Designer Spotlight: Zara Martina Mansen

HELLO, PLEASE INTRODUCE YOURSELF:

Hi, I’m Zara Martina, a British Surface Pattern Designer/illustrator based in Southern Spain. I originally studied Fashion and worked for some time as a costume designer in TV. After taking a break and moving to Spain, I decided to retrain in Surface Pattern Design and have been working in this industry for a few years now. 

 

 

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

My advice would be: " enjoy the journey, go with your gut instincts (which I never did and wish I had), try not to follow and keep learning every day!"

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

I have the most beautiful garden and if I ever feel bogged down or in a design rut, I take a break there. I work from my home studio so sometimes it’s hard to leave work behind. If I really need a good break, I simply close my studio door and get out of the house. I love to go out in the neighbourhood and take photos for inspiration too. 

WHAT ARE YOUR FAVOURITE DESIGN TOOLS?

I quite often work straight in Photoshop so one of my favourite tools would have to be my Wacom Intuos tablet, which is nothing fancy but works a treat and I love my Pentel brush pens and also Rotring pens for finer line work. 

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

If I have a brief to work to I like to start my search on Pinterest and sometimes make a private board there. I also have a huge pinboard in the studio which takes up one wall, I quite often use that to pin colours, images, drawings etc. I then choose different routes depending on the look I want to achieve. Sometimes I’ll make lots of sketches/paintings and scan them into the computer to work on, other times I’ll work straight in Photoshop.

I mostly work in Photoshop; I love Photoshop, but will work in Adobe illustrator if needed. I’m also enjoying using Adobe capture with captures taken from my own illustrations. Finally, I love to mock-up my patterns, I’m a mock-up freak and I pretty much mock-up up every pattern to get a feel of how it could look on different products. 

WHAT ARE SOME OF YOUR FAVOURITE DESIGN PROJECTS TO DATE?

I’m not sure; I love a lot of my work at the beginning and grow tired of it after seeing it all the time! I have sold some patterns outright this past year for print studios which I can’t share and I would say it was some of my best work.  However, I’m most proud of my first licensed work which at the time was such an achievement. It was an achievement because I had just completed training with The Make it in Design School and decided to just go for it and see what happened.  I landed my first licensing opportunity straight after the course with work I’d completed on the course.

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

I love designing for the home décor market but I would love to have the opportunity to design prints for fashion, probably because of my training and love of fashion.

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

I would definitely have to have at least one brush pen, a big sketchbook (I like working on a large scale) and a pencil. 

WHERE DO YOU FIND INSPIRATION?

Everywhere! I take a LOT of photographs from my mobile when I’m out and about, and drive my husband mad because we have to keep stopping to take random photos. I also love to go to museums but not as often as I’d like. When I lived in London, I would visit all the museums frequently. 

WHO WOULD YOU SAY THE GREATEST DESIGNER IS?

Emilio Pucci was a great designer, Zandra Rhodes (I once met her on a studio visit), also Mary Katrantzou, love her work!

When I’m long gone, I’d like to be remembered for someone that followed her own path, was inspirational, kind and giving. 

Where you can find me:

http://www.zaramartina.com/

https://www.instagram.com/zaramartinadesigns/

https://www.facebook.com/zaramartinadesigns

https://twitter.com/ZarasDesigns