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. 

Tuesday, 8 October 2013

My Designs

I am thrilled to be able to share with you a couple of designs I created for Black Cherry Studio last year which are now printed onto garments. It is still a weird feeling to see my design on a garment rather than just a fabric sample.

The first design was spotted in America by one of the members of Black Cherry Studio and then the second is spotted by myself when browsing for inspirational ideas online.

The second was brought by brand Minuet Petite and they have called the print 'Broken Diamond Print Jersey Dress.'

What do you think?

Friday, 4 October 2013

Lesley Stevens - Owner Decorque

It's Follow Friday!

Decorque - a new UK business - offers a unique range of decorative home accessories with an innovative twist.  Using cork as the base for its feature placemats and coasters range, the company brings a fresh, fashion-edge design look to this most environmentally-friendly of products. 

But there’s more to Decorque than just the cork product range.  For customers who like to shop by colour, the carefully crafted, versatile designs carry through to other products including plastic placemats, art prints, greeting cards and tags, and mouse mats. New additions coming soon to the website and previewed at this years Top Drawer show in London comprise lampshades, cushions and table runners.

Themes range from the quintessentially English roses and birds to the exotic toucans and parrots, mixing the hand painted and drawn with photographs.

Launched in Autumn 2012, the brand has received widespread social media coverage, including a blog that covers inspiration on interior design and other interesting designers.

Decorque’s mission is centred on a love of pattern, “seeking to bring that creative touch of colour into the home”. Decorque will expand its range to become “a treasure trove of beautiful, original and practical products for the home”.

You can find Decorque on Facebook, Pinterest and follow on twitter @Decorque. You can also see updates from Decorque regularly from their blog. Also you can contact Decorque via email

Wednesday, 2 October 2013

Emma Bridgewater Factory Tour

In a nutshell Emma Bridgewater was formed by designer Emma Bridgewater and husband Matthew together. The company designs, creates & makes home-decorated pottery within historical Stoke potteries.

Over the summer I had the chance to go on a tour with my Grandma around Emma Bridgewater's factory showing the process of every pottery made from start to finish. It was a great experience and seemed like a lovely place to work. The process for each pottery is fascinating, each worker had their own job whether it would be molding, shaping, decorating, etc the list goes on. Each piece of pottery has a small part worked on from each worker within the factory. Despite the workers working really long hours doing repetitive tasks they all enjoying being a part of this factory. 

If you ever get the chance to visit Stoke-on-Trent, I would definitely recommend this factory tour.

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