Designer Spotlight: Lisa Kirkbride

HELLO, PLEASE INTRODUCE YOURSELF:

Hi, I’m Lisa Kirkbride, an illustrator and pattern designer living in sunny Whitley Bay in the north east of England with my husband and young daughter. I’m fortunate enough to enjoy stunning sea views, and whilst bracing, I love where I live.
My background is in graphic design and this is reflected in my designs which are vibrant and fun. I'm inspired by Scandinavian design and 1950s vintage fabrics and wall coverings. I’m driven by my love for creating patterns – especially florals – while exploring new eye catching colour combinations.

I am a member of Finch and Foxglove art collective and we exhibited together for the first time this May at Surtex in New York. It was a great experience and opportunity to get my work out there in front of dream clients. In 2017 I am showing at Printsource in January and Surtex again in May, something that would be much harder to achieve without being part of the collective which is a great support and is invaluable in sharing the costs and workload of exhibiting.
I’d describe myself as a book lover, doodler, collector of letterpress type and a stationery addict with an unhealthy obsession for art materials. I was recently ranked in the top 8 MIID Printsource 2016 competition, reached the semi-finals of the The Global Talent Search 2016 and have showcased in a number of industry publications.

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

Simply to stop doing things that you don’t love and remember that shy bairns get nowt! That’s two isn’t it, I always like to give a bit extra!

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

I find the best thing to do is to get away from my desk, go for a walk or a run along the seafronts - basically get outside and clear my head. A change of scenery often unlocks new ideas and I find I’m much more productive once I get back.

WHAT ARE YOUR FAVOURITE DESIGN TOOLS?

I’m a big fan of Illustrator and have a Wacom Cintiq which I love. This year I treated myself to an iPad Pro and pencil which is slowly becoming a favourite too, but sometimes you can’t beat a twig and some ink or a sharpie!

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

At the start of every project I will research the subject matter, look at trends and what appeals to me and my target audience, and draw, draw, draw. I like to use Graphik fine liners and Sharpies to sketch and brainstorm ideas. When I’m at a stage where I think I have what I need, I’ll scan my images and start to create my illustrations or patterns (Adobe Capture is pretty cool for scanning and importing your art into Illustrator as a vector file).
I mainly work in Illustrator on the Cintiq (I find the pen on the screen far more intuitive than a mouse and it was a great investment). However lately I’m using the iPad more and more. I have

Procreate which works brilliantly with the Apple Pencil but my preference is Adobe Draw as I can export my layered, vector files into Illustrator and share colour libraries across projects. It’s a different way of working for me and I’m just getting to the stage where I can see it could save me time and it could be a useful tool to keep me productive on the go.
I often mockup my patterns on to actual products in Photoshop as it’s very rewarding and I enjoy seeing how my designs or patterns will work on “real life” products. Experimenting with the scale of the pattern can also be a useful exercise and combining complementary patterns is really fun too and gives an insight into how they could be used together.

WHAT ARE SOME OF YOUR FAVOURITE DESIGN PROJECTS TO DATE? 

One of my favourite projects so far is illustrations for packaging for a candle company. I worked on labels for flavours such as strawberry's and cream and chocolate fudge, make your own candle kits and also some high end labels and boxes for their premium range.

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

I really enjoy making patterns so my dream project would be a fabric collection (probably florals!) or a stationery range to satisfy the stationery lover in me. I am a little obsessed in mocking up my designs onto journals or bedding as you can probably tell by my Instagram feed.

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

That is really hard. I suppose my mac, iPad (which I could use to create with and it would also double up as a scanner) and a sharpie!

WHERE DO YOU FIND INSPIRATION?

For inspiration, I look at the scenery around me, I love flora and fauna so there’s always something to see as the seasons change. I look out for trends in shops, visit galleries and Pinterest and Instagram are great - but I need to be disciplined with them as time can fly.

WHO WOULD YOU SAY THE GREATEST DESIGNER IS?

Scandinavian design really appeals to me as I love the bold colours and the very graphic, high contrast style. Anything from Finnish company Marimekko is amazing and the bold, folk-like patterns of Josef Frank are really inspiring.

When I'm long gone, I hope people remember me for making colourful designs that make people smile.

Where you can find me:

facebook.com/LisaKirkbrideDesigns

www.instagram.com/lisa_kirkbride_designs

www.lisakirkbride.com