graphic designer

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

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: Asa Gilland

HELLO, PLEASE INTRODUCE YOURSELF:

Hello, my name is Åsa Gilland, I’m a Swedish illustrator and surface designer based in Jakarta, Indonesia. I started out studying fine art and interior design and later worked for many years in graphic design/packaging design.

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

Perfectionism is not something to strive for, it is a sure buzz kill for creativity. There will always be people with more skill, better technique, more original ideas, so you need to let go of every though that your work doesn’t measure up and carve out your own little spot for yourself. Take every opportunity to learn something new, if it tickles your interest, go for it. Continue to try to learn new things, to approach the unknown with curiosity and an open mind.

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

I will try to force myself out of my comfort zone, take a course, a workshop, anything to get a new spark.

WHAT ARE YOUR FAVOURITE DESIGN TOOLS?

I have embraced the digital side of art with an enthusiasm that continues to puzzle my kids. I am old enough to have started out at a time when all work was done manually on a drawing table using mechanical pencils, tracing paper, a scalpel and my trusted Rotring pens. I can sometimes get a pang of nostalgia for those times but then I remember what happened when you spilled coffee on your work or made a drastic mistake that could not be easily undone. I was absolutely giddy when my employer at the time brought in computers into our graphics department, revolutionary. Nowadays I am the tech geek in our home.

At the moment my best design aid is my Ipad which I gifted myself on my last birthday. I commute a lot and spend much time in the Jakarta traffic and it is a great little thing to bring along to make good use of the time. At home I work mostly with vectors but also dabble with acrylics and gouache.

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

Procreate is quickly becoming one of my favorites. Normally I work in a combination of several programs, Affinity, AI and PS, and every now and then I bring out traditional media. My design process is fairly straightforward and usually begins with amassing an abundance of reference photos and inspiration. I am not a person who sketch, mostly because I find that it suits me better to dive straight in. I find that the hardest part of the design process is editing, weeding out the excess stuff that I inevitably end up having. I admire minimalistic, clean artwort, but tend to go the opposite route. 

WHAT ARE SOME OF YOUR FAVOURITE DESIGN PROJECTS TO DATE?

Recently I collaborated with Linoluna, an Indonesia boutique store concept, to create a range of kid’s cushions and posters for their new children interior line:  http://linoluna.co.id/designer/asa-gilland/ . I had a blast working on this project and was really happy with the final products. I also very much enjoyed creating some greeting cards for Trader Joe’s and a coffee cup series based on the traditional Indonesian shadow-puppet legends.

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

I like having a mix of small and big project, variation is the fun part. The dream client can sometimes be something of a surprise. It’s not necessarily always the most well-paid projects that linger as favorites, but the fact that the client is someone with whom you can collaborate and share a vision with.

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

If forced to chose I’d be alright with a drawing pad and a couple of ink markers.

WHERE DO YOU FIND INSPIRATION?

I walk a lot and love observing people around me, a lot of my work is inspired by my Swedish background as well as cultural themes of my adopted country. I spend a lot of time browsing and collecting vintage photos and posters that later potentially becomes inspiration for new work.

WHO WOULD YOU SAY THE GREATEST DESIGNER IS?

I have a great admiration for the works of the Swedish designer and artist Stig Lindberg. He had such groundbreaking ideas for his time and his work still feels very contemporary.

When I’m long gone, I hope people remember me for being brave when it counted and compassionate when it was needed.