children

Designer Spotlight: Heather Rosas

HELLO, PLEASE INTRODUCE YOURSELF:

Hello! I'm Heather Rosas. I'm a surface pattern designer and illustrator. Most of my work is for the Children's and Baby Markets, but I'd like to start expanding into other markets as well. I started out in college as an Architecture Major, but after two years I became much more interested in Graphic Design. I ended up transferring to the Massachusetts College of Art in Boston majoring in Graphic Design. I always wanted to focus on the Children's Market, and I ended up getting a job as a designer at a children's novelty publisher called Intervisual Books. After that I moved on to Mattel and worked in the creative department for Barbie Consumer Products. I learned all about licensing there, so when I decided to license my own artwork, I had bit of a background. I've been doing this for about 6 years now. I live in Southern California with my husband, two children, three guinea pigs, one dog, and one fish. So, I'm never bored!

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

Actually, I had never heard of a pattern designer until I became one! We didn't have that major at the college I went to, so it never occurred to me. At BCP, I was on the team that would design the Barbie style guides that the licensees would use to design product with. We would work with trend experts, fashion designers, and illustrators and come up with collections that had icons, patterns, borders, illustrations and photographs of the doll. I really enjoyed that part of the job and it's pretty much what I do everyday now.

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

After I bring my kids to school and walk my dog, I have a quick breakfast and try to dive right in to my workday. I have a much shorter day than I'd like (usually 9 to 3), because of all my responsibilities at home. I have to get used of lots of interruptions. I also do a lot of waiting in my life.... waiting at ballet lessons, basketball practices, piano lessons.... so I always have a sketchbook and pens and pencils with me. When I get a few hours to work, I have to really focus to use the time wisely. I try to have one main goal everyday. It has to be very specific, not "work on art". More like: sketch 10 icons for new collection or research inspiration, reference, and color palette today. Sometimes after I get the kids to bed and if I have the energy I might do a little work at night, but honestly, most of the time I'm wiped out!

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

I would say, don't put so much pressure on yourself! Little by little, work on your goals, but remember to take care of yourself, too. This is a long term career and if you work a little everyday you will accomplish a lot after a few years.

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

I would look at some of my favorite stores and artists and see what they are doing. Read some of my favorite blogs. Spend some time on Pinterest. Look at some vintage children's books. Try out a new art medium. Take an online class. Basically just play and not put pressure on myself to make something that's going to licensed right away! But to be honest, my problem more often is not having enough time to accomplish everything I want to try out. That is something I haven't solved yet!

WHAT ARE YOUR FAVOURITE DESIGN TOOLS?

I use Illustrator the most, but I love Photoshop too and have been taking some online classes to learn more. Right now I'm trying out cut paper, and that's really fun because it takes me away from the computer (but quite messy!). I also love painting with gouache and watercolor, but I'm still learning and experimenting. 

HOW WOULD YOU DESCRIBE YOUR DESIGN PROCESS? 

If I'm starting on a new collection, I start out with research. I'll make a Pinterest board for the collection and pin reference photographs, color palettes, inspirational art from history and present time. I'll try to see what's trending right now. Maybe different ideas on how to add texture. Even products that I might imagine the collection being used for. This gives me a place to start. Then I will spend a couple of days just on sketching. Sketching from reference, sketching from imagination, experimenting. Maybe sketching with cut paper or black ink or gouache. The next step is usually inking the best sketches, scanning them, and turning them to vectors in Illustrator with live trace. Then lots of time experimenting with color. Next I'll put some pattern repeats together and make some digital mock-ups with Photoshop. I've found that putting the extra time to put together a mock-up really pays off, rather than just showing a pattern. I usually just purchase the mock-ups from Creative Market or Design Cuts, because my time is so limited.

WHAT ARE SOME OF YOUR FAVOURITE DESIGN PROJECTS TO DATE?

I have a couple projects that stand out for me. I did a Holiday Collection with CR Gibson a few years ago. It was all produced with felt and hand-stitching. We still put the Christmas ornaments on our Christmas tree and hang up the Advent Calendar every year!

I was lucky enough to do a nursery decor collection. There was wall art, banks, nightlights, bibs, blankets, and picture frames. It was a woodland animal collection. My daughter still has the fox and owl bank on her shelf in her room.

I also did a greeting card with Design House Greetings. It was sold at Trader Joe's and I think between my Mom and my Aunt, every one of those cards in the Santa Barbara area Trader Joe's was bought by one of them! 

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

I would LOVE to do a bedding collection with Land of Nod! 

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

Oh no! That would be terrible! I would say: pencil, sketchbook, Illustrator.

WHERE DO YOU FIND INSPIRATION?

Pinterest, Instagram, nature, vintage children's books, art history.

WHO WOULD YOU SAY THE GREATEST DESIGNER IS?

I love Charley Harper. So ahead of his time. His art looks current and modern and relevant and yet is 60 years old! Amazing!

WHEN I'M LONG GONE:

I hope people remember me as a great wife and Mommy. I love making art and I think it's important for everyone to have their own passion, but my husband and children always come first.

Where you can find me:

web: www.heatherrosas.com
instagram: @heatherrosasart
facebook: www.facebook.com/heatherrosasillustration
pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/heatherrosasart/

Designer Spotlight: Allison Romero

HELLO, PLEASE INTRODUCE YOURSELF:

Hey everyone!  I'm Allison!  I currently live in Dallas, TX but was born and spent most of my life in Tulsa, Oklahoma.  I studied graphic design in college and am working as a graphic designer for a paper crafting company.

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

I knew I wanted to have some kind of creative career but growing up I didn't really know what that would be.  It wasn't until I started college that I realized I wanted to be a graphic designer.  I didn't even really think of surface pattern design as a career until I took my current job and had to make a pattern for a project (something I had never done before)!  My love for surface design took off from there!

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

During the work week I design for a paper crafting company. I get to work on everything from surface design to product development.   Every day is something different!  During the evenings and weekends I'm usually designing patterns for personal projects and as a way to continue to develop my skills.

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

My graphic design professor always used to tell us to just do it.   If I could go back and time i would tell myself to listen to him!  I often feel like I spent so much time waiting for the perfect idea or the perfect project and was afraid to start creating for fear that things wouldn't turn out like I pictured them in my head.  The toughest thing for me when I began surface design was just getting started and if I hadn't decided to just do it one day, I probably wouldn't be making very many patterns at all.

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

If I'm in a rut I have to step away from design projects for a while and do something entirely different (which usually means a major netflix binge session).   I'll often scroll through Instagram and Pinterest.  I also often turn to a few of my creative friends who are big inspirations and also great at helping me come up with fun new project ideas!

WHAT ARE YOUR FAVOURITE DESIGN TOOLS?

Adobe Illustrator (the pattern tool changed my life) and my Wacom Tablet.  

HOW WOULD YOU DESCRIBE YOUR DESIGN PROCESS? 

I usually start with a little bit of research and inspiration and then pick out a color palette for whatever project I'm working on.  I'm not really a pencil and paper kinda designer.  I jump straight into working on the computer and make everything in Illustrator. I like my patterns to be filled with lots of stuff, so I'll start drawing whatever comes to mind and will fit the theme of the project I'm working on.  Then it's just a lot of moving things around on the artboard until everything fits into a pattern I'm happy with.

WHAT ARE SOME OF YOUR FAVOURITE DESIGN PROJECTS TO DATE?

I still feel like I'm fairly new to the world of surface design, but some of my favorite projects have been the scrapbooking papers I've been able to create at my current job!  I love looking through hashtags on Instagram and seeing how crafters are using the papers I created in their projects!

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

I'd love to design anything for children!  Children's clothing, bedding, etc.  I'd also love to have a line of fabric!

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

It's a pretty boring answer but I would choose my laptop, Adobe Illustrator, and my wacom tablet!  I do everything on the computer so it would be hard for me to get by without those tools!

WHERE DO YOU FIND INSPIRATION?

I LOVE using Instagram as a way to find inspiration!  There are so many amazing designers, illustrators, and makers there and it's a great way to connect with fellow creatives.

WHO WOULD YOU SAY THE GREATEST DESIGNER IS?

This is such a hard question because there are so many!  I can't pick just one!  

WHEN I'M LONG GONE:

I hope people remember me for creating unique and colorful designs that make them smile! 

Where you can find me:

Website: www.allisonlromero.com

Pinterest: www.pinterest.com/allisonlromero

Instagram: @allisonromerodesign