Tuesday, 26 February 2013

Talent Tuesday - Emma Frances Design

Welcome to a brand new feature on the blog called Talent Tuesday, where I plan to showcase a designer whose work I really love. This might not happen every Tuesday but I'll do my best for once or twice a month. So it's with great pleasure that I introduce you to recent graduate, Emma Frances Designs who kindly agreed to have a little chat with me about her gorgeous work... 

Hi Emma. Thank you for taking part in the first little chat on my blog... Can you start by telling us your route into surface pattern design? 
Well I've always been creative and loved to draw but didn't realise there was such a thing as surface pattern design until I went to university. I took art and design and textile design throughout school and college, these were focused on drawing, painting and sewing though. All are great skills to have for surface pattern design but I hadn't been taught to design on a computer or make repeating patterns. I can remember the pivotal point where I knew I wanted to go into surface pattern design. In my second year at university while i was studying textile design Rachael Taylor gave a lecture about her route to becoming a surface pattern designer. I was gripped from the moment she started talking and knew from that point on that was what I wanted to do. From there I went into printed textile design through my degree and took part in Rachael and Beth's 'the art and business of surface pattern design' where I met some amazing designer friends and learnt how to make my love for surface pattern into a business. 

So after deciding this was definitely the route for you can you tell us how you went about making it into a business and what a typical day might be?
I am just starting out at the moment so have yet to mould it into a fully fledged business, but I am currently building up my portfolio and will start contacting companies very soon for freelance projects and licensing deals.  My typical day consists of mostly designing at this stage, I work at a restaurant during the evenings so have plenty of time during the day to do what I love, making patterns.

What advice would you have for students about to start a similar degree to the one you did? 
As for advice, definitely get some work experience in your holidays while your at university, you won't have time to gain that experience once you've finished and having to work to pay rent.  Also network and meet new designers, it's been wonderful to have designer friends there to help if you need it, give advice and encourage you to do your best.

How would you describe your style?
I always find it quite difficult to describe my style as I like to keep it varied.  I always like to hand draw my motifs though so have a fairly sketchy style and I like to use delicate colour palettes in my work as well.

What would be your dream brief and client?
My dream brief and client, thats a difficult one, I just love designing patterns and especially like to design for interiors, so probably a bedding design brief, any client would be wonderful though!

What are your plans for 2013?
My plans for this year are to continue to work on my portfolio, to blog more often (which is going well so far!), I'm going to bring out a line of greetings cards fairly soon and look into other products later in the year.  I also hope to contact companies for licensing deals, so a fairly busy year and lots to be getting on with!


Tuesday, 19 February 2013

Blog swap - Decorque

I'm really excited to take part in my first blog swap with the wonderful Decorque. I could write loads about their gorgeous work but probably best I leave it to Harriet to introduce the family-run business and some examples of their beautiful work. Be sure to check out all their links at the bottom of the post and follow them on twitter and pinterest... enjoy!

Hello, this is Harriet R Stevens – designer and head of social media at Decorque. Firstly we would like to say a huge Thank You to Faye for having us on her blog and agreeing to a series of contributor posts & blog swaps with us, on all things creative! Looking forward to plenty more exciting posts!

So I guess you are all wondering who we are and what Decorque is all about? Well here’s a little bit our business and what inspires us!

Decorque is a family-run business which launched in September 2012 – comprising of a talented team of four that manage all areas of the business; from graphic design, eCommerce & SEO, social media & surface pattern design. We are pretty lucky to have such a multi-talented team with diverse skills!

Decorque’s founder & head designer Lesley Rudman Stevens has been working in the textile and fashion industry all her life, and decided to apply her unique and highly decorative fashion-led designs to home, wall art & stationery products through an eCommerce business.

Decorque aims to bring new, different products to the market, such as our Cork placemat & coaster ranges. We digitally print our designs onto the eco-friendly, premium cork surface to create hard wearing, heat resistant, and practical yet warm & beautiful decorative items for the home. Bet you haven’t seen anything like this range before!?

We turn this……into this!

Alongside these, we also take our designs onto opaline plastic placemats, art prints, greetings cards & tags, and we are now expanding into coordinating office products and have just launched a limited edition handcrafted card range which is available now!

We are always inspired, whether that be through fashion or interior trends, graphic design, things we find on Pinterest, artists or via other retailers, for example. The main thing you can say about Decorque is that we LOVE pattern! We also love to combine media – by mixing hand drawn & painted elements with Photoshop & Illustrator components to create that unique design full of depth & interest. We like to take surface pattern to a new level!

We have been working hard over the last few months to build our brand awareness and will continue to expand our ranges into 2013. Along the way we have had the opportunity to work alongside some hugely creative and inspiring individuals and small businesses, and have formed a strong network of creatives who inspire us daily! We’d like to thank them all for their continued support and look forward to more collaborations this year.

We currently sell on our website, through etsy and folksy as well as partaking in offline craft, gift & art fairs in our local area. We will be looking to expand our outlets over the next year or so, and welcome any creative & licensing opportunities.

If you fancy a creative read, please do visit our successful blog – covering all creative topics as well as features and introductory posts by other designers, like the hugely talented Faye whose post is live now!


Etsy http://www.etsy.com/shop/Decorque
Folksy http://folksy.com/shops/Decorque

Amazing tiles!

We went to Winchester this weekend and popped into Jamie Oliver's Union Jack's for a quick lunch. It was yummy but I was even more taken with the fabulous bathroom tiles in the toilets - if only I had taken my iphone in with me to take some photos. I didn't, so instead I've spent my day trying to find them on the internet. With no luck, but on the upside I've found some other awesome tile designs to share with you all.

First up some absolutely fabulous tiles by Oscar & Izzy designed by Amy Mescia. I love the colours and graphic motifs. I think my favourites are the designs in the Kitschy Kitchen range.

A neat idea for decorating your bathroom tiles are these graphic wall stickers by Spin Collective - check out their full range here.

For a real wow factor how about these ultra modern tiles by Evit?
(Images from Trendir)

Seriously cool typographic glass tiles designed by Rex Ray in collaboration with Modwalls.
As a bit of a type geek I love these! 

I'm feeling inspired to design some bathroom and kitchen tiles myself now... so watch this space! Have you designed any tiles you would like to share - please comment below! 

Sunday, 3 February 2013

Valentines Spotlight

It's February, it's the month of lurve! so to celebrate I bring you the second spotlight on lots of lovely dovey patterns and designs from my talented friends who have all either completed or currently taking the Art and Business of Surface Pattern Design course.

I started the first module over a year ago now with some of the following designers - it's been great to see how everyone's styles have developed and also to hear all the success stories. To check out even more designers please take a look in the wonderful Little White Book of Surface Pattern Designers.

So let's start the love fest!

Above: So cute... Flowerstop "Looking for Love" part of The Bugstop Collection 

Great clever design using cupid arrows by Bethan Janine Designs

A gorgeous placement design for girls by Eva Twinkles
shown at Indigo Paris last year as part of Believe Creative Studio. 

Originally designed as a wedding invite for a friend, this fab design by Kathryn Pledger is perfect for Valentines Day.

Beautiful, personalised Love Birds by Onneke van Waardenburg
available to purchase through Not on the Highstreet here personalised with your names and anniversary date

Very pretty, 'Spangled Love' by Julie Hamilton

A fresh striking pattern from Jacqueline Auvigne

Perfect heart pattern by Chloe Wood

Amazing origami pattern by Gloria Urech

Great design and message by Emma Frances Designs

I love flamingos and I love this design by Pila Podersalu

'Sweethearts' by Majo BV
When this hit my inbox it really made me smile - such a unique design

Seriously cute love birds from JLW Illustration available to buy here along with others from the collection

Love You by me, Faye Brown Designs
Some of my other cards from this range are available to buy here

Happy Valentines Day! Fabulous design by Virginia of Njeri Designs

Intricate pretty hearts collection by Lily Reilly of Petal to Petal

It's been great fun putting this spotlight together and seeing everyone's styles and personalities sing through. If you aren't loved out and still feeling loved up, check out Jacqueline's post for even more lovely loveness. 
I'd love to hear your comments on all the above designs!