I have always been passionate about pattern, illustration and design and as a girl I used to create stylised illustrations, add flourishes to my homework, practise lettering. I had a creative upbringing and was given an early foundation in design and typography from my father who owned his own printworks and in colour and creativity from my mother, who is an artist. I went on to study Colour Chemistry, which gave me a grounding in colour theory, dyes, pigments, textiles and printing.
In recent years I have become increasingly interested in design details and patterns, and I am forever photographing and sketching sources of inspiration. This passion, combined with experience in marketing, publishing and graphic design, has led to the creation of Patterns Apart, my colour, print and pattern design studio.
Who (or what) inspires you to do what you love in your own creative business?
I get my inspiration from the world around me, as I love to travel and to visit new places. I always have a sketchbook and camera to hand to capture inspiring details when I’m out and about: Art Nouveau details from an iron balcony in Paris, tile patterns from a bar in Turkey, Portuguese mosaics from an old mansion in Goa. My patterns therefore have a hint of the places I have visited and a touch of nostalgia.
Where do you get your inspiration from when you design?
I generally trawl through my sketchbooks and photos looking for images that reflect the particular idea I have in mind, and then I begin sketching straight into illustrator using my Wacom stylus and tablet, adapting the designs as I go. At this stage it is important to be precise, since this element will be repeated many times within the design and then onto a variety of products. Once I am happy with the repeated design then I colour the patterns using different palettes.
What are the five words that people who know you would use to describe you?
Creative, determined, passionate, sociable, radiant
Tell us about your very first job and what path have you taken since then?
I started out in a general marketing role before specialising in the design and production of marketing materials. I then moved into publishing, first in magazines and then in investment banks. After my son was born, I set up as a freelance designer, working on both graphic and interior design projects, but I felt increasingly driven to start up my own product range. I launched Patterns Apart with cards and prints last year, and since then the business has really taken off, my product range has grown and my creativity has flourished.
Describe a typical day in your studio
I am usually at my desk by 8.30 with a steaming cup of coffee, checking emails and getting prepared for the day. I like to be out and about in the morning, networking, researching or meeting clients and then I usually work in my studio for the rest of the day, working on a commission, coming up with a new product range or preparing for an exhibition.
As an Artist, what is your biggest frustration?
The amount of time it takes to create my designs before I transfer them onto products, from initial inspiration to final product, since I find it hard to stop making refinements.
Tell us about how you prioritise your work
I usually prioritise commissions and bespoke work, although this can be a juggling act if I have an exhibition coming up. However, I am always careful to set aside time for creating new designs and planning new products.
Can you please tell us about how do you connect with other artists, and your customers ?
I regularly visit art and design exhibitions in London and elsewhere, and I often visit Chelsea Harbour Design Centre to keep up to date with the latest trends in the world of interiors. I always carry a few products with me and often drop into small independent shops and galleries that I come across. I am a member of a women’s networking group of dynamic entrepreneurs and attend meetings all over Sussex, particularly Brighton, which is a creative hub.
What advice can you offer other creative people who are just starting out and following their passions?
Don’t be afraid to show your work to others, just go for it. If you are designing from your heart then this will be evident in your work and you will connect emotionally with your market.
What dreams do you still want to achieve or fulfil in your life?
To see my designs in stores everywhere I go and to travel more.
What is your proudest moment so far?
Being chosen by a selection committee to showcase my work at Launchpad, an area for talented new designers at the Pulse trade show at Earls Court in London next summer.
Who do you most want to meet and why?
Barbara Hulanicki, founder of iconic fashion brand BIBA, because she transformed a generation of style.
What is the most important lesson in life that you have learned?
Follow your passion and listen to your intuition
What book are you reading right now, and do you have a book you would like to recommend?
I’ve just finished ‘The Monk who sold his Ferrari’ by Robin Sharma, which is an excellent book for anyone searching for their purpose.
Where do we find you and your products?