Designer Spotlight: Emily Hamm

HELLO, PLEASE INTRODUCE YOURSELF:

Hi, everyone! My name is Emily Hamm, a graphic designer & pattern designer out of Oklahoma. I spent about 10 years at an in-house design studio, where I designed patterns, products & packaging. Although I have lots of experience as an in-house designer, I am new to this side of the pattern world. Thanks to the support of my husband, a little over a year ago I began Emily Hamm Design, a graphic & pattern design studio. Currently I’ve been freelancing design while developing my personal pattern design style, taking classes, and designing lots of patterns. My hope is to begin freelancing/selling/licensing my pattern work soon.

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

I have always wanted to be in a creative field of some sort. Being unaware that pattern design was a career path, I chose graphic design instead. I love graphic design and still use those skills daily. As long as I can remember I’ve always been drawn to patterns! Recently, going through some art I did in grade school I found drawings & paintings of guess what? Patterns! I guess I really was a pattern designer before anything else.

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

I work from my home, a cute little, hundred-year-old, farmhouse with a studio that’s just perfect for me. With a flexible schedule, I work 4-5 days a week, depending on my workload. Coffee in hand (I’m NOT a morning person), my day usually starts around 8:30, where I begin by checking my emails, social media and planning out the day. From there, I work on developing patterns or working on graphic design projects for clients.

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

When it comes to design… keep things in perspective and don’t put too much pressure on yourself.

As a good friend of mine always says, “We’re not saving lives here!”

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

If I can switch gears and work on another project I will do that. But sometimes, when I am really struggling it helps to take a break, go on a walk or do some market research. It also helps to step back, and look at the big picture of my goals for my designs.

WHAT ARE YOUR FAVOURITE DESIGN TOOLS?

Being a graphic designer too, I am all about working within the design programs. Adobe Illustrator is my favorite program.

HOW WOULD YOU DESCRIBE YOUR DESIGN PROCESS? 

1st, I conceptualize: Research, look through books, write word lists that come to mind, & thumbnail/sketch.

2nd, I develop: I get on my computer, and start developing work from my sketches or straight from my head.

3rd, I refine: step away from it for a bit, come back and refine the designs, make major and minor changes until I am happy with the result.

As far as apps go, I like Adobe Capture: an app that quickly vectorizes photos.

WHAT ARE SOME OF YOUR FAVOURITE DESIGN PROJECTS TO DATE?

A few of my favorite projects have been working on Christmas paper goods & fabric for Hobby Lobby.

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

I would love to see my pattern designs carried by brands like West Elm, Target or Cloud 9 fabrics. I dream of projects such as fabric lines, paper goods and home goods.

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

Graph Paper, Pantone Swatch book (color bridge), & my computer.

WHERE DO YOU FIND INSPIRATION?

All over really. Social media of course, design books, the beautiful variety of the flowers at the park, trendy packaging at a local boutique, or a vintage illustrated book at an antique store. I also gather inspiration from other creative fields such as furniture design, architecture, fashion or music.

WHO WOULD YOU SAY THE GREATEST DESIGNER IS?

Saul Bass.

WHEN I'M LONG GONE:

I hope people remember me as someone that inspired them to love others and live a full (and pattern filled) life.

Where you can find me:

emilyhammdesign.com

@emhammdesign on Instagram

Emily Hamm Design on Facebook

@emilyhammdesign on Twitter