surface design

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: Courtney Capone

HELLO, PLEASE INTRODUCE YOURSELF:

Hello! My name is Courtney Capone and I am a surface designer/illustrator living in Queens, NY. I work as a graphic designer by day, and spend my nights drawing, creating patterns and watching tv with my cat, Catface. 

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

I did not know that being a surface designer/illustrator was a job option until recently! I always liked art when I was younger, I was always the kid getting in trouble for doodling in class instead of paying attention. I thought that the only way to be an "artist" as a career was to be a fine artist, and I thought being a fine artist was limited to being able to draw or paint photo-realistically, so I reluctantly gave up on that dream. After college, while working an un-inspiring desk job, I discovered graphic design and went back to school. It was actually in my design program that I learned about the wonderful world of pattern design and fell in love.

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

 I do my graphic design job during the day and when I get home I settle in for some sketching/ideation. I try to do this every night, for a half an hour at least, just to make sure I keep my creativity flowing. When I don't have any freelance work coming in I like to give myself challenges, like posting a pattern a day to Instagram for 100 days. I find that these keep me accountable and challenge me to try new styles and techniques. I recently started working with print studio as a freelancer so most of the art i'm working on at the moment is for them. I'm also trying to open my own Etsy shop, so lately i've been working on figuring out which products are the best fit for my designs!

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

 It would be to have confidence in myself! I feel like I lost a lot of time by thinking I wasn't "good enough", and it seems very silly to me now.

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

Usually by getting up and doing something else! I find that stepping away from the project, even just for a few hours, usually does wonders for me. I like to take that time and take a walk, cook a meal, or spend time working on a separate creative project (i've just started to learn how to use my sewing machine, finally!)

WHAT ARE YOUR FAVOURITE DESIGN TOOLS?

Big, inexpensive sketchbooks or a stack of copy paper, 6B pencils, any smooth inky pen I can get my hands on, and Adobe Illustrator/Photoshop.

HOW WOULD YOU DESCRIBE YOUR DESIGN PROCESS? 

My design process usually begins with a concept or theme. I think about what I want to convey with my patterns and what look and feel I want to capture. Sometimes I create a moodboard if it's a big project. Then I just draw! I just draw motifs without judging, and just try to create as much as a I can within the theme. For example if i'm drawing Unicorns, I draw them in lots of different shapes and styles and then I start to draw things that could live with them in a pattern, like flowers or rainbows, etc. Once I feel like I've drawn all I can , I go through and pick the motifs I like the best and take pictures with my phone. Then I open the pictures on my ipad and trace with a sketch program so that they are vectorized. I then open them on my desktop where I can manipulate them in Illustrator or Photoshop depending on the effect I'm going for. Once I have the layout set, I start to play with color. I have an entire Pinterest board devoted to color palettes and I like to play around with options until I land on something I love.

WHAT ARE SOME OF YOUR FAVOURITE DESIGN PROJECTS TO DATE?

 I did a really fun job for a client who makes nutrition bars for pregnant women, I really enjoyed working on the patterns for that one! There are also a few one-off pattern's I've created that I really enjoy because I think they are fun. Lately i've been trying out a new style and I like a lot of that stuff as well even though its different from the way I normally work.

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

I would love to design patterns that get used on products for Land of Nod!! I love their aesthetic and it would be so cool for my work to be available on such cute stuff. I would also love to do an entire home line for Target!

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

A pencil, a sketchbook and a smoothy, inky pen.

WHERE DO YOU FIND INSPIRATION?

I am very inspired by things that are unusual. I love a weird flower, or an interesting rock formation, or even a very alien looking insect! Nature is the first go-to for me but I also really enjoy looking at vintage packaging, illustrations and advertisements. 

WHO WOULD YOU SAY THE GREATEST DESIGNER IS?

That's a hard question! I recently discovered the work for Josef Frank and fell completely in love! Close second are not individual designers, but I am endlessly inspired by Marimekko and Liberty of London. 

WHEN I'M LONG GONE:

I hope people remember me for having a good sense of humor and being fun to be around! I strive to be a positive force in the world and hope that my work reflects that.

Where you can find me:

 www.courtneycapone.com

Instagram: @courtneyecapone

FolioFocus Christmas Design Week Round Up!

We have reached the end of another amazing FolioFocus session and the level of design eye candy has been as high as ever! Below is just the tip of the iceberg, be sure to peruse the full AW FolioFocus Gallery to see the wonderful designs from our talented classmates and get in touch with classmates if you would like to work with them or license their designs.

We'll be back for another round of FolioFocus in February - woohoo!