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