As you know by now, Stripes & Sequins has an fabulous contributor… my sister, Becca! Her blog, (extra)ordinary wonders, is pretty much awesome… and she has an incredible eye for art + design. Every week, she’ll be introducing us to a different artist… showcasing their amazing work. I truly love this column – and love learning a little something new about art every week.
Amy is a print and pattern designer living in London. She creates cheerful, colorful designs and applies it to product that fits into your every day life. Amy has been so kind to also share with us photos of her process. As a designer I always enjoy seeing the process behind a finished piece, as it tells the story of how something was made. So much work goes into creating the prints you see on product all around you. I hope you enjoy this look into Amy’s work and process.
Where did you grow up, and where do you live now?
I grew up in Melbourne Australia. 18 months ago my husband and I moved to London.
Please tell us a little bit about yourself and your work.
I studied fashion design at RMIT and worked for fashion labels in Melbourne. When we moved to London I gravitated towards pursuing a career in textile print design. My work is very colourful. I love working with bright, bold colours because it is so emotive and I try to use it in a way that’s uplifting. It’s great when you look at something and feel happy afterwards.
Where do you find your inspiration?
The natural world is a big inspiration. I love looking at the amazing colours that are in creation. God’s handiwork is incredible, from the smallest flowers to majestic sunsets, there is lots to be inspired by. I’m also inspired by textiles, prints and patterns found in other cultures as well as fashion.
How do you stay creative?
I think creativity is a bit like a muscle the more you use it the stronger it gets. If I haven’t done creative things for a while it takes a while to get going again, so to counteract that I find doing something creative each day helps. For me this means painting, drawing or working on my computer regularly!
I also find looking at new and beautiful things helps me get new ideas and feel inspired. Going out to galleries and museums looking at magazines and books always help. Pinterest is useful for this too, it’s a great way to discover new things, be it art, fashion, creatures or places. Seeing something fresh and beautiful is always inspiring and it helps to see a constant stream of new and exciting things.
What advice would you give to other artists and designers?
It’s easy to get discouraged and there have been many times whilst pursuing a creative career that I have felt like giving up. My advice would be to persevere and understand that it takes time for the gap between your taste and your work to close! Ira Glass has this quote and it rings true:
“Nobody tells this to people who are beginners, I wish someone told me. All of us who do creative work, we get into it because we have good taste. But there is this gap. For the first couple years you make stuff, it’s just not that good. It’s trying to be good, it has potential, but it’s not. But your taste, the thing that got you into the game, is still killer. And your taste is why your work disappoints you. A lot of people never get past this phase, they quit. Most people I know who do interesting, creative work went through years of this. We know our work doesn’t have this special thing that we want it to have. We all go through this. And if you are just starting out or you are still in this phase, you gotta know its normal and the most important thing you can do is do a lot of work. Put yourself on a deadline so that every week you will finish one story. It is only by going through a volume of work that you will close that gap, and your work will be as good as your ambitions. And I took longer to figure out how to do this than anyone I’ve ever met. It’s gonna take awhile. It’s normal to take awhile. You’ve just gotta fight your way through.” ?? Ira Glass
What are your goals this year?
I currently have a range of designs through society6 and I plan to continue to add to that collection throughout the year.
In addition to this I’m also planning to start a line of scarves that will be sold online. The collection is filled with colour and features a mix of abstracts, floral and photographic designs printed on silk and produced in the UK.
What is your favorite food?
I have so many, but I do love pizza and Ben and Jerry’s chocolate fudge brownie ice cream.