Friday, 19 July 2013

Designer Feature - Patternmuse

Today I have the pleasure of writing Patternmuse's very first feature! Jan Shepherd , the face behind Patternmuse, started out on a foundation course at Kingston University, she then followed this on with a Graphic Design Degree at Camberwell.  After applying for several Junior Designer positions but being unsuccessful she went onto set up a greeting card business from her kitchen table!  Within a year she had moved into a business unit, was employing three part time staff and supplying over 100 gift and card shops (Wow!!!) with handmade cards.  

'I was very happy that I had 'made something happen' not just for me, but for other people who liked making things. I loved knowing that my designs were making people happy and the business enabled me to achieve that all important financial independence I'd lost when I married and had children.  It also showed my girls that it is possible to make something from nothing, with determination and a happy disposition!'  What a role model for her children!

Sadly due to circumstances Jan had to shut down this business after seven years, she then moved to the South Coast and put all of her energy into renovating two houses.  When this all settled she bought a new computer and began to teach herself how to use Illustrator and Photoshop.  
Here she describes how she came across Surface Pattern Design - 'In 2011, on my way over to live in Australia for the next 4 yrs, I met a surface pattern designer who doesn't use a computer herself - she paints and sends all her stuff into an agency and oh I wish I'd not lost her contact details! I wanted her job, it sounded perfect and I was amazed to find the 'The Art and Business of Surface Pattern Design' course about to start last September.'

So why do you love patterns, what is it about them that drew you to this profession?

'I love the way patterns can transform things - patterns can look expensive or cheap and there is a real art to their application on objects. My style has been described as whimsical and freestyle - even though it can be very detailed. There are definitely 2 sides to my work, one is deep & intense and the other is simple & light. It depends on my surroundings to a great extent. Since taking the ABSPD course, I have been working in this dark brown room that is either 30 degrees or 10 degrees and nothing inbetween...this has definitely affected my recent colour choices in a bad way I think! I can't wait to move up to the tropics in 3 weeks time - where I'm going to be looking for bright and light!'  Here is a peek at her dark brown studio space!

And what is your all time favourite medium to work with?

'Like my children, I don't have a favourite! I like watercolour, printing, collage, fabric and pure Illustrator. I'm very inspired by humour, poetry, new music, art exhibitons, vintage jewellery, being in the great outdoors especially mountains, caves and rivers. My inspirations often happen when I'm doing something mundane and even more often in the middle of the night, when I lie awake for hours thinking up new patterns.'  I'm exactly the same! I love them all and inspiration comes to be at the strangest of times!

At the moment Patternmuse is actively looking for licensing deals and commissions but doesn't want to rule out the possibility of starting up another business in the future, it all sounds exciting either way.  It is so lovely to be able to feature Jan of Patternmuse for the first time and I can't wait to catch up with her in a few months time to see where she is at and how she is doing!

Her website will be up and running soon but don't forget to check out her blog and Facebook page in the meantime!  Now for some of her work!

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