Designer Spotlight: Emma Allsup

HELLO, PLEASE INTRODUCE YOURSELF:

My name is Emma and I'm a surface pattern designer and illustrator. I live with my husband and daughter in beautiful Cheshire, UK. 

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

When I was in my last year at college, I really had no idea which area in art I wanted to pursue a career in. I loved fashion, textiles, fine art, photography and craft, and it were my tutors who could see from my portfolio, that I should study surface pattern at university. I'm so glad they did, because I love it so much and can't imagine feeling content doing anything else!

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

At the moment, I'm working in a design studio two days per week and freelance for the remaining days. Whilst I'm not working, I tend to search for inspiration on design blogs, pinterest and on instagram (I'm always on my mobile!) I make sure that I make time to create artwork for the Rise Design and Shine course briefs! 

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

I'd tell my ten years younger self, to have more confidence in my creative abilities. Also, to just be myself. 

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

When I get into a design rut, I search for inspiration. It tends to be that the colours aren't working or sometimes not enough ideas,  so I'll doodle another mind map and draw extra icons. I prefer to have too many drawings, so I can pick and choose which ones to use when it comes top developing final designs.

WHAT ARE YOUR FAVOURITE DESIGN TOOLS?

My favourite design tools are; inks, gouache, graphic markers, coloured pencils and Adobe suit. 

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

When given a brief, I initially start with some research and draw what images pop into my head. I try not to think about the final outcome at this stage, as I like to keep an open mind. Then I'll produce a mind map, once I get familiar with the brief. Then I do more research based from what has been documented on the mind map. 

From this stage, I produce further drawings and I like to make sure that the colours are right at this point, before scanning and developing some ideas on the computer. Colour plays a big part in the design process. I suppose it keeps me motivated. Lastly, finishing off my designs in PhotoShop. 

WHAT ARE SOME OF YOUR FAVOURITE DESIGN PROJECTS TO DATE?

My favourite design project to date are the children's gift wraps I designed at Deva. I had lots of fun with these. They were on display for this year's Spring Fair, at the NEC Birmingham. Also, I have recently produced a few illustrations for a booklet and animation, which is pretty cool! I can't say much for now about this till it goes live, which shouldn't be long now! I'm guessing within the next couple of months. 

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

My dream clients will have to be Anthropologie, Urban Outfitters and Oliver Bonas. I'd love to set up my own outlet too, for my own designs and others that compliment these.

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

These would have to be; inks, gouache and coloured pencils. 

WHERE DO YOU FIND INSPIRATION?

I find inspiration from all over, mainly magazines, shops, Pinterest, instagram and nature. 

WHO WOULD YOU SAY THE GREATEST DESIGNER IS?

I like a few artists/designers who have been around for a while, for example, Helen Dardik, Sarah Walsh, Hatsuki Miyahara, Anne Smith and Mary Fedden. My all time favourite illustrator would have to be  Brian Wildsmith. His drawings are fun and display so much energy. 

When I'm long gone, I hope people remember me for showing versatility, great style and my ability to make people smile!