Tuesday, 29 October 2013

Emma in House!

Some big exciting news this (miserable) Tuesday morning!  I sent in some designs for Kess in House a few months ago and they are now live on their website!  I have 6 designs that are available on a whole range of products from bedding to wall art to shower curtains.  Below are a few of the products featuring my patterns, you can find them all here ('Evergreen Wreaths' currently links to someone else's page but it is getting fixed so not to worry).

Friday, 25 October 2013

Designer Feature: Rosie Simons

I have the lovely Rosie Simons today and I absolutely love her work!  Her style is hand drawn and her colour palettes are always so bright and cheerful.  With cute little motifs they would look perfect on a huge range of products!

Rosie has studied a lot of different areas of design over the years and really enjoyed painting and creating texture at school.  She has alway had a passion for fabrics, patterns and textiles so studied Fine Art and Textiles at college.  By a twist of fate she didn't do very well in some of her non art based AS levels so her tutor advised her to take up Graphic Design in her second year alongside her other design A levels.  She didn't know anything about Graphic Design but loved it from the very first class.

She then moved onto study a Foundation year where she explored many different areas of design, following this she studied Graphic Design at The London College of Communication.  In her second year she was given the opportunity to study with the lead tutor of the Surface Pattern Design degree which is where she taught herself to create repeating patterns.  She spent a year out on work placements as part of her university degree where she worked in a variety of jobs from marketing design to book layouts to screen printing.  So she has a huge range of different design skills!  In between all these placements she found time to work on her own projects and found herself creating patterns, just because she enjoyed it.  When she went back to finish her degree she tailored her final projects around her new found love for Surface Pattern.  After graduating she went on to take Rachael Taylors online course 'The Art and Business of Surface Pattern Design' and started working for herself, which is a dream come true!

So Rosie why did you want to become a designer and what do you like about patterns?

I've always been creative and always loved drawing, colour and pattern.  I used to admire the pattern products in Paperchase and think 'I'd love to do that one day' never realising that it would actually be possible!

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

I have a passion for both graphics and surface pattern and my style incorporates both these passions, a simple and clean but colourful aesthetic combining simple graphic illustrations and typography.  I love to experiment with colour, textures and pattern within my prints.  My favourite way to work is drawing and then scanning in and live tracing my drawings and developing my designs from there.

What inspires you and where do you find your inspiration?

I find inspiration in all sorts of places, I can quite often be walking to the shops and will suddenly stop to take a picture of a leaf or drain cover (I'm doing this all the time!), I see shapes and patterns in everything and this helps to keep me inspired.  If I'm feeling uninspired I will take myself off for a walk, sometimes in town, sometimes in the local woods and just open my eyes up to everything around me!

Twitter: @rosie_simons

Tuesday, 22 October 2013

Unveiling of Emma Frances Christmas cards!

I promised you last week that I would unveil my Christmas card collection this week.  I'll be sending them to the printers very soon so will let you all know when they are available to buy!  They will be printed on beautifully thick matt board, so they feel very luxurious (I have the samples in my hand as we speak!).  They will be sold in packs of 5 (one of each design) and 10 (2 of each design), and you can even buy them individually if you would only like one or two.

I will have the pricing ready for you when they arrive in a couple of weeks!
Let me know what you think of them =)

Friday, 18 October 2013

Let's help Caren Barry with her Kickstarter!

Caren Barry has recently brought out her new collection, which I have to say is absolutely beautiful.  The soft colour palette and dainty drawings make them eye catching straight away.  She has come to me this week to help her get word out about her Kickstarter Campaign.  For those that aren't familiar with Kickstarter, it is an online platform where artists, designers, anyone who needs funding can put up information about their projects and then members of the public can back these projects.  You pledge a certain amount of money and in return you will be helping a small business with their project.  You may also receive certain gifts depending on how much you pledge.

It is such a fantastic platform for young designers who don't have the funding to get their designs onto products.  First up I have a little interview from Caren about herself and her work and then you must have a look at her wonderful designs!  You'll definitely want to help her out and receive a notebook of your own, designed by Caren!

So Caren why don't you tell us a bit about your background as a designer

 I am a Surface Pattern Designer and Illustrator living and working in Cambridgeshire.  At University I studied Decorative Arts, which focussed largely on applied art, design and studio crafts.  I have always been a very creative individual, having studied art throughout school, but it was during this course that I was able to specialise my skills and discover what my true passion within design really was.  My university tutors always emphasised the importance of drawing, and so it was through this that I developed my own style and enjoyment for creating hand-drawn patterns.

What made you want to become a designer and what do you like about patterns?

For my final year exhibition I designs a collection of printed wallpapers and furnishing fabrics, all created from original illustrations.  I even reupholstered a vintage chair, which was a lot of fun!  I loved the entire design process from creating an illustration in my sketchbook to seeing it printed and applied onto a finished product.  That really became the starting point for my love of illustration and surface pattern design.

When I graduated from university I left with the knowledge that I wanted to work as a freelance designer.  It has now been about three years since I graduated and earlier this year, in April, I left my full-time job in retail and with my savings I finally started my own business as a freelance illustrator and surface pattern designer.

Since going freelance I have been spending my time developing my portfolio as well as designing patterns and products for my debut collection!

I have a huge love of patterns and colour which I suppose has to be a given now that I've embarked on a career creating surface pattern designs!  I am naturally drawn to anything with a pattern on it, especially when it comes to floral patterns, and you'll almost always see me wearing an item of clothing with a pretty print!

It's wonderful to hear you are not designing full time, that is a huge dream for anyone who is wanting to get into this industry.  How would you describe your style and what is your favourite medium to work with?
My style has often been described as traditional yet modern, with a touch of femininity.  I have a hand-drawn style that I use to create intricate illustrations and delicately decorated patterns.  With that being said I always try to keep colour simplicity and softness within my finished designs.

I usually begin a design by creating a motif in my sketchbook using fine-liner pens, which I then rework into a pattern repeat with colour - either by hand of using Photoshop and Illustrator.  I've recently rekindled my love of painting with watercolours and inks, but it's much more unpredictable to work with than my trusty fine-liner pens, so I'm still experimenting!  Hopefully I will have honed my painting skills ready for my next collection of designs.

I really love designing and experimenting with new techniques and new products.  My designs always centre around my drawings and paintings, so being able to combine the use of both traditional artistry with digital technology to create my pattern designs allows me to make as many things as I possibly can that beautifully translate my hand drawn illustrations into a usable product.

Watercolours and Inks are probably one of my favourite mediums too, you can create some truly beautiful pieces with them.  What about your inspiration, what inspires you and where do you look for your inspiration?

As an individual I love interior styling and vintage and Scandinavian home touches, so I find a lot of inspiration through reading my favourite blogs and also on Pinterest.  For me these online platforms are a great way to discover lovely homewares or textile designs, which in turn inspired me to be more creative.

For my design work I find inspiration comes a lot of the time from my observations of nature.  Flowers have always been a huge love of mine, so they tend to influence a large amount of my designs.  I love nature and recent trips to Anglesey Abbey and the Botanical Gardens in Cambridge, accompanied by my trusty camera, have inspired a lot of my new designs.  With the majority of my inspiration coming from nature I regularly plan trips to my favourite places.  This is also a great opportunity to visit new places and I've found it to be a really important part of my design process.  Especially when I'm having days where creativity and inspiration seem to disappear!

Now for a little bit more about your Kickstarter Project:

In September I launched my new collection of patterned greeting cards, note cards and art prints which are available online through Etsy and Folksy.  As my first collection of finished products I couldn't be more pleased with the results and I'm beyond happy that everything is finally beginning to fall into place!

It's still a very new and exciting time for me as I am preparing for my first season of craft fairs before Christmas, while also continuing to develop my product range with a collection of cushions and accessories.  I've also launched a Kickstarter project to develop a range of eco-friendly notebooks with my favourite floral patterns!  Kickstarter really is such a great platform to help support creative projects.

For the next few months it's going to be very busy with a lot of learning experiences I'm sure.  I really enjoying being able to showcase all of my hard work through such exciting opportunities and I really hope that everyone else enjoys my designs just as much as I enjoy creating them! 

Blog: www.acreativecranberry.com
Facebook: www.facebook.com/carenbarrydesigns
Twitter: www.twitter.com/carenbarry
Instagram: www.instagram.com/carenbarry
Pinterest: www.pinterest.com/carenbarry

Monday, 14 October 2013

Vibrant Inky Works of Art!

I find a lot of my inspiration by looking at a huge range of art.  I just can't get enough of it, and there are some fantastic artists out there.  One place (which I'm sure I have mentioned more than a few times) I find new artists from is Pinterest.  One little search and you have a page full of beautiful works of art.  The great thing about art is that you can really push the boat out and created something unusual.

This weekend I came across Holly Sharpe's wonderful inky pieces, I love the contrast of the vibrant colours against the black outlines of the big blooms.  Just beautiful!  I'm a huge fan of loose ink drawings mixed with lots of colour, they're probably my favourite type of art so these drew me to them straight away.  You can find more of Holly's work at her website!

I'll have more arty Pinterest finds later this week!

Friday, 11 October 2013

Designer Feature: Nandita Singh

Nandita Singh, one of my fellow coursemates from The Art and Business of Surface Pattern Design, is bringing us some of her lovely designs today.  She started her career as a design blogger which helped satisfy her need to design beautiful motifs and patterns and to give her readers plenty of inspiration.  After doing this for a few months her husband motivated her to do something real and pursue a creative career, so she went for it!  Before jumping into a specific career she decided to do some research around the term ‘design’, she wanted to know the ins and outs, about trends, where to find inspiration and what people love.  The biggest turning point in her career was taking The Art and Business of Surface Pattern Design.  I completely agree, anyone thinking of diving into this industry should look into take these courses.  They are absolutely jam packed with helpful information to kick start you in the world of Surface Pattern.

So Nandita what made you want to become a Surface Pattern Designer?

I don’t know myself what attracted me towards pattern designing.  Yes I can say that I always used to be in search of good and eye-catching designs and patterns whenever I shopped for my home and family, but that’s common, everyone does that!  When choosing a career I can say that I never gave a second thought to what I wanted to be called – A surface pattern designer!  I love that term, it’s amazing to see how the simplest of patterns can change the look of a product.

How about patterns, what do you like about designing patterns?

I always wanted to see my motifs and patterns on actual products, I used to dream of people using my products in their day to day lives.  I actually have a dream of having a home store someday!  And now I can proudly say that my dreams are slowly coming into reality, when people buy and use my products it gives me a good feeling.

How do you describe your style and what’s your favourite medium to work with?

I used to love drawing very intricate motifs with lots of details in my art work, but now I have started experimenting with some new ways.  Doodling, loose florals and abstract motifs, sometimes I just use vague mark making!  My favourite medium is pencil and pen.

I love to work in just pen sometimes too, line work is very important as that is where all of my designs begin.  It’s good to experiment and mix up the way you work to keep your designing fresh and unique.  What inspires your work and where do you find your inspiration?

I was always inspired by Indian Mughal art and architecture and the paintings and carvings done in Indian temples.  I think inspiration can come from anywhere though, from kitchen utensils to the road side to an old rusty bicycle!  Don’t end up flipping through your favourite magazine to find inspiration, look out of your window, go for a walk!  You’ll definitely find what you are searching for (that rusty old bike!!!) haa…haa…

Varying where you find your inspiration is a great idea, if you are only looking through magazines and the internet then it can be difficult to get truly unique designs.  There is always the risk of being too close to another designers work.  Getting out and taking your own pictures is a brilliant way of having fresh images to work from!

You can also find Nandita on Twitter and Pinterest

Wednesday, 9 October 2013

Whats been going on recently

Just a bit of a catch up today, and a look at what I've been up to recently.  First up some of my newest designs, I've been designing for children quite a lot recently and I have the perfect person to run them by.  My 8 year old brother has a look at my boys designs for me and is turning into quite the art critic!

Here is part of one collection I've been working on:

I've also been out on a bit of an inspiration venture to the local garden centre.  Such a perfect place to get loads of floral imagery, even at this time of year there are plenty of plants still flowering and tons of pattern inspiration!  Here are just a few of the photographs I captured, if you are stuck for inspiration and are sick of being in front of a screen then taking a walk with your camera or seeing what attractions or shops are in the area will get you away from the screen and help you with your designing.

I also sent my snail mail friend a pretty piece of mail which I'm hoping she received, making these envelopes always give me new motif ideas for future patterns.  It's nice to know I'm brightening someones day with some pretty mail.

Oh and I couldn't resist sharing this!  I went to a pick your own farm shop recently and there was a field of Pumpkins, I just loved how they were all sat in the field together, and it is quite fitting as Halloween is the next holiday in line.

Monday, 7 October 2013

The Little White Book of Surface Pattern Designers Second Edition

For the past few months a fellow designer, Gill Eggleston has been working on The Little White Book of Surface Pattern Designers Volume 2!  And I can now tell you all that it is live.  There are over 150 surface pattern designers included in this directory and it is jam packed full of beautiful designs and a huge amount of talent.  Each designer has their own page where they have featured a large cover photo of one of their best designs along with several other images to showcase their style.  We have each put a little bio about what our specialties are and what market we enjoy designing for aswell as all of our contact details and links.

You can find me on page 51 or click on 'Directory Page' here, oh and for those that are interested heres the first edition.

Friday, 4 October 2013

Designer Feature: Jolene Heckman

We have Jolene Heckman and her lovely work this morning.  Jolene has always loved to make things and had been constantly creating since childhood.  She would often sit in her mum’s painting room where she was inspired by the passion, creativity and beauty that surrounded her.  Her mum gives her the confidence and drive to create.  I know my family inspire me a lot and they invoke the exact same in me as Jolene’s mum does for her.  It’s important to have people around you that encourage you!

Jolene worked as a dynamic marketer in the world of product design for many years, but after years of travelling the world to seek out new trends and create innovative products she now finds herself seeking out her true passion of design.

Why do you want to be a designer and what do you like about patterns?

My whole life I’ve had a love for colour, pattern and design.  I am drawn to bold graphic prints and bursts of colour.  Fun patterns and colour just make me smile!

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

My designs always begin with my passion for colour, I love to create fresh, new and unexpected colour combinations.  It often drives my creative process and designs.  The majority of my designs are done on the computer but I do like to fill a sketchbook with doodles as well.

What inspires you and where do you find your inspiration?

My inspiration comes from everywhere.  These days it mostly comes from spending my days with my joyful, artistic and imaginative little girls.

Wednesday, 2 October 2013

Tigerprint Shapes as Pattern

Another look into some of my newest patterns.  I entered the last Tigerprint competition and managed to get down to the top 11 out of over 1000.  Well this time there's over 1000 entries again, so lets hope I go further this time!  If not then I have 5 new patterns that can easily be fit into new collections.  The theme this month is 'Shapes as Patterns', the idea is to use shapes to make patterns (easy ey!)

Here are my 5:

Wish me luck!