Monday, 28 April 2014

How to choose colour palettes

When I was studying Textile Design at University, one of the aspects that I found most difficult at the time was picking the colours for my collections.  I even ended up designing a black and white collection so I didn't have to choose a colour palette.  My tutor didn't teach me the best way of finding a colour palette either, so I didn't get much help with it!  He told me to pick a design I liked the colours of and to just copy them, it's not very inventive and didn't help me see how colours work well together.

I'm happy to say that I am no longer scared of coming up with beautiful colour palettes!  I started out with my tutors way of choosing palettes, because that was the only way I had being taught.  I now have a bit of a different way of doing this, although it still incorporates parts of what my tutor told me.

I don't know whether everyone works this way, but I begin with all of my motifs in black and white.  I'll work on the composition before I introduce colour into my patterns and illustrations.  However once colour is added some of the motifs need to be rejigged to make sure the pattern flows and the colours are equally distributed so your eyes aren't drawn to one particular piece.

On occasion I use websites such as Design Seeds and Colour Lovers which are jam packed full of lovely colour palettes.  I prefer to use this method though:

I will pick out quite a few patterns and illustrations where the colour palettes really catch my attention such as these:

Then I'll compile a big palette from all of these colours and make up my own colour palette from these.

There will often be quite a few single colours that will jump out at me, then all it takes is a little time to test out different colours until they all click together.

My eye for colour is so much better now, and I'll never use a black and white palette in my collection ever again!  I love colour too much!

Tuesday, 22 April 2014

Products that may be coming next from Emma Frances

In between my design time for the big design show in New York, Surtex, I have been contemplating what product lines to bring out next.  I love paper products so will be manufacturing more greetings cards but would like to look into getting other products too.  I've had a good think and whilst I would love to manufacture loads of products it just isn't possible to spend that amount of money at the moment.

I can however use Kickstarter.  For those of you that haven't heard of Kickstarter, it is a wonderful crowd funding website.  I've seen many other designers reach their dreams through this and other similar websites, they carefully come up with a plan for the products they wish to get manufactured, set rewards depending on how much 'backers' pledge to their projects and promote their Kickstarter project as much as possible once it's live.  It really is a fantastic platform for people to get their ideas funded whilst giving their backers some unique rewards.

So I've been doing a lot of research into different products and have a few in mind, before diving in and setting up a Kickstarter project however, I'd like to hear what the public thinks, which products you are drawn to and which products you think my designs would look great on!

I've put together some mock ups for you to have a gander through and you can let me know which ones you like best at the end of this post.


Wrapping Paper

Children's Placemats and Coasters

Children's T-shirts

To Do Lists

Let me know which product you like best in this quick poll below, you can choose more than one! Also if there is another product you think I should look into just type it in the 'other' box.

Which products should be next?
Wrapping Paper
Placemats and Coasters
Children's T-shirts
To Do Lists
Daily Planner Notepad
Please Specify:
Poll Maker

Monday, 14 April 2014

My Dream Design Room

We are currently house hunting, which I've found is going to be a rather difficult experience.  Some houses look great in the pictures (by great I mean it needs a bit of work doing to it!), then when we go to view the houses they're a lot more work than you first think.  We saw one this weekend where the photographer conveniently missed the rooms with damp covered walls!

Anyway now I'm super excited to finally being able to put pictures and shelves up, paint the walls and put wallpaper up and just make the place ours!  It also got me thinking about my dream studio/design room, so I've been trawling the internet for design rooms and have come up with some great ideas for my future studio.  Although it may be quite a way down the road before all of my ideas come together, good job I have a super handy Matthew!

So what do I need:
  • A nice big desk is a must, it's nice to have plenty of space for my computer, scanner and to be able to draw.
  • A smaller table for my whopper of a printer, yes it needs a table of it's own it's that big!
  • I'm desperate for some shelves!  My desk gets cluttered quite quickly and it would be fantastic to have some shelves above my desk so I can keep my desk tidy (which at the moment seems impossible)
  • I'd love a huge pinboard/inspiration wall.  It's important to surround yourself with beautiful patterns and a big pinboard would be perfect for this.  It would also be handy to pin things up that I need to remember!
Whilst looking for pinboards I found these wonderful ideas, the first one is perfect, it's colourful, pretty and practical.  It's a great idea to make some of the squares blackboards, some pinboards and some whiteboards.

This board surrounds the desk, meaning you have pretty inspiration right infront of you.  Or that to do list so you don't forget to tick some off!

This is a slightly smaller pinboard but I love the crisscross ribbon to hold your pictures.  The great thing about this desk is it has the shelves I so desperately need!

I love the idea of a blackboard wall where you can scribble down things you need to remember, although I would no doubt get chalk everywhere!

A smaller section may be a good idea though, where I could write the big objectives of the day.  A whole wall of black may darken the room too so this is a happy medium.

Finally some big shelving units would be fantastic, I have a lot of products and need a nice, organised area to store them so I can easily get to them when orders come through.

These baskets make the studio look so neat and tidy, I'd love to do something like this so the shelves don't look so cluttered!

A mixture of shelves and cupboards would be nice, so no one can see all of the clutter I throw into the cupboards!

It's a long way off but it's nice to have an idea of what I'd like when the day comes.

Thursday, 10 April 2014

New Personalised Prints and Product Photography!

I started by ticking off some of the items on my huge to-do list, taking some product photos and getting the personalised prints up and running.  There has been a lot of positive feedback about these so I'm so pleased to say they are now available!

The product photography was a learning curve!  I'll share some of my tips with you soon!

Monday, 7 April 2014

Bye bye little car!

This weekend I had to say goodbye to my faithful little green Clio, it was heartbreaking.  I’ll admit my car has been weighing down on me recently because it did quite a lot of sitting on the drive and the tax, MOT and insurance would all be due in a few short months.  So I decided it was time to send it off to another family, put it up on Auto Trader and was contacted within a couple of hours by a man looking for a car for his daughter.

I’d taken good care of my little car and gave it a good clean out (cleaning a car is harder than it looks!), washed and waxed it so it was sparkling.  Put some new wheel trims on and it looked as good as it did when I bought it 6 years ago!

This car really signified my freedom when I bought it at 17 and I have so many wonderful memories of my adventures!  From having it jam packed to the seams when I needed to move houses at University to my dad teaching me to drive in this car and taking my test in it. 

From getting stuck in the snow (more than once) then having to get my dad to come and dig/tow me out to endless trips in the summer with my friends.

So as you can imagine I was quite sad to see it go.  However it went to another Emma who will be learning to drive in it, so I’d say that’s a good sign it was time to let it go. 

I’m just happy it’s gone to a nice home instead of selling it then seeing it raring up and down my street with one of those huge noisy exhausts and rave music booming from the speakers….

Friday, 4 April 2014

More Pinterest Favourites

I wrote about some of my favourite Pinterest boards a while ago which was quite a popular post, it's nice to be given all of these fantastic sources of inspiration so I thought I would show you some more of my favourites.

I love to design for children, they're full of such active imaginations that your designs can be fun and full of colour!  Children's designs are always full of colour and I love colour!

Children's Design

There are some amazing boards for children's illustrations and patterns on Pinterest so here are some of my favourites:
Phyllida Coroneo has a wonderful children inspired board which has patterns from clothing to wallpaper, a mixture of products and digital pieces makes it a nice mix of inspiration.
Nikki Upsher and Jill Turney both have wonderful boards full of colourful, cheerful patterns and illustrations.
Sally Payne, a freelance children's designer, has one of my favourite children's boards!  It's jam packed with amazing designs.

Flowers and Gardens

I'm a big fan of floral patterns and have more florally dresses than I can count, so I do a lot of drawings of flowers and nature.  Some of the boards I follow are gardening and flower filled and they're fantastic to use as inspiration.
Glamod Fashion's bouquet board is perfect for this, the colour palettes from the bouquet's are also great inspiration.
Anneline Sophia also has a beautiful gardening board (which will be great for when I get my own garden too!)
My own English Countryside Garden has lots of my favourite flowers too!

Trends and Themes

There are loads of boards which revolve around a certain theme or trend, when you're working to specific trends it's an ideal way of collecting loads of images into one place.
Some of my favourites are the woodland and nautical trends, Inspire Art Licensing has fantastic woodland and nautical boards full of beautiful illustrations!
I've put together my own Forest Life and Under the Sea boards aswell as one full of trend ideas

Some of my favourites

Sally Payne has so many amazing boards so I definitely recommend checking her Pinterest account out!
Caren Barry and Creative Bloq also have loads of fantastic boards, I just can't pick which I like best.

Here's a mix of some that really stood out for me:
Phyllida Coroneo's Stationary
Nikki Upsher's Pattern Love Board
Lauren Hay has a few that caught my eye, her Packaging, Crafting and Papercraft boards are great!
Jane Farnham's Illustration, Surface Pattern and Colour boards

Wedding Stationary

Another product I like to look at for inspiration is wedding stationary, they have some really dainty designs and Natalie from Mustard Seed Creative has a lovely board full of them.
My own Wedding Stationary board has some intricate typography as well as some more unusual stationary designs.

Finally a bit of studio and decor love, Anneline Sophia's are my favourite boards for this, she combines her love for pattern with these boards so they are full of pattern filled decor! and the studio ideas just make me want to get redecorating mine!

Let me know which are your favourites and come and check out my Pinterest boards :)