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
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...