HELLO, PLEASE INTRODUCE YOURSELF:
Hi! I am Anne-Chris Hedlund from Sweden. Fossan Design is my company where I work as a pattern/textile designer. I recently moved to a house outside Stockholm with my partner, our daughter, our dog and two cats. Any day now we are expecting another little child, so my biggest focus in life right now, besides work, are of course my family.
HAVE YOU ALWAYS WANTED TO BE A SURFACE PATTERN DESIGNER/ILLUSTRATOR?
I have always been creative, but I come from a family of engineers so I thought that would be my path for a long time. While growing up, I began to realize that the happiest parts of my life was when I let myself create something, no matter if it was painting, writing, photographing, knitting or designing birthday cards. So for me it has been a process – finding out that illustration, and patterns in particular, was what I wanted to work with. Patterns makes me happy, it is my biggest passion!
WHAT DOES A TYPICAL DAY/WEEK LOOK LIKE FOR YOU?
Currently I am dividing my time, working both as a project manager at an advertising agency and as a illustrator/textile designer at my own business Fossan Design. Although it can be hard to find the time for everything, I like the diversity. I get to go into town, meet people and work in teams as well as being at home in my studio illustrating and growing my business in whichever direction I choose.
My main focus with Fossan Design right now is selling fabrics with my own designs. Fabric is a great surface to showcase design and I love to see pictures of customers wearing my patterns. A typical week includes cutting/packing fabric orders, talking to customers and suppliers, updating my webshop and social media, sewing inspirational clothes, seeking inspiration and of course illustrating new patterns. I also need to keep myself updated on what is on the market today and what is requested by the customers.
IF YOU COULD GIVE YOUR 10 YEARS YOUNGER SELF ONE KEY PIECE OF ADVICE OR AN INSIGHT, WHAT WOULD IT BE?
10 years ago I was so afraid that working with illustration would destroy my passion for it, so I decided to go another way. I learned project management and marketing, started working with some big clients and handling many projects at once. I think that was exactly the right choice for me then. So my advice would be: “I know you are afraid and that is okay, you will never loose your creativity and one day you willwork with it, when you are ready to do so.”
WHEN YOU FEEL STUCK OR IN A DESIGN RUT, HOW DO YOU GET YOURSELF OUT OF IT AND BACK ON TRACK?
Searching for inspiration! I go back to my favourite illustrators or search for new ones, analysing why I love to look at their work. What is catching my eye with it? The colours? The motif? The style? I make moodboards with things I like. It does also help changing scenery – taking a long walk, sitting outside in the sun or talking to a person that inspires me.
WHAT ARE YOUR FAVOURITE DESIGN TOOLS?HOW WOULD YOU DESCRIBED YOUR DESIGN PROCESS?
I have tested a lot of techniques over the years, but now I often work in the same way: I sketch up my motifs on paper, then draw outlines with an ink pen. Finally I scan the sketches and work with them in Illustrator.
I like when the patterns are not “perfect” but has a playful, unique touch to them, and I like Illustrator since I always can go back and make variations in colours and composition. It is easy to edit and improve, and I guess I like that because I never feel quite finished with my work (it can always be better!).
Instagram is by far my favourite app! I spend a little too much time scrolling that feed everyday..
WHAT ARE SOME OF YOUR FAVOURITE DESIGN PROJECTS TO DATE?
That must be my latest collection of fabrics for spring/summer 2017. I got a great response and so many pre-orders that I felt confident printing a lot of fabrics, filling up my shelves with colourful textiles. I had worked hard on finding the right supplier for printing that met my demands on high quality, taking a social responsibility and having both organic and toxic free materials and printing process. When I found that, I also felt more confident in promoting myself and what I was offering. The pre-ordering process also helped me see which patterns people preferred and requested.
WHO ARE YOUR DREAM CLIENTS OR WHAT IS YOUR DREAM PROJECT?
I have so many ideas on what I would like to do! Mainly I want to grow this business I have now, but one dream would be to launch my own clothing line - perhaps in a collaboration with either a company or someone who shares my vision and can complement me.
WHERE DO YOU FIND INSPIRATION?
Everywhere. Wherever there is a pattern, or I can see a pattern, my eyes are drawn to it. It can be on wallpapers, carpets, peoples clothes on the subway, book covers or in the nature. And online of course, on Pinterest, Instagram, Spoonflower.. I love the different online courses in illustration/design that gathers passionate people from all over the world.
WHO WOULD YOU SAY THE GREATEST DESIGNER TO HAVE LIVED IS?
There are many but to name two: William Morris and Josef Frank. They have such beautiful details in their patterns, it is like they are telling a story. My favourite patterns is the ones that I can look at a long time and still discover new details in.