I have been working within the textile industry since leaving Chelsea College of Art and Design, London in 1997. My design work successfully sells worldwide within the home furnishing and fashion industry.
I work directly with clients, plus supply designs to a textile agent who travels worldwide. Designs sell throughout Europe, the USA, Australia, South Africa and the Far East. In the UK clients have included John Lewis, Today Interiors, Marks and Spencer, Nougat, Monsoon, Fenn Wright Manson, and Boden to name a few.
Designs sell for a variety of end uses. Within the printed and woven home furnishing market, designs sell for bed linen, upholstery fabric, blind/curtain fabric, wall coverings, rugs and stationary. Within the fashion market, designs sell for apparel and accessories, even suitcases and raincoats!
During my career I have worked mainly as a freelance designer working from my own studio. But, I have also worked in a variety of studios for textile consultancies and agents, where I have had the opportunity to widen my skills. I travelled worldwide with their portfolio, meet clients, briefed fellow designers, report back on current trends and compiled mood boards. From 2003 to 2005 I worked in house as a Senior Designer with Today Interiors. I gained considerable design, digital and production knowledge working in their London studio. I created designs from initial concept through to overseeing production in British, Italian and French textile mills. The designs were developed for interior textiles, wallpaper & vinyl collections for both the retail and contract market.
How I work
Whether working to commission or developing new designs for my portfolio, I always start with gathering inspiration, creating the theme and putting mood boards together. My initial drawings and paintings are then done by hand. In my drawings I explore shapes, textures and forms, zooming into small details and recording what I observe. I then transfer my drawings digitally and arrange the motifs into layers and layouts for my design work.
After leaving college in 1997, I stretched my paper, drew out my layout, mixed my paints and painted all of my designs by hand, the old fashioned way. However, working digitally for the past 10 years, has enabled me to explore the full potential of a design, try alternative colour palettes and play around with layouts but still draw by hand! The designs are finally put into the correct size and repeat ready to be printed or woven for commercial purposes. I am proficient in Adobe Illustrator and Photoshop.
- Compiling trend, colour and mood boards.
- Presenting concepts and ideas plus researching the market.
- Design – coordinating a collection of designs
- Repeat – putting design work into specific repeat sizes for commercial purposes
- Working to commission
- Colouring collections
- Re-colouring designs to current colour trends
I travel often to attend meetings with clients and textile agents, visit exhibitions, fairs and textile conferences keeping up-to-date with current trends.