Hello, please introduce yourself:
My name is Angela Nickeas and I am a freelance surface pattern designer. I set up my own studio - Hiccup Studio Designs in 2009 and began to undertake various design projects in the interior, stationery and giftware industries. Prior to this, I worked for a number of studios and retailers, designing and styling ranges mainly in the home furnishing and textile market. I am also represented by the amazing Pink Light Studio and my work is available for licensing.
I live in Manchester, England with my husband Oliver and three young children Lola, Theo and Otto.
If you could give your 10 years younger self one key piece of advice or an insight, what would it be?
I always knew that ultimately I wanted to work for myself, but don’t rule out gaining employment as part of the process. I honestly don’t think that my self-employment would have happened if I hadn’t worked in-house first. The experience, knowledge and contacts I gained along the way were invaluable. Also work hard… work really hard!
When you feel stuck or in a design rut, how do you get yourself out of it and back on track?
I generally go online and search for inspiration. There are so many amazing design blogs and websites out there and I love to delve in and get lost and I quite often feel invigorated and motivated after. It’s important to accept that these moments of ‘artists block’ will always happen but will pass eventually!
What are your favourite design tools?
I’m definitely a digital designer so I couldn’t live without my Mac and Wacom, but I also like to use pen and ink to create textures and shapes which I scan and use within my Illustrator pieces to give them some depth and quirkiness.
How would you describe your design process?
I spend a lot of time at the beginning of the design process doing research and gathering reference – this could be an inspirational colour palette or a single flower motif which may then spark a myriad of ideas. I like to sketch layouts and motifs first before turning to the computer where I use a combination of Illustrator and Photoshop.
I love to browse Pinterest and Instagram (sometimes for hours!) for inspiration and trends.
Who are your dream clients or what is your dream project
I’d absolutely love to illustrate a children's book one day! My children are still young so we have lots of books around the house and some of them are just so inspiring with their whimsical and playful illustrations.
Where do you find inspiration?
Everywhere. My children are an incredible source of inspiration and their sense of wonder never fails to amaze me. I love nature - my work often features flower forms and shapes and the delicacy of birds and butterflies. My background in home textiles means I am inspired by current trends within interior design particularly wallpaper.