spotlight

Designer Spotlight: Fossan Design

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. 

WHEN I'M LONG GONE:

I hope people remember me as an inspirational designer who made colourful, fun and detailed patterns!

Where you can find me:

Website: www.fossan.se

Instagram: @fossan_design

Webshop: fossandesign.tictail.com

Contact: chris@fossan.se

Designer Spotlight: Bianca Pozzi

HELLO, PLEASE INTRODUCE YOURSELF:

Hi ! I’m Bianca, an Illustrator and Surface Designer from Brazil. I’ve graduated in fashion design and worked developing prints for fabrics at the fashion industry and since 2015 I started my freelance business. I’m represented by Cinnamon Joe Studio and I love what I do : )

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

Oh definitely no. I’ve graduated in journalism but it was never my thing. I’ve became a pastry chef and had my own shop for about 6 years. That’s when I realized I loved anything art related, and also loved to be able to work creatively. When I closed my shop I decided to continue pursuing a career in the creativity field so I studied Fashion design. That’s when I found out about illustration and surface design in my life and at that moment I knew that’s what I wanted to do, and never looked back.

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

I’m a morning person so I like to start working around 7 am and usually stops around 5pm. Work includes trend research, making lists of things I need to do, sketching, painting, digitizing and working in Photoshop. I take small breaks to walk my dog and eat :D Some days I have classical ballet class which I absolute love and help me stay out of the computer for a few hours.

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

Good things take time.

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

I go through this in every few weeks. There’s this lovely cartoon by Matthew Innman where he says that creativity is like breathing – when you’re creating you’re exhaling, but you can’t exhale forever. We have to stop and breath in, and that’s exactly how I feel after a big project or a few weeks of creating in a row.  Now I understand it is just part of the process, and usually I spend an afternoon researching new trends, studying other artists, watching documentaries, walking outside, etc. I also like to make lists to get everything out of my head. This is equally important as the periods I’m working in the studio.

WHAT ARE YOUR FAVOURITE DESIGN TOOLS?

Gouache paints, hot pressed watercolor paper  and brushes.

HOW WOULD YOU DESCRIBE YOUR DESIGN PROCESS? 

I guess it’s pretty standart – research, sketch, paint, digitize and finish in Photoshop. This is my most natural workflow. I try Illustrator from time to time but it’s not intuitive for me as it is Photoshop. I like Procreate with Ipad pro too, but I’m slowly adding it to my workflow.

WHAT ARE SOME OF YOUR FAVOURITE DESIGN PROJECTS TO DATE?

I have a few collections coming up soon that I can’t show yet, but there was also scrapbooking collections, stationery and nursery bedding that I love to see the final products.

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

I’d love to illustrate children’s books in a near future. 

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

Brush, paint and paper... I would miss the pencil to sketch first though !

WHERE DO YOU FIND INSPIRATION?

Art history, vintage things, movies, nature, books,  my childhood...

WHO WOULD YOU SAY THE GREATEST DESIGNER IS?

If I can pick only one person I’d choose an artist, Van Gogh  for his unique style, passion and ability to paint fellings.

WHEN I'M LONG GONE:

I hope people remember me for being dedicated and making people happy through my art.

Where you can find me:

www.biancapozzi.com.br

https://www.instagram.com/bianca_pozzi/

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

Designer Spotlight: JILLIAN PHILLIPS

HELLO, PLEASE INTRODUCE YOURSELF:

Hi! I'm Jill, I'm an illustrator and print designer based in the UK.

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

Don't worry so much! Work hard and it will eventually come together.

 

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

I surround myself with design books or visit an art exhibition. A day out in a new city can really lift the creative spirit too.

WHAT ARE YOUR FAVOURITE DESIGN TOOLS?

I love to paint with ink. 

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

I try not to look at what everybody else is doing when I am working on a new print- but I do love to look at Instagram in my down time. There are so many lovely creative people out there.

My own process involves spending time looking at books, sketching, filling pages in my sketchbook (if time permits) and then starting to put the design together in Illustrator or Photoshop.

WHAT ARE SOME OF YOUR FAVOURITE DESIGN PROJECTS TO DATE?

I've been lucky to be involved in some great projects. I love designing fabric for Dashwood Studio. Land of Nod are also really fun to work with. I still get excited when I walk into a Paperchase store and see my artwork on product too!

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

Oh gosh, so many. I've always liked the idea of designing bedding for Ikea. Anthropologie would also be high on my list!

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

Ink, brush and paper is all I need to be happy!

WHERE DO YOU FIND INSPIRATION?

Tokyo, Stockholm, Copenhagen and London.

WHO WOULD YOU SAY THE GREATEST DESIGNER IS?

There are so many great designers!!

When I’m long gone, I hope people remember me as a designer whose work made people smile.

Where you can find me:

www.jillyp.co.uk  

instagram:  jillyp_studio

 

 

Designer Spotlight: Zara Martina Mansen

HELLO, PLEASE INTRODUCE YOURSELF:

Hi, I’m Zara Martina, a British Surface Pattern Designer/illustrator based in Southern Spain. I originally studied Fashion and worked for some time as a costume designer in TV. After taking a break and moving to Spain, I decided to retrain in Surface Pattern Design and have been working in this industry for a few years now. 

 

 

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

My advice would be: " enjoy the journey, go with your gut instincts (which I never did and wish I had), try not to follow and keep learning every day!"

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

I have the most beautiful garden and if I ever feel bogged down or in a design rut, I take a break there. I work from my home studio so sometimes it’s hard to leave work behind. If I really need a good break, I simply close my studio door and get out of the house. I love to go out in the neighbourhood and take photos for inspiration too. 

WHAT ARE YOUR FAVOURITE DESIGN TOOLS?

I quite often work straight in Photoshop so one of my favourite tools would have to be my Wacom Intuos tablet, which is nothing fancy but works a treat and I love my Pentel brush pens and also Rotring pens for finer line work. 

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

If I have a brief to work to I like to start my search on Pinterest and sometimes make a private board there. I also have a huge pinboard in the studio which takes up one wall, I quite often use that to pin colours, images, drawings etc. I then choose different routes depending on the look I want to achieve. Sometimes I’ll make lots of sketches/paintings and scan them into the computer to work on, other times I’ll work straight in Photoshop.

I mostly work in Photoshop; I love Photoshop, but will work in Adobe illustrator if needed. I’m also enjoying using Adobe capture with captures taken from my own illustrations. Finally, I love to mock-up my patterns, I’m a mock-up freak and I pretty much mock-up up every pattern to get a feel of how it could look on different products. 

WHAT ARE SOME OF YOUR FAVOURITE DESIGN PROJECTS TO DATE?

I’m not sure; I love a lot of my work at the beginning and grow tired of it after seeing it all the time! I have sold some patterns outright this past year for print studios which I can’t share and I would say it was some of my best work.  However, I’m most proud of my first licensed work which at the time was such an achievement. It was an achievement because I had just completed training with The Make it in Design School and decided to just go for it and see what happened.  I landed my first licensing opportunity straight after the course with work I’d completed on the course.

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

I love designing for the home décor market but I would love to have the opportunity to design prints for fashion, probably because of my training and love of fashion.

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

I would definitely have to have at least one brush pen, a big sketchbook (I like working on a large scale) and a pencil. 

WHERE DO YOU FIND INSPIRATION?

Everywhere! I take a LOT of photographs from my mobile when I’m out and about, and drive my husband mad because we have to keep stopping to take random photos. I also love to go to museums but not as often as I’d like. When I lived in London, I would visit all the museums frequently. 

WHO WOULD YOU SAY THE GREATEST DESIGNER IS?

Emilio Pucci was a great designer, Zandra Rhodes (I once met her on a studio visit), also Mary Katrantzou, love her work!

When I’m long gone, I’d like to be remembered for someone that followed her own path, was inspirational, kind and giving. 

Where you can find me:

http://www.zaramartina.com/

https://www.instagram.com/zaramartinadesigns/

https://www.facebook.com/zaramartinadesigns

https://twitter.com/ZarasDesigns

Designer Spotlight: Lisa Kirkbride

HELLO, PLEASE INTRODUCE YOURSELF:

Hi, I’m Lisa Kirkbride, an illustrator and pattern designer living in sunny Whitley Bay in the north east of England with my husband and young daughter. I’m fortunate enough to enjoy stunning sea views, and whilst bracing, I love where I live.
My background is in graphic design and this is reflected in my designs which are vibrant and fun. I'm inspired by Scandinavian design and 1950s vintage fabrics and wall coverings. I’m driven by my love for creating patterns – especially florals – while exploring new eye catching colour combinations.

I am a member of Finch and Foxglove art collective and we exhibited together for the first time this May at Surtex in New York. It was a great experience and opportunity to get my work out there in front of dream clients. In 2017 I am showing at Printsource in January and Surtex again in May, something that would be much harder to achieve without being part of the collective which is a great support and is invaluable in sharing the costs and workload of exhibiting.
I’d describe myself as a book lover, doodler, collector of letterpress type and a stationery addict with an unhealthy obsession for art materials. I was recently ranked in the top 8 MIID Printsource 2016 competition, reached the semi-finals of the The Global Talent Search 2016 and have showcased in a number of industry publications.

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

Simply to stop doing things that you don’t love and remember that shy bairns get nowt! That’s two isn’t it, I always like to give a bit extra!

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

I find the best thing to do is to get away from my desk, go for a walk or a run along the seafronts - basically get outside and clear my head. A change of scenery often unlocks new ideas and I find I’m much more productive once I get back.

WHAT ARE YOUR FAVOURITE DESIGN TOOLS?

I’m a big fan of Illustrator and have a Wacom Cintiq which I love. This year I treated myself to an iPad Pro and pencil which is slowly becoming a favourite too, but sometimes you can’t beat a twig and some ink or a sharpie!

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

At the start of every project I will research the subject matter, look at trends and what appeals to me and my target audience, and draw, draw, draw. I like to use Graphik fine liners and Sharpies to sketch and brainstorm ideas. When I’m at a stage where I think I have what I need, I’ll scan my images and start to create my illustrations or patterns (Adobe Capture is pretty cool for scanning and importing your art into Illustrator as a vector file).
I mainly work in Illustrator on the Cintiq (I find the pen on the screen far more intuitive than a mouse and it was a great investment). However lately I’m using the iPad more and more. I have

Procreate which works brilliantly with the Apple Pencil but my preference is Adobe Draw as I can export my layered, vector files into Illustrator and share colour libraries across projects. It’s a different way of working for me and I’m just getting to the stage where I can see it could save me time and it could be a useful tool to keep me productive on the go.
I often mockup my patterns on to actual products in Photoshop as it’s very rewarding and I enjoy seeing how my designs or patterns will work on “real life” products. Experimenting with the scale of the pattern can also be a useful exercise and combining complementary patterns is really fun too and gives an insight into how they could be used together.

WHAT ARE SOME OF YOUR FAVOURITE DESIGN PROJECTS TO DATE? 

One of my favourite projects so far is illustrations for packaging for a candle company. I worked on labels for flavours such as strawberry's and cream and chocolate fudge, make your own candle kits and also some high end labels and boxes for their premium range.

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

I really enjoy making patterns so my dream project would be a fabric collection (probably florals!) or a stationery range to satisfy the stationery lover in me. I am a little obsessed in mocking up my designs onto journals or bedding as you can probably tell by my Instagram feed.

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

That is really hard. I suppose my mac, iPad (which I could use to create with and it would also double up as a scanner) and a sharpie!

WHERE DO YOU FIND INSPIRATION?

For inspiration, I look at the scenery around me, I love flora and fauna so there’s always something to see as the seasons change. I look out for trends in shops, visit galleries and Pinterest and Instagram are great - but I need to be disciplined with them as time can fly.

WHO WOULD YOU SAY THE GREATEST DESIGNER IS?

Scandinavian design really appeals to me as I love the bold colours and the very graphic, high contrast style. Anything from Finnish company Marimekko is amazing and the bold, folk-like patterns of Josef Frank are really inspiring.

When I'm long gone, I hope people remember me for making colourful designs that make people smile.

Where you can find me:

facebook.com/LisaKirkbrideDesigns

www.instagram.com/lisa_kirkbride_designs

www.lisakirkbride.com

Designer Spotlight: Michelle Grace

Hello, please introduce yourself:

Hi, I’m Michelle Grace a surface pattern designer form Derbyshire in the UK. I love to sketch and paint from nature and create collections built around the changing seasons.

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

I would say always stay true to yourself, if something feels wrong don’t be afraid to move on. Set goals and aim high! I always enjoy learning and over the last year have taken many online courses. Knowledge can bring endless possibilities.

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

I go out and find inspiration. Simply walking in the fresh air or gardening can give you time to think clearly. I also find lots of inspiration from Pinterest and Instagram and find it relaxing yet motivating to browse at all the amazing art out there!

What are your favourite design tools?

I have always loved to paint but since working more digitally I have found a love of working with a pen and paper so fluid and organic. I prefer to have an object in front of me to draw from, rather than just doodling randomly and I don’t pencil sketch 1st as I like to see what my hand wants to do! Sometimes little ‘mistakes’ can be quirky and fun. I love to have the freedom of sketching without restraints. In the past I have worked as an In-house designer where the common practice was to get our images from Google, print and trace them precisely then paint the motifs. I found this such a flat and mundane way of working and much prefer to inject a bit of my personality into my drawings now.

How would you describe your design process? Favourite apps and programs

My design process starts either with a theme or by walking and collecting found objects such as wild flowers. I have my camera at all times as I’m constantly looking for inspiration. I like to experiment with lots of media, trying to paint in new ways or changing my materials depending on a theme. I remember last Autumn sketching berries and I ended up squashing and ‘painting’ with them to create a nice background texture. I love to get a little messy some times! A long time ago I was a Decorative Painter living in Spain and as well as painting furniture with decorative effects such as marbling and colourwashing I painted huge scale murals. The work was quite varied and I think that’s why I still love to experiment with scale and media now.

Nowadays, I often create a moodboard though don’t always stick to my initial thoughts, preferring to let me ideas grow.

My preferred program is illustrator with a wacom tablet. An app I used a lot is PicsArt as it allows me to add my logo to jpegs on my phone.

What are some of your favourite design projects to date?

Over the last year I have been creating collections which have so far been licensed by PatternJam.com and their new company stitchedcustomquilts.com who create customised quilt tops. It’s been amazing to see my patterns on quilt tops and I’m very happy to work with such a great company who has good values and are so innovative!

https://patternjam.com/michellegracedesign

Who are your dream clients or what is your dream project?

I would love to licence fabric collections to Robert Kaufman Fabrics and create art work for Rifle Paper Company. I have been very lucky to have been commissioned by Harrods before and I would love to work with them again!

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

A unipen, an Pental Aquash water brush pen and a tube of gouache, but I would be quite happy with a pen and sketchbook which is what I take to the Garden Centre!

Where do you find inspiration?

I find inspiration everywhere! Mostly from nature though also from places such as Instagram and Pinterest where I follow some brilliant Artists and Designers, many of whom I have done online courses with and I happily call my friends.

Who would you say the greatest designer is?

That is hard for me to answer because my hero’s have changed over the years! I am most inspired by modern designers including Nathalie Lete, Bari J and Miriam Bos at the moment as well as many supportive friends in the industry.

When I'm long gone, I hope people remember me for someone who created beautiful art and inspired others!

Where you can find me:

www.michellegrace.co.uk

issuu.com/mgracedesign

facebook.com/MichelleGraceDesign

twitter.com/michellegrace27

instagram.com/michellegracedesign

www.pinterest.com/michellegrace27

online shops:

redbubble.com/michellegrace

society6.com/michellegrace

spoonflower.com/michellegracedesign

etsy.com/michellegracedesign