Tuesday, 30 October 2012

I'm having a sale!!!

Hello all, 

Today I am sharing some items I have....


FOR SALE!!!!! 

Not much, but im making way for a new collection of designs in preparation for the new year. 

Think of it as a christmas sale...

Before Christmas....

Heres what i have on offer today.....



For The Kiddies:

(Dinosaur design LOW on stock)


What's the deal???

Any 4 cards from any of the three collections....

£3.00 + 50p Postage

If you order via Etsy here then you must buy in collections....


order directly from me and pay via Paypal and you can select any 4 designs for just £3.00

These cards are A6 High Quality gloss cards, professionally printed and come with white envelope and are BLANK inside.

So what are you waiting for??? 


Until next time. 

Friday, 26 October 2012

Good News All Around - Spoonflower

Hello again....

Rolling on from my last blog post about Tigerprint top 25, MORE AMAZING NEWS:

I found out yesterday I made 13th place in Spoonflowers Tea Towel 2013 Competition....

Remember this design? 

321 votes...

186 entries...

Thanks guys. 

I'd also like to congratulate fellow ABSPD students Emily Truong and Dawn Clarkson for doing amazingly well also.

(apologies if I missed others who entered, I don't recognise some of the Spoonflower names). 

9th Place....

11th Place....

Next time we will make top 10 won't we Dawn?

Moving on...


The theme is Arrows....

did i nail it?

I think so... 

Please vote...

Until next time. 

Monday, 22 October 2012

Tigerprint, Christmas Papers and ABSPD

Hi All,

its another one of them posts, where I share everything in one go, when really I should be sharing it bit by bit and making you all come back time after time.


 I just don't have the time to blog constantly....

I have a house to run...

 3 children under my wings...

and I'm attempting (Slowly) to get my brand name off the ground.

So you'll just have to deal with one big blog post every other day.....

hope thats okay?

Heres what I've been up to:

This was an awesome achievement, I worked hard on this competition, and I cannot wait to get started on editing this design into a new collection. There were lots of amazing entries and the winner and runners up were very deserving of their titles. 

Free Scrapbook Papers:

My Mother-in-law shared some cards and gift boxes that she made using my latest collection of scrapbooking papers...

they are FREE...

Get them HERE

aren't they FAB? 

What else have i forgotten??? 

Oh I entered this weeks Spoonflower Competition...

The annual Tea Towel Calendar competition for 2013...

Don't forget to vote...

Here is my entry:

I Also have some other bits to share...

but I can't share them yet...

But I will...

Until next time. 

Friday, 19 October 2012


Hello Friday

Today I get to feature a little something different. Todays featured designer is a Graduate of the ABSPD course, and I am happy to showcase her paintings, as well as some surface Pattern.

Sonal Nathwani's paintings are a delight for the eyes, just take a look for yourself:

Can you tell me a little bit about your background in Surface Pattern Design? 

I decided to leave my career in finance after my second son was born, in order to live “the creative life” and I can now happily say that I am a painter. As well as paintings on canvas, my home is full of objects which I have “hand-patterned”. I have a tendency to paint on any surface that I feel needs to be livened up. I have always loved pattern and over the last few years, my mixed media pieces, in particular, have increasingly included an element of pattern within them. I have been teaching myself and dabbling in pattern design on and off for a couple of years and have produced designs for a local design studio for sale in various trade shows.

What made you apply for the ABSPD course and what have you gained from it so far?

I applied for the course simply because I wanted to learn how to create designs professionally and I wanted to know the ins and outs of the surface pattern industry. The course has provided the foundation pattern design skills and knowledge and has given me the confidence to continue to design as I do.  I am really happy with what I have learnt so far and to have an insight into the commercial and professional aspects of surface pattern design.  

 Can you describe your style and what methods you use to create your designs? 

Aah, the question of style.....I am still a bit hesitant when it comes to describing my style. Generally, my designs use bold colour combinations and strong shapes. I am often inspired by ethnic
art and textiles, especially from Japan &  of course, India.  Flowers make me happy and you can see a lot of them in both my paintings and patterns. I use mainly hand drawn motifs as a starting point and then have fun with them using Illustrator.  At the moment I am exploring how to use motifs from my paintings directly in my pattern designs.

Where do you see your work progressing in the next few years, and what industry would you say you are aiming at? 

Right now my main aim is to develop a strong portfolio of designs which reflects my true personal aesthetic. I would love to see my paintings and patterns on stationary, cards or home furnishings.

This is just beautiful:


All images provided by ©Sonal Nathwani 2012

Happy Friday All. 

Thursday, 18 October 2012



I have amazing news. 

I have been working on a secret project. 

Except its no longer a secret.

Myself and a fellow ABSPD student have collaborated in a litle project to help me release my VERY FIRST collection of Scrapbooking papers. 

It's something I've dreamed of for years. I remember at University I had hoped to create a range for a project, but that particular project ended up going down a completely different route. But its always been stuck there... The niggle to create one. 

And so I got in touch with Sally Garner of Sarah Paris Style.

Sally is such a kind and thoughtful woman, offering advice and helping me adjust my collection to a standard high enough to put out there in the Digi-Scrapbooking world, and then offering me space on her very own AMAZING website, it was just the icing on the cake. I am forever grateful to Sally, and everything she has helped me with.

Here's the link, they are FREE to download, and available for personal use only (Please check T&C's before downloading).


All images are ©JLW Illustration 2012 

Wednesday, 17 October 2012


Hi All, another day, another amazing Surface Pattern 
Designer, and another ABSPD student. 

Today I share the work of Rosie Simons. A recent Graduate from University and a fellow ABSPD Classmate. 

Heres a little insider information about Rosie:

Can you tell me a little bit about your background in Surface Pattern Design?

I've always had a passion for art, design and crafts. I remember as a child 'Art Attack' being one of my favourite TV programmes and spending hours painting, drawing and making things. In fact I was the one child who LOVED wet play time, because when it rained we stayed inside and I got to play with pens and draw and colour in. This stayed with me through school, taking art GCSE and then 3 art A-Levels (fine art, textiles and graphic design) followed by an art & design foundation diploma and then a degree in Graphic Design.

Surface Pattern Design has always been my dream but for years it was something I looked at in amazement from afar, however in the second year of my degree we were given the opportunity to take a unit with the head of the surface design degree. I was so excited and worked really hard to impress the tutor and was so pleased when I received great feedback. This unit led me to realise that it was possible for me not only to incorporate surface design projects into the final year of my graphic design degree but to reach my dream and become a Surface Pattern Designer. I have only just graduated so I am just beginning my surface design story but hope with lots of hard work my dream can come true!

What made you apply for the ABSPD course and what you gained from it so far?

I follow Rachael Taylor on twitter as I have been an admirer of her work for a long time, I saw it and wanted to do it as soon as she announced it however at the time I was in the final year of my degree and too busy to juggle the course on top of my university work. When I found out the course was running again I jumped at the chance to join for Module 3 and learn the business side to add to all the practical skills I had learnt at uni. The course has not only taught me so much about how to run a business but also how to present yourself and your work and given me so many gateways into the industry. It has been a brilliant experience, helping me to develop my style and confidence as freelance designer and it is great to have built a community with other likeminded designers.

Can you describe your style and methods you use to create your designs?

Graphic and surface design have always run parallel in my interests and I have developed my style to incorporate both these passions, a simple and clean but colourful aesthetic; combining simple graphic illustrations and typography. I am naturally inspired by things around me, from day to day items to nature. I automatically visualise how imagery and objects will translate into designs, motifs and patterns. I am a keen and proactive designer, I love to go out and find new inspiration, taking photos of flowers, forms, shapes, textures and typography, reading blogs, collecting printed and tactile matter, wrapping paper, labels, to inspire motifs and creation of new work. I love to explore, see and experience new things. Colour, texture and shape are some of the most important aspects of both my personal life and my life as a designer. I generally work using my Wacom tablet, hand drawing motifs from photos or my imagination. I love the freedom and organic lines this creates and then develop the designs in illustrator.

Where do you see your work progressing in the next few years, and what industry would you say you are aiming at?

Right now I'm working on developing my portfolio and looking for representation, commissions and licensing so please contact me via my website for more information. I have just started an Etsy shop selling my own designs as cards and hope to branch out further to other paper goods and perhaps my fabric designs too. My dream is to have my designs 
licensed across many different surfaces all over the world!

Please visit the lovely Rosie here:

Twitter: @rosie_simons

Tuesday, 16 October 2012


Hello and welcome back. This week I will be wrapping up my ABSPD Featured Designer Blogs. Its been so fun learning about my fellow course friends (Past and present). 

Today I share (more) work from Mel Smith Designs. I came across Mel via Wallpapered.com, I saw one of her designs and sent her a message via Twitter letting her know I LOVED them. Since then we have kept in regular contact (sometimes late in to the night). 

Here is a little in depth interview in to the world of Mel 
Smith Designs:

Can you tell me a little bit about your background in Surface Pattern Design? 

I completed a Design for Interior Textiles degree back in 2006 and got searching for jobs straight away. I started freelancing within a couple of months and then started a full time position with HotchPotch studios in South West London the following year. I started work with a new freelance agent about 2 1/2 years ago and have produced numerous ranges for her so far. She takes prints to shows such as  Heimtextil, Indigo and Surtex. I'm keen to get my own brand started though, get Mel Smith Designs out there!

 and so i took the ABSPD E-course....

What made you apply for the ABSPD course and what have you gained from it so far?

I actually can't remember where I saw it advertised, I was on a bit of a budget so decided to just take 2 of the modules so I read up about them and felt modules 2 and 3 were most suited to me. I Loved every bit of them! the course far surpassed my expectations, there was an unbelievable wealth of knowledge shared, all those unanswered questions from Uni were finally... umm, answered!

Textiles design seems to be so full of secrets it was just such relief that someone - Rachael - decided it was to share all of her experience with us all. the competitions & briefs that were set for us were great - varied and challenging. And it was such a boost to get good feedback from both Rachael and my classmates - really helped with my confidence. In fact one of the most valuable things to get from the course is that the class still very much supports each other. Having fellow designers to chat to, ask questions, review your work - it really is so crucial in a job like this, especially when you work on your own a lot - you get a bit caught up and lose sight of where the project is going. A fresh pair of eyes to look over what you are doing and give views is invaluable.

 Can you describe your style and what methods you use to create your designs? 

My work is quite graphic but it still has a hand drawn feel to it. I sketch out all of my motifs and imagery and then trace to tidy them up. Photoshop is my software of choice and I use this to recolour and create my repeats. I'd like to think I have a good eye for colour, I like to play about a lot and can end up with some quirky palettes. the colour is just as important as the pattern, and in some cases more important. I think colour grabs my attention first when I'm looking around shops.

Where do you see your work progressing in the next few years, and what industry would you say you are aiming at? 

ooh tricky question! well, my big aim is to do Top Drawer next September. So the next few months I will be concentrating on finding manufacturers and getting products produced and tested. I also aim to continue freelancing with my agent - producing ranges for the Heimtextil, Indigo and Surtex shows. I may do a few more markets and craft shows - I enjoyed Spitalfields and met some other designers and there's always the chance of making contacts. I'll be featured in eth upcoming PatternBase book, but would like to get another book / mag feature...the more promo the better! As well as all that I will continue to build my own portfolio for my own brand and hopefully after Top Drawer things will continue to move onwards and upwards...

that's the plan anyway! :)

Find out more about Mel Smith Designs here:

WEBSITE - www.melsmithdesigns.com
FB - http://www.facebook.com/pages/Mel-Smith-Designs/195439510558527?ref=hl
TWITTER - @melsmithdesigns
ETSY - http://www.etsy.com/shop/MelSmithDesigns?ref=pr_shop_more
SOCIETY6 - http://society6.com/MelSmithDesigns
BLOG - http://melsmithdesigns.blogspot.co.uk/