Tuesday, 30 April 2013

Limited Edition Kleenex Contest

Talenthouse had a recent contest to design a limited edition kleenex collection tissue box.  So I thought I'd give it a go, what do you think? You can also view my submission on the website.


Friday, 26 April 2013

Alice Perry Designs

It's Follow Friday!

Alice Perry Designs is small studio based in Devon, UK designing surface pattern designs.  The designer behind the studio is none other than Alice Perry herself.  Alice Perry Designs currently has a collaboration with Wallpapered.com and Art2Start.  Alice creates whimsical, hand-drawn & illustrative imagery which is then manipulated digitally.  Alice has a lovely doodle signature design style.

You can also find Alice on Facebook and follow her on twitter @AliceCperry.  Alice also has a blog sharing inspiration, photography, drawings, designs and more.



Have you always wanted to be a surface pattern designer?

I can’t say I’ve always specifically wanted to be a surface pattern designer but I’ve been creative ever since I can remember, always doodling patterns and drawing.  It was a  few years ago whilst studying that I managed to pin point my passion for surface pattern.

How have you got to where you are now?

As I said before I’ve always been naturally creative. After School I enrolled at Art College where I completed an AVCE in Art and Design, which is the equivalent to a level qualifications. I later studied for my BA hons in Fashion Design where I learnt all about Illustration and design right through to pattern cutting and production. In my final year my passion for print and surface pattern grew and grew and I specialised in print and illustration. This process confirmed that surface pattern was the route for me to go down. Last year I took the prestigious e-course run by Rachael Taylor and Beth Nicholls, this course enhanced my skills and made me realise my dreams to become a freelance surface pattern designer.

What inspires you?

My inspiration can come from everywhere. I love to go out and about and take my camera, where I can find inspiration for pattern and colour in what I see around me. Quite a lot of my inspiration comes from nature, I’m drawn to birds and most things floral! 

What motivates you?

Motivation comes easy to me, as I’m doing what I love. I’d say I have a real motivation to succeed and feel proud of what I do. Like everyone I have days when you feel like a tiny speck in the big wide world, but you can do anything if you put your mind to it. 

How do you start a new project/design?

I always start a new project or design drawing in pencil in my sketch book, I might be working from inspiration that I’ve found or I start doodling and things begin to develop. I then use pen and ink to turn my pencil drawing into a strong linear image. I later scan my work into my mac, and begin to develop the design in Illustrator and Photoshop, playing with colour, scale and repeat.

What do you enjoy most about design?

The thing I enjoy most about design is the freedom to be creative, to be able to come up with new ideas. To then see your flat design on a final product like a greetings card or even wallpaper is so exciting!

Do you have a favourite design that you have created?

It’s hard to select a favourite design, I find I have favourite collections. For example I like a lot of design’s from my ‘Cottage Garden’ collection, I think my roses designs are one of my favourites. 

Do you have any of your designs on products?

I have designs on greetings cards and wallpaper and am currently setting up a collection of cushions. One day I’d love to also have designs on lamp shades, bedding, tea towels.... I could go on, I just love home ware!

What is your typical day like?

A typical day is usually waking up and whilst having breakfast I go online and have a look at some of my favourite blogs such as Print&Pattern, this keeps me up to date on what’s happening in the world of surface pattern design. I then like to check my emails, make phone calls or respond to anything important. As I love a list I usually then set up what I’m going to do that day, this stops me getting distracted or spending too much time on one thing. A day could include designing new ideas for personal projects, designing for a licensing deal or creating new initial drawings for future work. 

What medias do you like to use?

I really like to use a mix of media’s form pen and ink to software such as Illustrator and Photoshop. I also love to use watercolours and Winsor and Newton inks, as they provide such vibrant colours, I love the effect and the way you can be so free with them. 

What do you hope that 2013 will bring for you?

I hope in 2013 I can keep growing and succeeding in my business. Hopefully taking on more exciting freelance and licensing projects. As well as developing more exciting products featuring my patterns...

Do you get a lot of support from family and friends?

I get a lot of support from family and friends, as well as my Fiancee. I don’t think I could do it without there support, I’m lucky that they understand what I do and what I want to achieve. 

Where would you like to see yourself in 5 years time?

In 5 years time I’d like to still see myself as a surface pattern designer growing and succeeding in my business, with my own home ware range. Most importantly to still be happy in what I’m doing.

Do you have a favourite illustrator, designer etc?

I have lot’s of favourite designers and illustrators ranging from the intricate and detailed work of William Morris to Orla Kiely with her simple but effective bold, graphic designs. Liz and Pip studio have really vibrant and gorgeous designs too. 

Favourite blog?

My favourite blog has to be Bowie style’s Print and Pattern, I’ve been lucky enough to be featured on here twice. It’s such an inspirational blog full of designers who are well known to new designers just starting out in their career.

Favourite design book?

One of my favourite design books is called Naive ‘Modernism and folklore in contemporary graphic design’, its crammed full of colourful images and striking patterns. I also love Over and Over by Mike Perry, featuring designers initial hand drawings. I love this book as I always start my designs with hand drawings, this book highlights the importance of this process rather than just having something designed purely on a computer. 

Anyone is welcome to get in touch with Alice for freelance/commission enquirers.

Thank you for your time Alice, I really appreciate it. If you'd like a feature and interview on this blog please email: hannahbyatt1990@hotmail.co.uk





Thursday, 25 April 2013

The Art of Typography

Faye Brown a UK based designer with over 10 years of experience in illustration, motion graphics and branding will be starting an online course called 'The Art of Typography - How to communicate effectively through the power of type.'  The e course starts on June 14th 2013, I have signed up myself and I'm really looking forward to it. You can enroll via Skillshare for as little as $20 (£13.10).


Tuesday, 23 April 2013

A year ago today...

...I started working for Black Cherry Studio.



I cannot believe it has already been a year, it doesn't quite feel that long at all. I have created many collections during this time amongst many themes including florals, aztec, tribal, geometric, textures, animal prints, conversational and also photography/watercolour mixed prints.  Every collection has had a completely different colour palette and I've enjoyed designing for each and every one. Unfortunately I cannot share any of my work due to copyright reasons, but if I could I would as I'd love more opinions on them.  If I ever see my design in a shop or online, don't worry I will share it with you.

I feel my work has improved, developed and progressed well since freelancing for this studio.  They have told me my work is improving all the time and they get excited to see what designs I come up with, which is was very nice to hear.

I've spent a lot of money on digital printing, I won't say how much because it is a lot.  But unfortunately that's just they way it works.  Selling designs is also a slow process at the moment too especially as Black Cherry is a new studio.  But since Sept 2012 which was when we started selling designs I have sold 9 altogether.  These have been sold in London, Italy, New York, Los Angeles and Australia.  But in the end it will be worth it.

Overall I've had a great experience freelancing for them so far and I hope I will keep designing and selling more and more designs with them in the near future.

Friday, 19 April 2013

Painterly Cityscapes by Jeremy Mann

It's Follow Friday!

Jeremy Mann is an American artist who creates beautifully painted cityscapes, landscapes, figures, still life and drawings.  I was captured by his beautifully, detailed, painterly and textured cityscapes. 
I love how Jeremy engages the detailed architecture, different weather conditions and the reflections of the cars and street lamps.  Each painting brings drama, mood and personality.







Wednesday, 17 April 2013

Using Social Media

Social Media is a very useful and important tool today especially for youngster who want to get themselves out there and companies to gain more clients even small businesses.

It is a lot easier today unlike 20 years ago to find such things like companies, tools, tips, clients, jobs , old friends, long lost relatives etc. the list is endless.  I want to share with you in a nutshell how to use social media within an industry way of how to find jobs, search for companies and gain clients.  These sites include:
  • Facebook - Like companies, follow updates. Include good opinions/comments for them. Also can advertise to gain more likes.
  • Twitter - Follow companies for updates, jobs etc. Tweet to find more info on certain things.
  • Tweetdeck - A great App for Twitter. Columns of certain people/companies you like to follow so then you cannot miss a single update.
  • Instagram - Fast and easy way to share images of your updates with clients.
  • Vimeo - Video blogging to share videos, tutorials etc.
  • Blogger - Share updates, inspiration, tutorials etc. Good to share your work, opinions in your niche.
  • Tumblr - Share images, links, text, music and videos from your browser.
  • Wordpress - Similar to blogger but more upgraded.
  • LinkedIn - World's largest professional network. Online CV, connect to people all of over the world who work for different companies. Find jobs, trends and updates in your niche. Exchange information, ideas and opportunities.
  • Pinterest - Share images of your work, inspirational images you like and group them together in different files. Brilliant for inspiration.
  • Flickr - Share images of your work, great for photography.
  • Skype -  Internet phone calls. Can call anyone where ever in the world for free.
And of course you can get all these great social medias as apps on most mobile phones today to keep you updated on the go. 

Friday, 12 April 2013

Femke Hiemstra Bewitched Illustrations

It's Follow Friday!

Femke Hiemstra is an illustrator based in Amsterdam, Netherlands. Femke creates very enchanting illustrations inspired by animals and nature.  They have very dark fairy tale feel to them giving Femke a very unique signature style.  Femke particularity enjoys painting with acrylic on different surfaces.  Femke sells her illustrations as fine art giclee prints which you can purchase from her online shop. Femke also has a blog with regular up-dates of her work, exhibitions and going ons.








*All images are subject to copyright

Tuesday, 9 April 2013

Tigerprint - Male Pattern

I have recently entered the latest Tigerprint Competition 'Male Pattern.'  I have based mine on a hobby: photography.  I chose this for my theme as I felt it was different and something that hasn't been used before.  Also I wanted to use a very hand-drawn approach to the design.  I'd love yo know your thoughts :)




Friday, 5 April 2013

Miss Magpie Designs

It's Follow Friday!

Miss Magpie Designs is founded by Emily Summers.  Emily creates delicate, dainty and detailed illustrations.  Nature is a huge inspiration for Emily particularly birds and other wildlife species.  So is typography and colour.

You can enjoy daily reads from Emily on her blog and find designs on a range of products in her etsy shop.  You can also find Miss Magpie Designs on Facebook and follow on twitter @MissMagpie_says.



Have you always wanted to be a graphic & surface pattern designer?

Since I was 15, I had my heart set on becoming a costume designer. I'm obsessed with costume dramas and musical theatre and it held a great amount of interest for me so I ended up going to the Arts University College of Bournemouth (as it was then) to study Costume with Performance Design. It took the first year and a term into the second before I realised that it just wasn't for me. It was quite a blow but I bounced back and explored other areas within art and design that interested me, which is how I stumbled into illustration-I do think of myself as more of an illustrator although I am exploring pattern design as we speak!

How have you got to where you are now?

I've always wanted to be my own boss and build up a business, and during that period of time post-uni when I was deciding what to do with myself, I started a series of bird illustrations which inspired me to turn them into handmade stationery. That was the initial birth of Miss Magpie Designs, and since starting in August 2012, I've been developing lots of new and exciting ideas for seasonal and non-seasonal stationery and gifts-it's been great fun!

What inspires you?

I only have to look out of my window to be inspired at the moment! I live in rural Sussex so there's plenty of wildlife activity outside-we have a whole host of birds visiting the garden feeders and I love to watch them. I also find a lot of inspiration in the work of artists I admire. Creativity breeds creativity and I can easily while away several hours looking at illustrators' blogs!

What motivates you?

I'm quite self-critical so tend to go through rollercoaster journeys of motivation. One day I'll be feeling really good about a piece I've just designed then the next, I'll inexplicably decide it's complete rubbish! I find thinking about all the positive feedback I've already had from some very loyal and supportive customers and followers of my work is incredibly motivational. It's amazing what a difference a few words can make! I also have to stop and realise I'm actually doing something that I truly enjoy and I've never had a day where I've wished I was doing something else. No matter how bad I feel about my work, I don't think I'll ever yearn for a different line of work, which is certainly something to appreciate.

How do you start a new project/design?

Every little idea starts in the mind and grows from there. Recently, it was hearing a line from a poem that inspired my to start planning a new series of designs (I'm not giving away anything just yet though!) I've been training myself to get back into sketchbook work as it's a great way to plan out ideas and decide on my final illustrations. I'll do a bit of research online, mainly for reference but the compostions, colours, characters all come from my head and some messing around in the sketchbook.

What do you enjoy most about design?

That's a tough question! I love the freedom there is to start from a tiny idea and develop it into something beautiful. Being able to realise something from your head into a physical design is a liberating feeling.

Do you have a favourite design that you have created?

One of my favourite designs has also been one of the most popular! I did a series of three mother duck and duckling illustrations for Mother's Day this year and the "You're a quacking Mum!" piece with two ducklings was really popular. I loved it when I designed it and still do-I think it's innocent and adorable, the pefect way to tell mum you love her.



Do you have any of your designs on products?

When I create my illustrations, it is with intention of turning them into greetings cards and other stationery, so my Etsy is filled with cards, envelopes, gift tags and at Christmas I did a calendar. One range I am working on at the moment, I hope to use the designs on tea towels, pocket mirrors and maybe mugs. I also designed a writing set for using my Valentine's birds which has been quite popular.



What is your typical day like?

As well as the illustration work, I also frequently take on commissions which are normally pet portraits. When I have several of these booked in, my day is quite neatly divided up into two. I'll spend the morning working on my current portrait, making the most of the natural light which is not so readily available in the Winter months! The afternoon and early evening is dedicated to my illustrative work, finishing up new drawings, doing some digital work on Photoshop, anything to do with designing the current range. I do try my best to limit how much work I do into the evening as I can easily find I have no spare time left and will be exhausted! I also try to dedicate some time every couple of days for myself-if I'm going into town to post off some orders, I'll have a coffee with my mum or friends, and I'll go for a woodland walk when the weather is good! There's never a set schedule; I've tried that before and it just doesn't work so I just go with the flow most of the time.

What medias do you like to use?

My specialty materials are watercolour pencil and acrylic ink. I love the softness of the pencils but you also get a lot of control with them. I use the ink to finish pieces and add extra details. I recently bought some Derwent Inktense pencils which are apparently very good so I'm looking forward to trying those out!

What do you hope that 2013 will bring for you?

My main goal this year is to get my website up and running. I'm very lucky to have a father who dabbles in web design as a hobby (he's an IT developer) so it's becoming a little project for the two of us to work on together. I'm really excited to work on it! I'm hoping to have some more generic cards designed, as in not just occasion-specific, so that I can find some lovely stockists willing to sell my products. Really, I just want to develop Miss Magpie Designs even further and get the name known-I'm still in my first year of business so it's a tough time but I'm very determined!

Do you get a lot of support from family and friends?

I can't even tell you how much of this I've had! I'm extremely close to my family and both my parents have bee extremely supportive of everything I've done over the years, even when I decided to leave university. I'm constantly turning to my mum for second opinions on designs and we have what we jokingly call 'board meetings' over coffee or lunch, just generally talking about the business and my plans. I think I get my artistic traits from both sides, but from my dad in particular. As I mentioned, he's in IT and has an interest in web design so I find a lot of help from him as well as Mum. I think my relatives and friends feel like I've been hiding my abilities because they're always surprised when they see my latest work! But they're always encouraging and supportive; I'm extremely lucky.

Where would you like to see yourself in 5 years time?

Oh I'm terrible at these! I guess I want to have developed some solid ranges of stationery and have them stocked online and in brick and mortar shops! I really do want to get my work onto household items like tea towels, mugs, aprons that sort of thing and for it to be a recognised style. I'd dearly love to have organisations such as the RSPB and National Trust stocking Miss Magpie products!

Do you have a favourite illustrator, designer etc?

I have many! I've been in love with the work of Geninne Ztlatkis (http://blogdelanine.blogspot.co.uk/) for a while now-everything she does makes me smile. I also adore, Madeleine Floyd, Kate Broughton and Rob Ryan.

Favourite blog?

Geninne's blog is fabulous, always full of beautiful photos and artwork. I also follow A Beautiful Mess (http://www.abeautifulmess.com/) Ladybird Likes (http://ladybirdlikes.blogspot.co.uk/) and Stacie Swift (http://swiftsomethings.blogspot.co.uk/)

Favourite design book?

Matt Sewell's "Our Garden Birds" is my favourite book at the moment. It was a Christmas gift and I love love love it! His watercolour birds are just adorable.


Thank you for your time Emily, I really appreciate it.  If you'd like a blog feature and interview, please don't hesitate to contact me via email: hannahbyatt1990@hotmail.co.uk.





Wednesday, 3 April 2013

Pros and Cons of a Gap year

Sometimes I had thought about maybe having a gap year before University, but at the time I thought I would change my mind about going to University after my gap year. It would have been nice to earn some extra cash or gain work experience, both in which I had no idea I would have needed for the future at that time. Below are a list of what I feel are the pros and cons of a gap year:

Pros
A break from education
Earn extra cash (Chance to save)
Gain some valuable work experience
Longer time to think of what you really want to do as a career
A chance to find yourself
Prepares you for University
Do some traveling
Volunteer
Can secure a place at University for the following year

Cons
Can be difficult finding a Full Time job
Could change your mind about University
Will more competition for when applying to University
Might not go to plan
Could possibly get bored
Possibly have no money if have a busy social life or travel
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