FolioFocus Week 6 Roundup!

Amazing work, lovely words this week!

Here are a few designs from Facebook and Instagram and our Gallery can be found here: https://www.flickr.com/groups/foliofocusspring17/

FolioFocus Week 5 Roundup!

WOOOOW! Great recipes this week!

Here are a few designs from Facebook and Instagram and our Gallery can be found here: https://www.flickr.com/groups/foliofocusspring17/

Designer Spotlight: Kei Maye

Hello, please introduce yourself:

Hey, I’m Kei, a nature obsessed surface & pattern designer from London.


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

You will never find out what could be if you continue to sit and wonder. It is much better to grow old and think ‘oh well’ than ‘what if I had just tried to give it a go’. Don’t be afraid of ‘failure’ all failure is, is the universe’s way of saying ‘hey…that way didn’t work…let’s try another route’. So just..get on with it!

When you feel stuck or in a design rut, how do you get yourself out of it and back on track? 

When I’m feeling uninspired, I take a step back and just focus on relaxing and making time for other things I enjoy. I learned the hard (and frustrating) way, that trying to force myself to produce work when I felt ‘blocked’ usually led to bigger and lengthier droughts that I found it harder to recover from. I think it’s important to not overwork or put too much pressure on ourselves to create anything, as the output can often end up contrived and not organic.

I find that updating my playlist can help, as well as spending some time away from social media!


What are your favourite design tools? 

Photoshop, Illustrator, my Wacom tablet, graph paper and pencils.


How would you describe your design process?

Almost all of my prints are results of spontaneous bursts, often generated by new music or from simply laying in the bath. I’ve been told I have a peculiar way of working, as I tend to jump straight into it without explaining the concept (this was such a huge issue for me in university). As my pieces are so spontaneous, I often bypass the ‘planning’ step of the process, and jump straight into drawing the shapes and selecting colour either through Photoshop or using my sketchbook.

For my geometric prints, I tend to construct the shapes first in Illustrator, before colouring and filling in the various shapes on Photoshop.


What has been/have been some of your favourite design projects to date? 

Back in 2013, I had been approached to sell my prints in a pop-up art event line with Fab. I remember at the time, I was really nervous about putting everything out there as I was just starting on my print design journey, but once the event started, it felt liberating. It was great to see all the feedback and to know that there are people out there who support me and my work. It really inspired me to keep on going.

 

what is your dream project?

I would love to find a massive warehouse and transform it into a creative hub, with nature themed rooms filled with resources, material and inspiration. A space for all creative folk to come and explore their artistic interests and learn new methods through workshops and access to a collection of equipment and machinery. In addition to this, the design of interior & soft furnishings brings me major joy, so this would be a dream avenue to explore as well.


There has been an art supply sanction imposed and designers are only allowed to possess 3 items/tools, what do you choose? 

iMac, Wacom and a supply of electricity.

Night-Fly-Leggings.jpg


Where do you find inspiration? 

Nature. There is so much beauty to be found in nature, and a lot of us perhaps don’t have the time to stop and notice, especially when we’re on our way to work or getting the shopping done and just getting on with our lives. The colours and shapes from the subtle to the bold and bright, they all inspire my pieces in some way, shape or form.


Who would you say is the greatest designer to have lived? 

Incredibly difficult as there are so many awesome designers out there! I can tell you who I think is great at the moment - Lina Iris Viktor. Her vision is insane.


When I'm long gone, I hope people remember me as :

The girl who expressed herself creatively and unapologetically.

 

Where you can find Kei

Website: kei-maye.co.uk // Facebook: facebook.com/kei.LDN // Instagram: @kei_maye // 

Designer Spotlight: Rhiannon Pettie

HELLO, PLEASE INTRODUCE YOURSELF:

Hi, My name is Rhiannon Pettie working under the studio name Kimrhi Studios. I reside in Surrey in the UK with my husband and have a background in experimental embroidery.... since April last year (about 10 years on) I have been exploring the surface pattern design world and fell in love!

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

I left school to pursue an Art & Design career but the foundation class was not very good where I was and so I started working instead and did a level 3 City and Guilds in experimental embroidery with the Opus School of Textile Arts. I guess it was an early 'Make it in design" course but for embroiderers, they taught traditional and modern techniques and even taught degrees all distance learning. Our final work was displayed at the Mall Galleries in London which was a fab experience but I then went on to marry, get a house and life kind of took over a bit, doesn't it happen to all of us? I've always been crafty enjoying sewing, crochet etc and eventually my husband gave me the shove to quit my job and figure out what I really wanted to do. I began MATS A in April last year and fell in love with the bolt fabric assignment, I've signed up to as many classes as applicable ever since. It's been a huge learning curve and although frustrating at times, so fun and exciting.

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

I love that every day is different but my days will range from manufacturer research, designing and sketching, outings to RHS Wisley gardens or V&A for research (luckily I'm close to both), watching Illustrator tutorials (in the background) and designing. I try to get most of a collection done every week around the other jobs I have to do. Right now I'm busy balancing FolioFocus, Make it in design module 2, and a few clients, that's enough for now!

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

Always believe in yourself. We are all able to achieve more than we can imagine.

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

This is a toughie but I always think it's best to get away from the computer. Luckily I have many walks locally so I just go out down the canal usually. You can't force it and so I think it's best to be kind to yourself, have lunch with friends etc and it will return.

WHAT ARE YOUR FAVOURITE DESIGN TOOLS?

Currently I do all my design work in Illustrator so everything I hand design is in black and my fav tools for this would be my brush pen, ink for creating textures with and gouache.

HOW WOULD YOU DESCRIBE YOUR DESIGN PROCESS? FAVOURITE APPS AND PROGRAMS

It's still quite experimental but usually start with researching the collection I want to create and what it will be used for and sketching/inking which I may do for a few days in between other bits. I will then scan this all in and arrange into patterns and placement graphics in Illustrator. Any leftover motifs I pop in a 'working file' that I can dip into when I'm just 'missing' something although I usually tend to overcrowd my designs! I like to use the adobe capture app to create my own custom brushes too.

WHAT ARE SOME OF YOUR FAVOURITE DESIGN PROJECTS TO DATE?

I'm so new to the industry I feel like they are all my favourites as I constantly learn but my favourite projects have included developing gift wrap ranges which highlighted how important limited colour palettes are! I also enjoyed creating my phone case range and hope to add to that more soon. It's available with Artscase; www.artscase.com/kimrhi-studios. I'm also thoroughly enjoying the FolioFocus course as it is pushing me in new directions and helping me to develop my style.

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

Would love to have a fabric line one day as I love to quilt so it would be great to use my own designs but Spoonflower is a great alternative for now!

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

Brushpen, Gouache and fine liners. 

WHERE DO YOU FIND INSPIRATION?

Mostly around nature, from the walks I take and areas I visit. I've also done a 365 project over the last year which has led me to research a lot of animals and so the skin and textures, feathers etc really inspire me too. I have a wad of work waiting to be developed!

WHO WOULD YOU SAY THE GREATEST DESIGNER IS?

William Morris, we had a sofa with his pattern on growing up!

When I'm long gone, I hope people remember me for the energy in my work.

Where you can find me:

website - www.kimrhistudios.co.uk

Instagram @kimrhistudios

Facebook @kimrhistudios

twitter @kimrhistudios

FolioFocus Week 4 Roundup!

You keep getting better and better :) Some AWESOME designs this week!

Here are a few designs from Facebook and Instagram and our Gallery can be found here: https://www.flickr.com/groups/foliofocusspring17/

Designer Spotlight: Miriam Bos

HELLO, PLEASE INTRODUCE YOURSELF:

My name is Miriam Bos. I am an illustrator and surface designer from the Netherlands. I live in Apeldoorn, a city that's located in the middle of the forests and moorlands of the Veluwe. I really enjoy living here, as it gives me plenty of inspiration for my illustrations.

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

I would tell myself to try and go to bed earlier, instead of working late nights to catch up with deadlines. I still need to remind myself that this is often very counterproductive in the end. You exhaust both your body and mind at some point, which, in the long run, slows down your productivity during the day. But it's hard to get it out of your system once you get used to it. I still struggle with it sometimes because I'm also by biological design more of a night owl than a morning person. But going to bed early makes me feel better during the day, which means I'll get more done in the end. :)

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

Sometimes there is no time for it, but if I can, I will put away that design and do something totally non-related. Which usually means I start working on another creative project, haha. But it can be anything, really.

One of the things I like to do is going to the gym and work out on a cross-trainer for an hour straight. It's not as much fun as working on a creative project, but when you are trapped on a cross trainer, there is just no other way to go. It's just you, your body and your mind. To me, it works wonders most of the time. I like the exercise and the routine. It keeps the blood flowing.

When I am working out, most of the time I'll get all kinds of fun and creative ideas which I tend to write down in the little notebook I bring along. Or I use the time to brainstorm when I am stuck on a project.  I can't do this at home for some reason :) (Too many distractions, I guess.)

Another thing I like to do is going for long walks. It kinda works the same way as a work-out, though I always get distracted more easily by my surroundings.

WHAT ARE YOUR FAVOURITE DESIGN TOOLS?

Definitely my gouache paint and my Wacom Cintiq

HOW WOULD YOU DESCRIBE YOUR DESIGN PROCESS? FAVOURITE APPS AND PROGRAMS

My design process can be quite impulsive sometimes.

It can start with a sketch, but more often I sort of brainstorm, and simply start drawing randomly until an idea comes to mind. 

Then I start working on a composition and work out the details. 

A lot of the time I start with gouache on paper (and any other material that's within my reach). Then I scan it in, and when needed I will cut out elements and adjust the composition on the computer. Enhancing or changing colours is also part of the process. 

Photoshop is the program I go to most of the time. And Adobe illustrator comes in 2nd. 

My favourite app is definitely instagram. I love to see what people create and it's a great medium to share my own artwork as well.

WHAT ARE SOME OF YOUR FAVOURITE DESIGN PROJECTS TO DATE?

I like a lot of the projects I've worked on, but if I have to choose, then I think it will be my Hidden Garden collection for Birch Fabrics (http://miriambos.com/the-hidden-garden-birch-fabrics-2) and the Mistigri game with cats and dogs that I made for the French publisher Auzou (http://miriambos.com/jeu-de-mistigri).

In 2015, Birch Fabrics approached me to create a fabric collection inspired by ‘The Secret Garden’. A classic novel (1910) by Frances Hodgson Burnett. The collection has been released in December 2016.

'The Hidden Garden' is a beautiful story about the friendship of a girl and two boys who find a secret garden and work hard to make it bloom again. I was listening to the audio version of the book while working on this collection. If you look carefully through the designs within this collection you will notice that I've hidden the old padlock key among the characters a couple of times. It's the same key that the girl is holding in the main design with the old entrance door that leads to the garden.

The Mistigri game was a lot of fun to work on. French publisher Auzou approached me to illustrate the so-called 'old maid game with cats and dogs', and of course I couldn't refuse. 

The game contains playing cards with pairs of dogs and cats, and it was a pleasure to create all these fun little characters. One of the dogs, the little dachshund who's drawing cute butterflies, was named after me by the art-director. 

In French the game is called ‘Mistigri, de chats et chiens’, and it's available on Amazon.

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

Someday I'd love to have a product with my design on it with Anthropologie or perhaps Land of Nod.

I realize these are two very different clients, but both work in categories I really love. I personally don't feel bound to either adult or children's themes.

My dream project would be a set of dishes or pottery with my artwork on it. Or perhaps a collection of Tin Tea cans (which I collect myself).

And for the Land of Nod I would enjoy designing a whole room for children that includes bedding, furniture, plushies, playtents, whatever would be fun. Who knows... someday? You'll never know. :)

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

A large tube of gouache paint (W&N Ultramarine blue), a fine cat tongue brush and a big moleskine watercolour sketchbook. 

WHERE DO YOU FIND INSPIRATION?

Everywhere I look. Designs I see on people's bags or Clothes. The flowers and trees in the gardens and, store windows or sometimes simply a combination of colours.

WHO WOULD YOU SAY THE GREATEST DESIGNER IS?

Hmm that is always a tough question because for me that changes all the time. But I guess I've always been a fan of our Dutch Fiep Westendorp.
She was an illustrator who was pretty famous here (and still is). She is from the same period of Marie Blair, and you may find some similarity in their techniques, though they both had their own styles.
And lately I discovered my fondness for Gustav Klimt, technically not a designer, but his work is so gorgeous.

When I'm long gone, I hope people remember me for someone who made art that leaves you with a warm happy feeling or a smile on your face.

FolioFocus Week 3 Roundup!

WOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOW! This week was truly amazing! You really ROCKED IT!

Here are a few designs from Facebook and Instagram and our Gallery can be found here: https://www.flickr.com/groups/foliofocusspring17/

FolioFocus Week 2 Roundup!

What a wonderful week of characters and what beautiful designs! 

Here are a few from Facebook and Instagram and our Gallery can be found here: https://www.flickr.com/groups/foliofocusspring17/

Designer Spotlight: Elizabeth Olwen

HELLO, PLEASE INTRODUCE YOURSELF:

I’m a surface designer and sometimes illustrator from Toronto. I create patterns and illustrations and license them out for all sorts of different products, like bedding, rugs, pillows, aprons, floor tiles, stationery, fabric and so much more. That’s one of the things I love most about what I do — I never know what new kind of product collaboration is around the corner.

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

There will be many challenges, but if you push through, work hard and devote yourself to something you love, they all make you stronger, and your success is so much sweeter. Celebrate what makes you different. And always trust your gut.

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

Top tip: don’t freak out. After many battles with this, I have come to accept that there are ebbs and flows with my creativity. When I’m in a rut, I remind myself that creativity is like a boomerang — sometimes it feels like it’s getting far away, but it always comes back to you. And sometimes it comes back with gifts, like new ideas or directions you might not have had if you didn’t have a bit of space from it.

That said, sometimes I find the hardest part is just getting started. I find myself avoiding work for fear that I might not create something I like. I simply make a deal with myself: just start and spend 15 minutes. If it doesn’t happen in 15 minutes, you’re free to walk away. But usually I sit down, and within 15 minutes I remember how much I love what I do, and am having a blast.

WHAT ARE YOUR FAVOURITE DESIGN TOOLS?

I love my ipad Pro and apple pencil, as well as my Wacom Tablet, for drawing motifs.

HOW WOULD YOU DESCRIBE YOUR DESIGN PROCESS? FAVOURITE APPS AND PROGRAMS

I usually start with good old fashioned pen and paper, away from my computer. I find that I feel most free when I’m away from my computer. I sketch out lots of ideas really loosely and get them out of my head and onto paper. Then I’ll either go back and explore them further on paper, or lately, I find I love just hopping onto my iPad Pro with apple pencil and exploring there. Lately, I’m obsessed with the Adobe Illustrator Draw app, but I also rely heavily on Inkpad — both apps export vector files, but Inkpad also retains strokes so you can further adjust once I’ve exported to my computer. Ultimately, I take my artwork into Adobe Illustrator, where I lovingly assemble all of my patterns.

WHAT ARE SOME OF YOUR FAVOURITE DESIGN PROJECTS TO DATE?

I always love designing fabric — I work with Cloud9 Fabrics who are amazing and always really let me do my thing and support my ideas. I absolutely love seeing how people then take my fabrics and create something new… I think creativity is essential to happiness, so it feels so special when I have a part in someone’s creative play, it’s a privilege. My most recent collection with them is called Underwater and it’s based on my first foray into snorkeling on the Mayan Reef.

I also love working with the Land of Nod who always gives me super interesting and creatively challenging projects. Last year, I got to design a set of wooden baby blocks. A big undertaking, each of the 26 blocks had 6 sides and required a different illustration, and I had a blast working on it. I also love doing bedding with them. I have some crib sheets with a nest theme, and I’m always seeing pictures on Instagram of people’s babies curled up in the nest motif and it warms my heart.  

And some projects are just so interesting and unexpected, things that I wouldn’t have dreamt about working on… floor tiles, or lamps, carved wooden chests, paper dolls. You just never know what’s around the corner.

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

I would love to do a wallpaper collaboration, pretty office products, or gardening products like cute plant pots. I’d also love to a cosmetics collaboration, doing packaging!

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

Pen, paper, ipad.

WHERE DO YOU FIND INSPIRATION?

I find inspiration everywhere I look… I think it’s important to always have your eyes really truly open to what’s around you. I’m inspired by my city — Toronto is an amazing city with a pulsing creative energy, and I have lots of talented friends here! Sometimes it’s the pattern on an old mattress waiting for trash collection, or the shape of a leaf in my neighbour’s garden. I love used book shops and flea markets, and pick up things to bring home to my studio — I think it’s important to surround yourself with beautiful things. I take a lot of pictures when I’m out and about and somehow all of those images culminate in my brain and come out when I’m doodling. And I’m endlessly inspired by nature so I try and escape the city and get out into it when I can. Travel is also a huge inspiration for me — the inspiration from those adventures constantly fuels my work.

WHO WOULD YOU SAY THE GREATEST DESIGNER IS?

William Morris

When I'm long gone, I hope people remember me for spreading beauty

FolioFocus Week 1 Roundup!

What a wonderful week of sweet greetings and what beautiful designs!

Here are a few from Facebook and Instagram and our Gallery can be found here: https://www.flickr.com/groups/foliofocusspring17/