Tuesday, 30 July 2013

Love is in the air! Tigerprint Competition

Yesterday I entered the most recent Tigerprint competition! I haven't entered it in a while and I quite liked the theme this time, ideas where flying through my head as soon as I saw it was Love & Marriage.

So I sat down to brainstorm some ideas, I thought about the wedding side of it and everything connected to it.  From big things like the getaway car and the cake to the little details like the bouquets of flowers and the 'Something Blue'.  After some initial sketches I had about 4 different designs (you can enter 5) but with some changes to colour and layout I had plenty to choose from.  I thought I'd give you a little look at my final 5 aswell as the design I didn't pick, most of them are in repeats and are ideal for anything from wrapping paper to giftbags and more.  If none of these designs win then I'm all set up to launch my own wedding collection! But keep your fingers crossed for me anyway =)

I kept the colour palettes bright and light as I think of weddings as really happy and joyful times so feel the colours should reflect this.  I always see wedding cards in golds and silvers but much prefer loads of colours instead! What do you think?

Just Married

Spring Wedding

Spring Wedding Repeat

Pastel Bouquets

Something Blue

And the design I decided not to go with but love regardless...
Bold Bouquets

Friday, 26 July 2013

Designer Feature - Sarah Bagshaw

Today's designer is Sarah Bagshaw, Sarah started with a degree in Fine Art, she then went on to get a masters in Surface Pattern and a PGCert in Teaching and Learning in Higher Education.  With this she has been a lecturer in Art and Design for the past 12 years.  A few years ago she started selling her work through Etsy which is where she was found by the owner of US design studio Hunt & Gather who she now works for.  Over the past couple of years she has also promoted herself on various websites which are starting to pay off through regular enquiries for work!  Fantastic news =)

So why did you want to be a designer and what do you love about pattern designing?

Whilst studying for my fine art degree I became interested in pattern after my Mum packed me off with some 1960s bath towels. I found it difficult to justify my pattern paintings in a fine art context hence me doing a surface pattern design. I make one-off pattern designs that are not in repeat and I guess its the repetitive (and relaxing) nature of making them that I really enjoy.

How would you describe your style and what is your favourite medium to work with?

I would describe my style as colourful, bold, quirky, simple and experimental. I make drawings, paintings, collages, photographs and prints very quick
ly using low tech methods and then manipulate them a little or a lot on Photoshop....but I like to retain the imperfections in the final pieces - I don't like them to look too slick or finished.

And finally where do you get your inspiration from?

Inspiration can come from anywhere and everywhere - natural or man-made patterns, art works, mid-century design and through experimenting with mark making techniques. I love happy accidents. I sometimes like to concentrate on a particular shape and explore how many ways I can use it.

It's lovely to have a mini interview from Sarah! Her work is wonderfully bright and bold which I can see working exceptionally well on long floaty summer dresses, cute little tops and many more!  What do you think?

Tuesday, 23 July 2013

Design Led Party Accessories!

Following on from last weeks Home and Gift post, I have another wonderful selection of products for you to peruse through.  These are some gorgeous party accessories, beautifully designed, from Talking Tables.

They have such a huge range of products and all of them are worth looking through, especially if you are having parties, summer BBQ's, picnics and other events, these products are perfect to make them a little bit special.  They've given me some great ideas to produce some printable tags and templates with my own designs, so keep your eyes peeled for the future!

Here are some of my favourites but you can see many more at their website here...

Bird House Cake Stand 
Lace Cake Wraps 

Three Tier Cake Stands and Single Tiered Cake Stand
Super Cute Cake Cases 

 Gift Tags
Beautifully Patterned Paper Plates

Golden Chandelier

Laser Cut Butterfly Name Places
 Butterfly Wedding Garland
Patterned Wedding NoteBook
 Herb Planters
 'Love' Printed Tags
Jam Toppers and Labels

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!

Wednesday, 17 July 2013

Home & Gift show - Crabtree & Evelyn

This Monday I went to the Home and Gift show in Harrogate to have a little look around and see what the stands look like.  I'd love to do a trade show in the future so it was quite a learning experience to go along and see what it is all about.  I wasn't looking for inspiration (which one rather rude woman thought I was going to be stealing designs!) but it is always nice to see what other designers are out there that I haven't come across so I can show you all and so I can see where my work would fit in the market.

It was quite nerve wracking to go and have a look at all these designers who are already in the industry.  Making their way further up the ladder I'm trying to get myself onto, so I was a bit put off in the beginning when a couple of people were a little cold towards me, but I persevered and found loads of lovely designers and business owners who were very enthusiastic and were happy to have a chat.  There will always be times you feel unsure and out of your depth, or people will put you down, it's all about getting past that and focusing on the more constructive and the positive comments!

First up, the packaging from Crabtree and Evelyn has always caught my eye, I absolutely love some of their watercolour illustrations, they're so dainty and work perfectly on cosmetic packaging.  Here is a little showcase of what they are using at the moment, Somerset Meadow is my favourite!

Friday, 12 July 2013

Catch up with a talented designer - Allure Designs

I thought it would be a nice idea to have a catch up with some of the talented designers I have featured on my blog this past year.

First up we have Allure Designs, which was formally known as Tiffany Designs, she was featured on my blog back at the beginning of February, so just over 5 months ago!

So what has happened in those 5 months, well Allure Designs has secured the wonderful licensing deal with Kekacase alongside myself.  She has also had 20 of her designs chosen for a new magazine called Texitura 50! Wow.  Texitura is a resource for markets such as fashion, stationary and textiles, which gives trend forecasting information on colour and pattern that will be coming into season in the following 18 months.

Allure Designs has always been interested in fashion (I can definitely see her lovely designs in the fashion industry) and textile design from a very young age.  She loves that patterns make our world a brighter place and finds that they uplift her spirit, which she hopes is how they make others feel too.

So what have you learnt in the past 5 months?  Allure Designs has learnt a lot about obtaining more licensing work and how to go about selling more of her designs aswell as how to work to specific briefs where the client asks for quite narrow specifications.

It sounds like Allure Designs is well on her way and it is lovely to hear back from designers to see how they are doing.  Hopefully we will catch up with Allure Designs again in the future, for now here are some of her newest patterns, I love her bold and bright colour palette and the Ikat designs (first two patterns) are gorgeous, perfect for summer dresses!

Oh and check out her blog here.

Monday, 8 July 2013

What's been going on recently...

Well I have quite a bit going on and so many plans I just don't know where to start!!

First up my newest, most exciting bit of news, my designs are now up and live on the Kekacase website!
It is such an amazing feeling to know people around the world may have my designs on their Ipad and Kindle cases.  Just click on the image below to see my designs on the cases! =)

Secondly I have a little snippet from Ruth McAllister of Quincy Lampshades, she has photographed the printed versions of the designs she chose and you can see below my 'Windswept' design (2nd one down).  What a gorgeously rich pink colour it is! It will look fantastic on lampshades and I will share some photos of the final products when they are made up.

Now for what will be coming up in the next month or so, I am currently taking part in Tigerprints 'Gifted' competition where they have a different theme for each day for about a month and you have to produce a design for those themes.  Quite a task! You don't have to do every single day though so I am going to pick the ones that jump out at me and inspire me the most.  I will definitely show you some of my sketches and ideas in the next week as there are quite a few themes that take my fancy =)

I will also be showcasing some of my wonderful designer friends work and catching up with some designers that I have interviewed in the past to see how they are doing on their creative journey and what their future plans are!

There are many things in the pipeline and I can't wait to share everything with you all! So to keep in the loop you can follow me on Facebook or Twitter or even follow this blog! =) Don't miss out!