surface pattern designer

Designer Spotlight: Erin Dollar

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Hello, please introduce yourself:

My name is Erin Dollar, and I’m a textile designer and surface pattern designer in San Diego, California. I launched Cotton & Flax, my collection of patterned textile home goods in 2012, and I opened my first retail shop last year!

Have you always wanted to be a designer/illustrator?

Not exactly! Like all kids, I was very creative when I was young, but I was part of the generation that watched Free Willy and immediately decided to be a marine biologist when I grew up. My creative side was at a soft simmer during my teenage years, and I took a lot of art and craft classes, including painting, ceramics, and photography. I had planned to major in Environmental Studies in college, but when I discovered the printmaking department, it was all over for me… I never wanted to leave. Discovering my creative passion as a newly minted adult sealed my fate, in a way.

How did you come to the current point you are at in your career?

When I first started working as an artist, I was working part-time jobs, and spending every spare minute in the studio. I would contribute art to gallery shows, and sell my work on Etsy -- at that point it looked more like a side hustle. I brought my artwork to some craft fairs, and the enthusiasm from shoppers encouraged me to put more work into my creative business, and consider the possibility that it could become my full time job.

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Cotton & Flax began as a series of experiments with printing my artworks on fabric, which I built into a full collection. Making utilitarian goods really appealed to me, and by honing my sense of pattern design, it helped me create a distinct style for my work. As the business grew, I’ve partnered with brands on pattern licensing projects. As I continue to grow as an artist, these partnerships and collaborations allow me to experiment, and grow in new directions!

What is your design process?

All my patterns begin as ink drawings. I use sumi ink to draw/paint a pattern onto smooth paper, and then scan and edit in photoshop. I am certain that there are easier ways to design simple patterns, but I find that working on an iPad or computer to start makes my patterns feel too “perfect.” It takes away some of the charm of the hand drawn line.

My design process is usually centered around creating a pattern for a specific product, so I’m brainstorming color choices, and thinking about how the texture of the fabric will affect the design. For client projects, I’m often working from a design brief, so I am thinking about the best way to communicate the idea of the design through my minimalist modern lens.

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What does a typical day look like for you?

I have a design studio in San Diego that’s part retail shop, which is where I work from most days. I arrive in the morning, check emails, package and ship out orders from my online shop, and then the afternoon is spent working on admin or design projects. On a good day, I get to grab coffee down the street with a friend or client, and brainstorm new creative projects.

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

I try to rest, and not beat myself up too much. Experimenting with a new technique or medium tends to help shake things up a bit.

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

I’m very proud of the design work I’ve done for Cotton & Flax. Being in charge of the entire process, start to finish, is a huge undertaking, and I often forget to celebrate that fact!

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I’ve created two fabric collections for Robert Kaufman Fabrics, Arroyo and Balboa. Both are overprinted on linen fabrics, much in the same way that I create work for Cotton & Flax, which has made this a dream partnership for me.

I created a collection of stationery for Scout Books, a company in my hometown of Portland, Oregon, that focuses on creating the coolest notebooks from recycled materials.

One of my favorite commissions from 2018 was a pair of silk scarves that I designed for Deseda. This was one of my first fashion collaborations, and it was so exciting when the samples arrived in my mailbox!

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

Try to slow down and enjoy your successes more. Find as many like-minded creative folks to collaborate with as possible, and be generous with your time. Sleep more, and wear sunscreen.

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

Oooh, that’s a tough one! My first two are staples of all my design projects these days: sumi ink, and smooth bristol paper. Almost every pattern in my collection has started with those two tools. I guess my practical side would pick my computer as the third tool… but that’s boring! Instead, I’ll say my Case for Making watercolors, which feel so special and rare to me that I treat them like gold.


Where do you find inspiration?

Walking! I believe that so much of being an artist and a designer is just noticing things, little details that others might miss. When I go on a walk, my brain stops whirring over all the items on my to-do list, and let’s me just daydream and observe.

Which designers, artists or individuals truly inspire you (past or present, living or dead)?

Anni Albers

Anni Albers

SO many: Anni Albers, Eva LeWitt, Yayoi Kusama, the quilters of Gees Bend, and Sigrid Calon come to mind. My friends inspire me constantly, Jen Hewett’s beautiful floral patterns always delight me, and Laure Joliet’s photos capture so much magic. I’m lucky to be surrounded by a truly creative community.


Where you can find me: (your website link, social media links)

You can learn more about me on my website, or you can get a peek at what I’m up to this week over on Instagram!

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: Diane Sullivan

HELLO, PLEASE INTRODUCE YOURSELF:

Hello, I am Diane Sullivan.  I have been working as a clinical social worker for about 30 years.  I live in the Finger Lakes region of NY, where I am surrounded by water and hills and lots of green pastures!  I took up pattern design about a year and a half ago.  I have sewn my own clothing and home decor products since I was quite young, and took up quilting in my early 20's. Surface pattern design became a passion after I took an online class and I couldn't stop!!

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

A typical day when I am not working at my private practice is to get up and have my coffee while writing down all of the creative energy ideas floating around in my brain.  I am most creative first thing in the AM and often wake full of ideas.  So I write them all down, no matter how crazy they might seem, and come back to them later to tease out which of those ideas to develop further.   I then do a little creative reading before I jump into working on patterns.  My days and weeks are defined by ultimate goals I wish to accomplish throughout the year, which are then broken up into which projects for which months, and then each month is broken into weeks with concrete action steps for each week to be able to accomplish my goals.  This is how I prepared for Surtex and it has worked for me as a way of propelling myself forward in my surface design goals.  On my work days, I find time at sketch in between clients, and often am often creating patterns into the night. I am an early riser, so my energy is best in the AM.  

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

If I were 10 years younger I would tell myself to pay closer attention to my creative voice and make it a priority,  to make space every single day to do something creative.  

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

When I feels stuck or in a rut, I go outside into nature, which is my biggest inspiration. I love the changing seasons.  I usually have my camera and my sketch pad with me at all times.  I recently began playing with watercolors, so I imagine that will become part of my traveling "toolbox."  I look at design magazines, I talk to other creatives, I switch up projects that I am working on, or change mediums and I am always game for learning something new.  These are all ways in which I keep myself fresh, challenged and growing in my work. 

WHAT ARE YOUR FAVOURITE DESIGN TOOLS?

My favorite design tools are my sketchpad and markers.  I have recently begun playing with watercolors and I imagine that will become part of my design work as well.  I work in Ai, but am determined to learn Photoshop as well to have room to work with some of my newer ideas. 

HOW WOULD YOU DESCRIBE YOUR DESIGN PROCESS? 

Most often, I sketch motifs without thought to what they will become or how they will be used.  Then I begin a design by putting together different motifs to create a pattern.  More recently, I'm beginning to work with the idea of a word or an idea, writing down associations I have with that word and creating a story by putting all of the together in a design or illustration.  I recently purchased an iPad Pro, so I now learning to use some of those apps, e.g. Procreate, Adobe Sketch, but I often still come back to my sketchpad as the place I started.  I like each for different reasons.

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

My dream is to design fabric collections for quilting and home decor projects.  I would love to see some of my designs on upholstery fabrics, wall paper, and home decor products.

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

My 3 design tools - my markers, sketchpad and my watercolors.

WHERE DO YOU FIND INSPIRATION?

Nature is my greatest inspiration.  I spend as much time outdoors as possible, and I love the changing seasons, yes, including the winter!  And gardening is one of my many hobbies, so florals usually make their way into my work as well. 

WHO WOULD YOU SAY THE GREATEST DESIGNER IS?

Amy Butler, Kaffe Fassett, Abigail Borg are a few of my favorite designers.  I love the work of Martha Armitage.  

WHEN I'M LONG GONE:

I would love for people to remember me for my love of color and nature-inspired design work and my insatiable need to learn new things. 

Where you can find me:

http://www.dianesullivandesigns.com,

https://www.instagram.com/dianesullivandesigns/

https://www.facebook.com/DianeSullivanDesigns/

Designer spotlight: Black Lamb Studio

HELLO, PLEASE INTRODUCE YOURSELF:

My name is Isabel, I live in Miami with my husband Juan and my french bulldog Charlie (who is a big source of inspiration for me haha)

I started my company Black Lamb Studio a couple of years ago as a creative outlet for my full time job as a luggage designer. 

I have a bachelor's degree in Industrial Design, but I've always been in love with graphic design, typography and illustration as well. 

I started creating patterns for fun, because I loved it and was growing my portfolio. Soon after, I decided to contact companies that I admired and loved to introduce myself and offer my designs and got my first clients this way! 

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

I usually start my mornings slow and answer emails, make phone calls, etc. I start my design work after noon where I either paint and create new content or work on specific projects for companies I'm working with. I'm definitely a night owl and feel most productive late afternoon and nights. 

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

Don't take the "future" so seriously. Before college, I was always stressing out about making the best decision because it felt that whatever I studied would determine so much of my life. During college, I kept stressing because of the uncertainty of what my "future" and my career would look like. I graduated 7 years ago and now I understand more that life is always moving and changing, and you must be in tune with yourself, your dreams and your hopes to do what feels right and what makes you happy. 

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

If I'm feeling uninspired, I love looking at my travel pictures. Traveling is my biggest passion and looking at my pictures always inspires me and motivates me.

WHAT ARE YOUR FAVOURITE DESIGN TOOLS?

At the moment I really enjoy gouache, Posca paint markers, and ink. Another tool that I use all the time and love is my Wacom tablet.

HOW WOULD YOU DESCRIBE YOUR DESIGN PROCESS? 

My process always starts as a sketch. Pencil and paper. After I'm happy with my direction, or at least have a good idea of what I want I start painting. My scanner is my best friend most of the time and finally I clean up the artwork and color correct in photoshop. I also scan my sketches and trace with my Wacom tablet on illustrator when the project calls to be vectorized. 

Some apps that I use all the time and love: Vsco to edit pictures, instagram and Planoly to organize my posts. I also use Pinterest for a ton of inspiration (mainly color palettes), dropbox to share projects with clients quickbooks self employed to keep up with my expenses and invoices. 

WHAT ARE SOME OF YOUR FAVOURITE DESIGN PROJECTS TO DATE?

So far my favorite project has been a collaboration with a french wrapping paper company called Impression Originale to design a wrapping paper for them. As a wrapping paper lover, this was obviously a dream!

Another collab that I really love is with a company called Greetabl. They do customizable gift boxes with tons of different patterns to choose from and I'm lucky enough to be part of their super talented designer portfolio.

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

I would love to work with Land of Nod and design and children bedding/decor collection. I absolutely love them and have been following their work for years.

Another company that I'm in love with is Anthropologie. I absolutely love everything they do. Would love to work on ceramics or stationery with them - Actually anything they want! haha

Another one of my dreams is to write and illustrate and children's book. Probably featuring my dog :-)

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

Definitely paper, gouache and brushes.

WHERE DO YOU FIND INSPIRATION?

I'm always inspired by nature, daily ordinary life and traveling. 

WHO WOULD YOU SAY THE GREATEST DESIGNER IS?

Hard question!  There's a lot of designers and artists that I admire. As an industrial designer I must say I've always loved Charles and Ray Eames for their timeless design and Ettore Sottsass for his fun and colorful vision.

WHEN I'M LONG GONE:

I hope people remember me as loving, fun and creative. 

Where you can find me:

www.blacklambstudio.com

instragram.com/blacklambstudio

pinterest.com/blacklambstudio

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: 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: Puck Selders

HELLO, PLEASE INTRODUCE YOURSELF:

Hi!

I’m Puck Selders, a freelance designer and illustrator living in Leiderdorp, the Netherlands, with my partner and 2 wonderful children. 
I love all things cute, children´s books, dancing mambo, theatre, the beach, being outside, art, fashion and everything food related :D

 

For as long as I can remember I've been passionate about drawing, painting, fabrics and beautiful colors. 
I studied Fashion and Textile design at The Royal Academy of Arts, The Hague. 
After graduating in 2000 I started working in-house as a babywear designer for several companies. 
In 2013 I became freelance, so that I could focus on surface pattern design and illustration. 
Creating cute and joyful art just makes me really really happy and I´d love to share it with others.

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

Well, when I studied at the art academy, I honestly had no clue about what I wanted. I only knew that I wanted to do ‘’something creative’’ and that I was crazy about fabrics, beautiful colors and drawing. But I didn’t even know I could draw the way I can draw now, until I started working at Sign-D, my first in-house job. I discovered I really loved to create cute and funny illustrations and patterns and learned how to work with computers! I was so afraid of computers during my study, hahaha!

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

That totally depends on if i’m on a commission or not. But Monday is my day off, I spend it with my little one Jimi, he’s 3, so he’s not going to school yet. On Tuesday and Wednesday I’m working all day, most evenings too, when the kids are asleep and if I don’t go to the gym. If I’m on a commission, I also work on thursdays and fridays. If I’m not on a commission I’m working on building my portfolio and trying to get new clients. But each day starts with a large cup of coffee!!

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

Be more self- confident!

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

I’ll do something totally different, like going to the gym or doing the dishes. Something that clears my head. Or, I’ll take my paint and pencils and have some fun with that, just without thinking or any pressure, making some simple stripes , dots or structures.

WHAT ARE YOUR FAVOURITE DESIGN TOOLS?

My Wacom tablet and pen.

HOW WOULD YOU DESCRIBE YOUR DESIGN PROCESS? 

Sometimes I make some little doodles and sketches with pencil and paper. Without looking for reference first, just using my imagination. Scan it into Illustrator and work from there. But mostly I start gathering reference first (not too much!) and then just start drawing in Illustrator, I do have a lot of fantasy so ideas just appear while drawing. I usually draw way too much icons, hahaha. 

Favourite program: Illustrator. Favourite Apps: Instagram and Pinterest

WHAT ARE SOME OF YOUR FAVOURITE DESIGN PROJECTS TO DATE?

I recently designed some colouring pages for Zeeman, so much fun! I also designed artwork with a circus theme for Zeeman, they create a lot of cool products with it, like toys, greeting cards, stickers.

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

I’d love to see my work in Paperchase! Or design tableware for Rice! Land of Nod, Lilipinso…also on my list. But just as long as I can draw cute things I’m happy!

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

Laptop, tablet and pen.

WHERE DO YOU FIND INSPIRATION?

Everywhere! Nature, food, just a combination of colors, my kids, watching dancers, Instagram and Pinterest. But also sad things, like when my sis was diagnosed with cancer last year. She asked me to design a card for here so I did..

WHO WOULD YOU SAY THE GREATEST DESIGNER IS?

Tough question! Can’t name just one designer, but lately I’m absolutely in love with Noëlle Smit’s work, a dutch illustrator, so colorful!

Designer Spotlight: Julie Harrison

HELLO, PLEASE INTRODUCE YOURSELF:

My name is Julie Harrison and I’m a Graphic Designer and Surface Pattern Designer from beautiful Brisbane in Australia. I am the sole owner and designer of Pattern Play Studio (www.patternplaystudio.com), and it is my goal to design beautiful, bright, modern and playful pattern designs for both fabric and paper.

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

Growing up I was always creative and Art was my favourite subject at school. I started my career as a Graphic Designer in 2003. I had not heard of the term Surface Pattern Design until about 2009 when I discovered the excellent Print & Pattern blog by Bowie Style. That was when I had my creative ‘lightbulb’ moment. I knew EXACTLY the type of art and design I wanted to create, and what industry I wanted to work in.

At the time, I was working at a global Engineering company as a Senior Graphic Designer and, although I enjoyed designing for big, exciting projects and working on branding campaigns, I was not liking the corporate office environment anymore. I knew I needed to keep designing, but also knew it was time to switch industries. I made the decision in 2015 to make the shift to Surface Pattern Design. But I did it sensibly by changing to part-time work at first. This gave me one full day a week, plus nights and weekends to work towards my dream.

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

I love starting my day sitting at my desk with a tea or coffee in one hand, a pen and paper to write my ‘to do’ list in the other. I usually catch up on social media first and then check on my emails - all before 7:30 am. I am happy to say I am fully self-employed now and I love working from my little studio space. It’s been a year since I left my previous position and I have not looked back!

I am consulting in graphic design to support me financially, and my work and schedule is varied and flexible, which is great because I can focus and allocate time to developing designs for my surface pattern design folio. So, right now you could say my typical day consists of designing, creating, learning, researching, drawing, painting, completing administration tasks, phone meetings with clients and printers and planning marketing activities for Pattern Play Studio. There is always something to do.

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

Everyone says this and it’s true - be prepared to work hard and put yourself out of your comfort zone. It won’t come easily. Enjoy the process and the journey as you go because it takes time and you need to continue to keep searching for new opportunities every day and be brave in chasing those opportunities down. I’m still working on it! Also, relationships are the key. Work recommendations will come from people you know, so it’s important to treat people well and be easy to work with.

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

I just try to give it time and try not to freak out. I acknowledge I have a creative block or that I’m in a design rut and I try to do something completely different. That might be watching a good movie, reading some creative magazines or even baking a cake. Or I’ll tackle the dreaded paperwork and sort out my tax receipts. That’s enough to make me reach for a paint brush or my mouse and mac again!

WHAT ARE YOUR FAVOURITE DESIGN TOOLS?

I love my uni pens and sharpies  and of course my wacom tablet.

HOW WOULD YOU DESCRIBE YOUR DESIGN PROCESS? 

I start with quick sketches, research the subject matter, investigate colour palettes and by then I’m usually itching to get on my mac. Or if I’m painting, I set my desk up, get my paints ready, paper towel, fresh water and clean brushes. I need to have a tidy workspace in the beginning, but it sure doesn’t stay that way during the ‘creative’ process!

My favourite programs are both Illustrator and photoshop. I think it’s good to be skilled in using both programs efficiently. My artwork varies between flat, graphic and bold vector designs to bright, playful watercolours and paper cut collages – usually always florals! I also appreciate the workflow efficiency I get using my ipad pro and Procreate is a great app too.

WHAT ARE SOME OF YOUR FAVOURITE DESIGN PROJECTS TO DATE?

I am still relatively new to the surface pattern design industry so the projects I’m proud of to-date have all been through my own efforts and to aid in promoting Pattern Play Studio.

As part of my project experience in the world of surface pattern design, I’ve designed patterns for textiles and have used the fabulous services of Next State Print in Melbourne, Australia.

Infact, I recently upholstered a 1960’s Wrightbuilt wooden arm chair with a watercolour floral I designed and that Next State printed on their beautiful Organic Panama canvas. That chair sits in the corner of my studio and it puts a smile on my face every time I look at it. It’s comfy to sit in as I flick through design magazines too!

I haven’t had any artwork licensed yet. I mentioned in the beginning that this industry will take time, and I’m prepared to continue to work hard to make it a reality.

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

I want to design for both paper and fabric. So to start with paper, I would love to design stationery for Madison Park Greetings or gift wrap for The Gift Wrap Company. Then the fabric dream would be to design a range of fabrics for Wyndham fabrics or Cloud9 or even to design for Marimekko. Why not aim high? I’m a firm believer in dreams.

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

Seriously hard to choose just three. But if I had to choose…Pen, Paper, Mac.

WHERE DO YOU FIND INSPIRATION?

Oh…good question. I love foraging in old flea markets or antique stores. I flick through old books or home and decorating magazines, and sometimes I look at Pinterest. I’m very mindful to get off-line a lot, however, and do my own research and think of my own solutions. I notice patterns in nature, find inspiration in my travel adventures and the photos I take and remember vividly my childhood and the bright bold florals of the 1970’s.

WHO WOULD YOU SAY THE GREATEST DESIGNER IS?

William Morris, without a doubt.

WHEN I'M LONG GONE:

I hope to be remembered as a kind, friendly, and genuine person who was always supportive and ready to help lend a hand or an ear. And someone who also happened to be an amazing designer.

Where you can find me:

Website: www.patternplaystudio.com

Instagram: @patternplaystudio

Twitter: @patternplayart   (patternplay studio was too long…..)

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/patternplaystudio

Designer Spotlight: Carol Robinson

HELLO, PLEASE INTRODUCE YOURSELF:

Hello! I am Carol Robinson. I am an artist and surface pattern designer and I live in London with my husband, three sons and our min schnauzer dog named Oli. I am a massive Francophile and would love to move to the South of France and spend my days painting in the sunshine.

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

I studied Fine Art at Brighton University and worked as a fine artist before having children. I only began to work in surface pattern design over the past few years when my children were more grown up. I have always had an interest in pattern, colour and design.

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

After I have dropped my children at school I take my dog on a walk through our local woods, which is a great start to the day. I will then spend time on the computer and sort out any tasks that need completing. I don't usually start designing until after lunch as I feel more creative later in the day. Sometimes I create at night when everyone is in bed as I love the silence and always come up with my best ideas then.

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

To have more confidence in yourself and your abilities.

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

I will go for a walk with my dog as I can think clearly when I am walking. I walk in the woods and nature is my greatest source of inspiration. I also just pick up my coloured sharpies and start to doodle and draw anything that comes into my head and before I know it a new design begins to take shape among the scribbles!

WHAT ARE YOUR FAVOURITE DESIGN TOOLS?

I love my uni pens and sharpies  and of course my wacom tablet.

HOW WOULD YOU DESCRIBE YOUR DESIGN PROCESS? 

Favourite apps and programs. I like to mostly hand draw my basic motifs using uni pens and sharpies and then scan into Photoshop. I add a lot of extra detail using my wacom tablet. I am in the process of teaching myself illustrator and have just discovered all the available photoshop brushes!

WHAT ARE SOME OF YOUR FAVOURITE DESIGN PROJECTS TO DATE?

I am quite new to surface pattern design and licensing. I have licensed some fabric and card designs and co illustrated a series of adult colouring books. I am now working on a portfolio of patterns for licensing and have printed up my first batch of fabrics  to make into products to sell under my own label which I am really excited about.

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

I would love to produce a fun and colourful childrens fabric collection a range of products under my own label.

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

I would choose my sketch book, a pencil and a uni pen.

WHERE DO YOU FIND INSPIRATION?

I love mid century design and modern art painters such as Matisse and they influence my work. I obtain most of my inspiration from nature, but I also like to keep pace with modern culture and new design influences.

WHO WOULD YOU SAY THE GREATEST DESIGNER IS?

I would say William Morris

WHEN I'M LONG GONE:

I hope people remember me for someone who believed the world can be shaped by our imaginations and made more beautiful by our creativity and I hope I can can contribute to it in my little way.

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