Monday, 6 January 2014

Happy 2014

Hello all!

I hope you have had a lovely Christmas and a smashing start to the New Year.

It has been a while since I last blogged and I do apologies in advance as I may still not blog as much as usual but I will when I can.

It has also been 4 weeks since I last did any drawing, designing and any creativity. I have missed it so much and cannot wait to start back to normal today. I am glad that I worked the extra hours in my retail job over the Christmas period as it has shown me exactly how much I want to continue working hard in my spare time to become the designer I want to be.

2013 for me brought further experience in designing and a Mon-Fri job in retail rather than just weekends. I have managed to find the right balance between both jobs in which I think now works quite well. But now it is 2014...

I will continue with my retail job and freelancing for Black Cherry but I am unsure what this year will bring. I have decided not to make any big plans to avoid disappointment. I just want to see how things go and see what happens.

Did you have a great 2013? What are you hoping 2014 will bring for you?

Wednesday, 11 December 2013

Explanation to my disappearance.

Hey Everyone,

I do apologies for my recent disappearance. I have been sooo busy working for both jobs and unfortunately I just haven't found the time to post on here. I am hoping to make a few changes over the next month or so, therefore I will hopefully be able to keep updating my blog.

I hope you are all getting into the Christmas spirit. I think I am starting too, I have almost finished my Christmas shopping and cannot wait to get creative with the wrapping. Our Christmas tree will up this weekend which hopefully lift up my Christmas Spirits.

I recently went to a local Christmas Craft Fair, unfortunately I forgot to take some photographs. There were lots of lovely items to buy and I was very inspired in the idea of doing a fair myself. But of course I need some lovely designs, products and creativity going on to be able make this a reality.

Oooo I made some mince pies about a couple of weeks ago, it was a bit early but I made so many to last the whole month for the family. I made so much pastry that I ran out of mince meat so made some jam tarts too. In total I made 84 mince pies and 48 jam tarts.

Friday, 1 November 2013

Caren Barry

It's Follow Friday!

Caren Barry is a surface pattern designer and illustrator with a passion for hand-drawn design. Caren creates traditional yet contemporary patterns for paper goods which you can buy online from Folksy and Etsy.

Caren has launched her first Kickstarter project with a collection of eco-friendly patterned notepads which you can help bring to life by giving as little as a £1.

You can find Caren on Facebook, Twitter @carenbarry and instagram. Caren also has a blog featuring inspiration, what she gets up to and her design processes.

Thursday, 31 October 2013

Inspirational Resource: Print & Pattern Blog

The most famous blog in the textile industry 'Print & Pattern.'

If you have never heard of this blog, you really need to take a peek right now. Go on, what are you waiting for?

Print & Pattern was first began in March 2006 and is written by designer Marie Perkins who has a passion for surface pattern design. The blog showcases inspiration, pattern and more pattern. I first discovered this blog during my time as University, I believe in my second year when I was taking my pathway into printed textile design.

The blog showcases surface patterns from designers, graduates, shops, travel, shows and much more. From stationary to wall paper and from fabrics to ceramics.

I read this blog every single day and whenever I am in need of inspiration. There isn't a designer I know who doesn't know about this blog.

As the blog became so successful which wasn't what Marie intended, she has then published three books Print & Pattern, Print & Pattern 2 and Print & Pattern Kids which are all available to purchase. There is a new a book coming out soon called Print & Pattern Geometric.

Wednesday, 30 October 2013

Creative work not selling? How do you stay motivated?

Sometimes you can go a few months without selling any designs particularly if you are only just starting out. It can take a good few years for a new business to really kick off the ground. You need to really persevere, stay focused and be positive.

I started freelancing for Black Cherry Studio in April 2012 but we didn't start showing our designs until later that year in September. It has only been the last few months that more of my designs have started to sell.

I have good and bad days but that is normal. I always said I would give Black Cherry 2-3 years and it's been just over 18 months now and I really think that Black Cherry is really starting to own a place in the competitive fashion industry. We recently did a show, Indigo in Paris and unfortunately I didn't have any designs sold there, but there is no need for me to take it heart. There is always next time.

You just have to keep going, keep aiming for your goals and even past them. Take baby steps, don't plan too far ahead as you never know what is around the corner. Anything can crop up at any time which can change anything and everything.

If you are having a bad day, take a break that's what I do. Sometimes if something doesn't go to plan and it really frustrates me I have to walk away as I know I won't perform and create the best designs that I know I can do.


            ...Everything happens for a reason.

Friday, 25 October 2013

Rosa & Clara Designs

It's Follow Friday!

Jessica Haymen is the designer and maker behind Rosa & Clara Designs, a British-made homewares and paper goods company. Each product is carefully made by Jessica from hand-drawn to designing to hand printing to making. If the product is digitally printed Jessica makes sure she uses a UK based company to keep her company truly British.

You can also find Jessica on Facebook and twitter @RosaClaraDesign. Jessica also sells her products through and Etsy.

Tuesday, 15 October 2013

How to handle criticism

  • Listen to what is said.
  • Stay calm.
  • Don't take it personally.
  • See it from another point of view.
  • Learn from it to improve your work in the future.
  • It can allow you to open up to other perspectives.
  • Helps you to deal with problem solving in the future.
  • Can help teach you when you are criticising others. How to say it the right way without offending them.
  • Receiving feedback will remind you that it is okay to have flaws.

I really appreciate criticism with my work as at least I know I won't make a fool of myself if it's not 100% right. When I first got minor negative criticism during my time at University I did take it to heart especially as through college my work just got better and better but perhaps I didn't get the right criticism at college. But of course everyone has their own opinions when it comes to art.

BUT remember...

...whoever is giving you criticism about your work only wants the best for you and to bring the best you can do within your work.

Friday, 11 October 2013

Made By Mrs M

It's Follow Friday!

Kate Marsden a designer behind 'Made By Mrs M' is a contemporary textile designer with a passion for surface pattern and fibre art. Kate has a varied approach towards textiles design from ceramics to cross stitch and from knitting to printing.

You can also find Kate on Facebook and follow Kate on twitter @kdmarsden. You can find Kate's products on Folksy, Etsy and Society6. You can also view updates from Kate on what she is up to on her blog.

Have you always wanted to be a designer?

I certainly did when I was at school, and I studied Fashion & Textiles at college. However I ended up working for a City law firm for 15 years and I've only returned to designing relatively recently.

How have you got to where you are now?

I'm still only really starting out. Made By Mrs M has been a very part time enterprise over the past couple of years. It's reached the point it's at now as a result of slowly building up collections, blogging and getting to know people. It's taken time and a lot of work (and there's still a long way to go!).

What's your next step?

I've just resigned from the day job so I'm intending to spend a lot more time on my design work come the new year (as well as more time with my son before he starts school).

What inspires you?

I'm inspired by everything and anything (as evidenced by my vast array of Pinterest boards!), but my designs are primarily inspired by the architecture and design of the 1950s.

What motivates you?

Finally having the opportunity to do something I love for a living. That's where I'm aiming to be within the next couple of years.

How do you start a new project/design?

Most of my pattern designs start with a photograph - I'll take a picture of a building that inspires me, then come home and paint it. I then turn my paintings into patterns using Photoshop.

What do you enjoy the most between textiles, painting and ceramics?

Definitely textiles - it was my first love (alongside fashion)!

What do you enjoy most about being a designer?

Just having the opportunity to do something I actually enjoy. At the moment I find it very hard to fit designing in though. I'm looking forward to spending more time on it next year.

Do you have a favourite design that you have created?

My Park Hill fabric is probably my favourite, but I really like my new South Bank design at the moment.

What media do you like to use?

I use acrylics for my paintings, other than that I like to use a wide range of different media and try new things out.

Do you have a favourite designer?

I'm not really sure I have a favourite as such. I've always loved Orla Kiely's patterns. I'm also inspired by artists such as Bridget Riley and Patrick Caulfield and fashion designers such as Paul Smith and Bella Freud (who I met when I was at college - still star struck!).

Favourite blog?

Again, lots! I really like the following:
Oh my! Handmade goodness -
Design Sponge -
Sue Bulmer -
Meet me at Mikes -

Favourite design book?

Another really hard one. I have an art and design book addiction! If I had to choose one, I'd go for You can find inspiration in everything by Paul Smith.

Thank you for your time Kate, I really appreciate it. 

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