus on the Children's Market, and I ended up getting a job as a designer at a children's novelty publisher called Intervisual Books. After that I moved on to Mattel and worked in the creative department for Barbie Consumer Products. I learned all about licensing there, so when I decided to license my own artwork, I had bit of a background. I've been doing this for about 6 years now. I live in Southern California with my husband, two children, three guinea pigs, one dog, and one fish. So, I'm never bored!

HAVE YOU ALWAYS WANTED TO BE SURFACE PATTERN DESIGNER/ILLUSTRATOR?

Actually, I had never heard of a pattern designer until I became one! We didn't have that major at the college I went to, so it never occurred to me. At BCP, I was on the team that would design the Barbie style guides that the licensees would use to design product with. We would work with trend experts, fashion designers, and illustrators and come up with collections that had icons, patterns, borders, illustrations and photographs of the doll. I really enjoyed that part of the job and it's pretty much what I do everyday now.

WHAT DOES A TYPICAL DAY/WEEK LOOK LIKE FOR YOU?

After I bring my kids to school and walk my dog, I have a quick breakfast and try to dive right in to my workday. I have a much shorter day than I'd like (usually 9 to 3), because of all my responsibilities at home. I have to get used of lots of interruptions. I also do a lot of waiting in my life.... waiting at ballet lessons, basketball practices, piano lessons.... so I always have a sketchbook and pens and pencils with me. When I get a few hours to work, I have to really focus to use the time wisely. I try to have one main goal everyday. It has to be very specific, not "work on art". More like: sketch 10 icons for new collection or research inspiration, reference, and color palette today. Sometimes after I get the kids to bed and if I have the energy I might do a little work at night, but honestly, most of the time I'm wiped out!

IF YOU COULD GIVE YOUR 10 YEARS YOUNGER SELF ONE KEY PIECE OF ADVICE OR AN INSIGHT, WHAT WOULD IT BE?

I would say, don't put so much pressure on yourself! Little by little, work on your goals, but remember to take care of yourself, too. This is a long term career and if you work a little everyday you will accomplish a lot after a few years.

WHEN YOU FEEL STUCK OR IN A DESIGN RUT, HOW DO YOU GET YOURSELF OUT OF IT AND BACK ON TRACK?

I would look at some of my favorite stores and artists and see what they are doing. Read some of my favorite blogs. Spend some time on Pinterest. Look at some vintage children's books. Try out a new art medium. Take an online class. Basically just play and not put pressure on myself to make something that's going to licensed right away! But to be honest, my problem more often is not having enough time to accomplish everything I want to try out. That is something I haven't solved yet!

WHAT ARE YOUR FAVOURITE DESIGN TOOLS?

I use Illustrator the most, but I love Photoshop too and have been taking some online classes to learn more. Right now I'm trying out cut paper, and that's really fun because it takes me away from the computer (but quite messy!). I also love painting with gouache and watercolor, but I'm still learning and experimenting. 

HOW WOULD YOU DESCRIBE YOUR DESIGN PROCESS? 

If I'm starting on a new collection, I start out with research. I'll make a Pinterest board for the collection and pin reference photographs, color palettes, inspirational art from history and present time. I'll try to see what's trending right now. Maybe different ideas on how to add texture. Even products that I might imagine the collection being used for. This gives me a place to start. Then I will spend a couple of days just on sketching. Sketching from reference, sketching from imagination, experimenting. Maybe sketching with cut paper or black ink or gouache. The next step is usually inking the best sketches, scanning them, and turning them to vectors in Illustrator with live trace. Then lots of time experimenting with color. Next I'll put some pattern repeats together and make some digital mock-ups with Photoshop. I've found that putting the extra time to put together a mock-up really pays off, rather than just showing a pattern. I usually just purchase the mock-ups from Creative Market or Design Cuts, because my time is so limited.

WHAT ARE SOME OF YOUR FAVOURITE DESIGN PROJECTS TO DATE?

I have a couple projects that stand out for me. I did a Holiday Collection with CR Gibson a few years ago. It was all produced with felt and hand-stitching. We still put the Christmas ornaments on our Christmas tree and hang up the Advent Calendar every year!

I was lucky enough to do a nursery decor collection. There was wall art, banks, nightlights, bibs, blankets, and picture frames. It was a woodland animal collection. My daughter still has the fox and owl bank on her shelf in her room.

I also did a greeting card with Design House Greetings. It was sold at Trader Joe's and I think between my Mom and my Aunt, every one of those cards in the Santa Barbara area Trader Joe's was bought by one of them! 

WHO ARE YOUR DREAM CLIENTS OR WHAT IS YOUR DREAM PROJECT?

I would LOVE to do a bedding collection with Land of Nod! 

THERE HAS BEEN AN ART SUPPLY SANCTION IMPOSED AND DESIGNERS ARE ONLY ALLOWED TO POSSESS 3 ITEMS/TOOLS, WHAT DO YOU CHOOSE?

Oh no! That would be terrible! I would say: pencil, sketchbook, Illustrator.

WHERE DO YOU FIND INSPIRATION?

Pinterest, Instagram, nature, vintage children's books, art history.

WHO WOULD YOU SAY THE GREATEST DESIGNER IS?

I love Charley Harper. So ahead of his time. His art looks current and modern and relevant and yet is 60 years old! Amazing!

WHEN I'M LONG GONE:

I hope people remember me as a great wife and Mommy. I love making art and I think it's important for everyone to have their own passion, but my husband and children always come first.

Where you can find me:

web: www.heatherrosas.com
instagram: @heatherrosasart
facebook: www.facebook.com/heatherrosasillustration
pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/heatherrosasart/

Designer Spotlight: Rebecca Prinn

HELLO, PLEASE INTRODUCE YOURSELF:

Hi, I’m Rebecca Prinn, a greeting card and surface pattern designer living in West Yorkshire, UK.  I worked in house for 10 years, and took the leap of faith to freelance at the beginning of 2016.  I’m represented by Advocate Art, and have been lucky enough to work with clients including Design House Greetings, Papyrus, Hallmark, American Greetings, Paper Magic, and WHSmith.  I love unusual teas, macarons and cookbooks. 

HAVE YOU ALWAYS WANTED TO BE SURFACE PATTERN DESIGNER/ILLUSTRATOR?

Yes I think so, I remember being fascinated by the wallpaper my mum had chosen for my bedroom - little geometric cats, and thought that it would be an exciting job to be able to create patterns for a living!

WHAT DOES A TYPICAL DAY/WEEK LOOK LIKE FOR YOU?

Each week is different depending on how much client work I have on.  One week I might have the opportunity to build my portfolio, the next week I might have a few client projects to juggle, which can range from greetings cards, diaries, giftwrap, wall art or book illustration.   If it’s a big project, and time permits, I like to concentrate on that in the mornings, and do something more experimental in the afternoons.

IF YOU COULD GIVE YOUR 10 YEARS YOUNGER SELF ONE KEY PIECE OF ADVICE OR AN INSIGHT, WHAT WOULD IT BE?

Don’t be afraid of making mistakes.  My most popular work has come about through experimentation, where I’ve not been at all sure of whether it’s going anywhere, but I’ve persevered, and kept all my sketches and concepts and experimented in putting elements together in a different way. 

WHEN YOU FEEL STUCK OR IN A DESIGN RUT, HOW DO YOU GET YOURSELF OUT OF IT AND BACK ON TRACK?

I love Skillshare, if I have some down time, I pick a class, and try and implement some new techniques or approaches into my own work.  I often find this sparks off a whole new set of ideas.  If I can get myself into a “play” mode and quiet the self doubt, my doodles and experiments often spark off new ideas.  Once I have one idea for a card or wrap range, I can usually go with the theme to make a small collection.

WHAT ARE YOUR FAVOURITE DESIGN TOOLS?

I love my Mijello watercolours as the colours are so intense and smooth.  They were a bit of a treat, but most of my other tools and cheap and cheerful; a dip pen, Indian ink, and a stamp pad, but most of my tools are found objects.  I love mark making with my husband’s tools, although he isn’t always too happy when they’re returned covered in ink!

HOW WOULD YOU DESCRIBE YOUR DESIGN PROCESS? 

I love getting my hands dirty with different mediums, so often I’ll have an idea in mind for a new look, but I’m not always sure what subject matter that will involve.  So I’ll spend a couple of hours mark making, trying to be as loose as possible to create unpredictable results.  I then scan or photograph my originals, and manipulate on my mac, integrating the more abstract shapes and marks into more traditional subject matter for greeting cards, such as flowers, cakes, presents etc. 

I use both Photoshop and Illustrator; if I’m working texturally, I generally keep everything in Photoshop, as I don’t think you retain the same texture in Illustrator, even if you use Image Trace.  For more graphic works, I tend to use Illustrator.  I often use Illustrator for client work if it’s suitable, as it’s far easier to tweak colours, scale etc. 

WHAT ARE SOME OF YOUR FAVOURITE DESIGN PROJECTS TO DATE?

I loved working on this project for Noel Tatt, this experimental approach was something a bit different for me at the time, and it really gave me the confidence to keep going in this style

WHO ARE YOUR DREAM CLIENTS OR WHAT IS YOUR DREAM PROJECT?

I would love to design a fabric collection, I especially love all the designs that come from the Dashwood Studio.  It would also be pretty cool to see my patterns across a range of products in Paperchase.

THERE HAS BEEN AN ART SUPPLY SANCTION IMPOSED AND DESIGNERS ARE ONLY ALLOWED TO POSSESS 3 ITEMS/TOOLS, WHAT DO YOU CHOOSE?

Indian ink, Mijello watercolours, and my scanner.  I’d have to find some random objects to make marks with!

WHERE DO YOU FIND INSPIRATION?

At the moment, I’m really interested in textures, so will check out kids art departments, DIY departments or found objects on a walk for new ways of mark making.  I take my smartphone everywhere to capture industrial patterns, colour combinations, or an interesting flower shape I haven’t seen before.  Antique shops, vintage packaging and food packaging also really get my juices flowing.

WHO WOULD YOU SAY THE GREATEST DESIGNER IS?

Lucienne Day, her style still looks so fresh today.

Call for Art + Trend Reports SS 2019

LIVE BRIEF:

We have a great opportunity for our Rise Design and Shine community once again! Trend forecaster, consultant and Designer, Emily Kiddy has provided us with an insider look at some of the trends that will be included in her next Trend publication. What’s more, any designs you create for these trends can be submitted to be included in Emily’s industry shared Trend Report. If your work is featured, you will also receive a free PDF version of the full trend publication (for personal use). 

These reports are sold to retail companies with a focus on design for Baby, children and pre-teen age ranges. Many of the designers featured in these reports are approached by the companies using them to either license the designs they see or work on a commission or freelance basis to create something specific – win win!

So if you are currently designing with kids in mind or want to start, this one’s for you!

Why this is a great opportunity:

  • It's free!
  • Get a first look at key trends for the kids market for 2019*
  • Add some new designs to your portfolio
  • Get your work in front of potential clients (your work will be fully credited)

Simply pop your name and email address in the form below and you will get access to download the pdf. You are free to work on these trends as long as you wish but as this is a live call for submissions/brief, if you would like to submit your designs to Emily, you have until Midnight (GMT) Friday 22nd of September.

*Please note that the trend inspiration boards and notes shared with you are NOT to be shared online, on social media or any other public forum. They are solely for your reference, to be used as design inspiration.

Name *
Name

FolioFocus Week 1 Showcase

Last week, our popular portfolio building workshop, FolioFocus, started another round. We kicked off with Florals as a theme, complete with trend insights and inspiration to get our classmates going. WOW did they nail it! 

Here are a few of the beautiful submissions to our FolioFocus Showcase Gallery - you really must see the full gallery here FolioFocus Gallery!

Follow along and watch our classmates on our Instagram account, or join the current FolioFocus session to take part.

Designer Spotlight: Jessica Hogarth

HELLO, PLEASE INTRODUCE YOURSELF:

Hey! I’m Jessica Hogarth from Whitby, a picturesque fishing town on the North Yorkshire coast of England. I spend my days working from my studio on the east side of the town, and my free time socialising with friends and playing hockey! My coastal upbringing has had a big influence on my work and I love being so close to the sea. 

HAVE YOU ALWAYS WANTED TO BE SURFACE PATTERN DESIGNER/ILLUSTRATOR?

Since I began my degree in Printed Textiles and Surface Pattern Design I have been very passionate about illustration and surface pattern, but I wasn’t focused on art during my upbringing despite taking a fine art A level. I was sporty and musical, and after studying one semester of classical music I left to reassess my options and I discovered the surface pattern course. Looking back on my A level work, it was always quite pattern led, but since I didn’t really plan on following an artistic career I had no idea just how many different types of creative courses were out there until I started looking for them! 

WHAT DOES A TYPICAL DAY/WEEK LOOK LIKE FOR YOU?

My weeks are really varied, depending on deadlines and how many emails I have coming in. At some point you can guarantee I will be packing orders, doing some accounting, utilising social media and responding to emails. The odd week does go by where I don’t even pick up a pen to draw, but that is happening less and less which is good! 

IF YOU COULD GIVE YOUR 10 YEARS YOUNGER SELF ONE KEY PIECE OF ADVICE OR AN INSIGHT, WHAT WOULD IT BE?

Homesickness subsides eventually! It took me quite a while to settle in to university life but by the end of third year I didn’t want to leave! I definitely feel like I made the most of my time studying, but I wish I had worried less at the beginning. 

WHEN YOU FEEL STUCK OR IN A DESIGN RUT, HOW DO YOU GET YOURSELF OUT OF IT AND BACK ON TRACK?

Taking a break is definitely necessary for me. I find it hard to work when surrounded by clutter, which is something I have only recently realised. I tidy up my work space when I am feeling in a rut, take a break from looking at my work and come back to it hopefully with a fresh pair of eyes later. 

WHAT ARE YOUR FAVOURITE DESIGN TOOLS?

Definitely paper and my 0.38 muji pens. Other than that, I sometimes use ink and brushes for creating little patterns, but the colouring of my artwork is done on Adobe Illustrator, so I definitely need a scanner, my computer and wacom tablet! 

HOW WOULD YOU DESCRIBE YOUR DESIGN PROCESS? 

My design process is fairly simple. All of my illustrations begin as black pen on paper before they are scanned in to the computer. I occasionally tidy them up in Photoshop, but all of the colouring is done in Illustrator. I also use this program to put illustrations in to repeat, or decide on the final layout for a piece of work. When I was at university I was a little more experimental, but this way of working has been successful for me, and it feels like the most natural way to create my art. Other than that my favourite app is Instagram. It’s addictive and I spend more time on there than I probably should! 

WHAT ARE SOME OF YOUR FAVOURITE DESIGN PROJECTS TO DATE?

I was thrilled to work with the RNLI in 2014, when I created multiple fish illustrations and patterns for use across a variety of textile and stationery products. 

A different but really fun project was designing the art for a salad bowl used in a giveaway by Florette. My face went on to the packaging of salad bags in shops across the UK, and winners won a contemporary bowl, with the illustrations on it done by me! 

Repeat pattern is my passion, so it’s a pleasure to be collaborating with UK based company Deva Designs. I have created every day and Christmas art for them since 2014. The designs are put on to gift wrap and bags and sold in independent outlets across the UK, as well as some high street stores including Waterstones and John Lewis. 

WHO ARE YOUR DREAM CLIENTS OR WHAT IS YOUR DREAM PROJECT?

 I worked with the Wall Street Journal a couple of years ago, and created an illustration for an article in their Mansion magazine. I would love to create more work for editorial. I’d also love to work with Anthropologie (who wouldn’t?!) and Fishs Eddy, to create some quirky illustrations for their homewares. 

THERE HAS BEEN AN ART SUPPLY SANCTION IMPOSED AND DESIGNERS ARE ONLY ALLOWED TO POSSESS 3 ITEMS/TOOLS, WHAT DO YOU CHOOSE?

Loads of paper, pen and ink.

WHERE DO YOU FIND INSPIRATION?

Here, there are everywhere! I love getting out and about, and think being out of the four walls of my studio is good for getting creative ideas going. When I am in work I like to use Pinterest to look at visually exciting work, which always makes me feel inspired to get creative myself and push my own ideas.

WHO WOULD YOU SAY THE GREATEST DESIGNER IS?

That is an impossible question to answer! I love everything that Anna Bond of Rifle Paper Co is about so I am going to say her if I must pick one, but really there are loads I could mention.

WHEN I'M LONG GONE:

I hope people remember me for being a happy and thoughtful person.  

Portfolio Sites: To Password Protect or Not?

In one of our Facebook groups, the question was asked whether or not a designer should password protect their portfolio area on their website. As the response is long and it's a question that keeps popping up I decided to create a post instead.

Some companies/art directors (not all), prefer designs they buy/license not to have been seen or published online before. Others however, are fine with it and will even allow you to keep your Etsy or Spoonflower products live. Alternatively, they may request that you take down any posts featuring a design they have purchased and remove any Print on Demand products featuring the design(s).

rise_design_and_shine_advice_portfolio_site

It's a bit of a catch 22 because you need to show your work in order for your audience to grow and for a visitor to get a sense of who you are and ultimately get the deals and sales. 

Things to consider:

  • How much traffic do you have to your website
  • How large is your body of work (only the good stuff)
  • How big is your database of clients/potential clients
  • Have your clients ever requested designs that have not been posted online before

 

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Tips For keeping a Password protected area:

  • Rotate the content so your site always looks fresh
  • Ensure your site gives a good feel of who you are and what you can create
  • Show snippets of password protected work not the entire piece
  • You may want to consider the type of content you want to password protect, for example designs you want to sell outright could be password protected while, designs for licensing are shown.
  • Another option if you have already worked with a few clients is to show work already licensed (as long as it is still true to your current style and the type of work you are wanting to get presently.
  • Remember that if you want someone to take the extra step of requesting access, you need to make them really want to!
  • You may want to test the waters by setting up a protected page and seeing if it works for you and if people are requesting access or not

Benefits of Keeping a Password Protected Portfolio:

You get to know who is looking at your work *Bonus Tip: add a note that informs them they will be added to your newsletter, then send them new work with the rest of your contact list

When it works well:

If you have a distinctive style, a visitor will be able to get an idea of whether or not you are a good fit for them without needing to see the hidden gems. They will happily request access to see what else you have or request something specific

If you have a good mailing list of contacts you can email them access every so often inviting them to see the new collections and include their password access to your exclusive portfolio - this lets them know they will see something not everyone has access to!

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PoSsible Pitfalls:

  • It can be a little time consuming
  • Some people will be put off by a "request access" call to action, and not bother
  • If requested access isn't swiftly granted, (ie. if it is not an automated process), and the user has to wait to be approved, you may miss the boat.

All in all, as with most business and creative decisions, you have to see what works for you. What works well for one person may not suit your individual business and client set up. There is no harm in testing one approach and changing tact to see if the results can be improved. 

Good luck in your endeavours! 

Live Painting Demo with Este Macleod

If you're anything like us, you love to catch a look a creatives' processes. You probably also find it mesmerising to watch them work. This afternoon (4 pm UK time) you can catch Este Macleod's Instagram live painting demo. I've watched her work before and it's very addictive and informative, well worth tuning in or catching the replay! 

Click this image and Follow @EsteMacleod to catch her live & for more lush posts

Click this image and Follow @EsteMacleod to catch her live & for more lush posts