kei maye

Designer Spotlight: Kei Maye

Hello, please introduce yourself:

Hey, I’m Kei, a nature obsessed surface & pattern designer from London.

If you could give your 10 years younger self one key piece of advice or an insight, what would it be?

You will never find out what could be if you continue to sit and wonder. It is much better to grow old and think ‘oh well’ than ‘what if I had just tried to give it a go’. Don’t be afraid of ‘failure’ all failure is, is the universe’s way of saying ‘hey…that way didn’t work…let’s try another route’. So just..get on with it!

When you feel stuck or in a design rut, how do you get yourself out of it and back on track? 

When I’m feeling uninspired, I take a step back and just focus on relaxing and making time for other things I enjoy. I learned the hard (and frustrating) way, that trying to force myself to produce work when I felt ‘blocked’ usually led to bigger and lengthier droughts that I found it harder to recover from. I think it’s important to not overwork or put too much pressure on ourselves to create anything, as the output can often end up contrived and not organic.

I find that updating my playlist can help, as well as spending some time away from social media!

What are your favourite design tools? 

Photoshop, Illustrator, my Wacom tablet, graph paper and pencils.

How would you describe your design process?

Almost all of my prints are results of spontaneous bursts, often generated by new music or from simply laying in the bath. I’ve been told I have a peculiar way of working, as I tend to jump straight into it without explaining the concept (this was such a huge issue for me in university). As my pieces are so spontaneous, I often bypass the ‘planning’ step of the process, and jump straight into drawing the shapes and selecting colour either through Photoshop or using my sketchbook.

For my geometric prints, I tend to construct the shapes first in Illustrator, before colouring and filling in the various shapes on Photoshop.

What has been/have been some of your favourite design projects to date? 

Back in 2013, I had been approached to sell my prints in a pop-up art event line with Fab. I remember at the time, I was really nervous about putting everything out there as I was just starting on my print design journey, but once the event started, it felt liberating. It was great to see all the feedback and to know that there are people out there who support me and my work. It really inspired me to keep on going.


what is your dream project?

I would love to find a massive warehouse and transform it into a creative hub, with nature themed rooms filled with resources, material and inspiration. A space for all creative folk to come and explore their artistic interests and learn new methods through workshops and access to a collection of equipment and machinery. In addition to this, the design of interior & soft furnishings brings me major joy, so this would be a dream avenue to explore as well.

There has been an art supply sanction imposed and designers are only allowed to possess 3 items/tools, what do you choose? 

iMac, Wacom and a supply of electricity.


Where do you find inspiration? 

Nature. There is so much beauty to be found in nature, and a lot of us perhaps don’t have the time to stop and notice, especially when we’re on our way to work or getting the shopping done and just getting on with our lives. The colours and shapes from the subtle to the bold and bright, they all inspire my pieces in some way, shape or form.

Who would you say is the greatest designer to have lived? 

Incredibly difficult as there are so many awesome designers out there! I can tell you who I think is great at the moment - Lina Iris Viktor. Her vision is insane.

When I'm long gone, I hope people remember me as :

The girl who expressed herself creatively and unapologetically.


Where you can find Kei

Website: // Facebook: // Instagram: @kei_maye //