Thursday, 23 August 2012


Welcome back to the next installment of my special ABSPD Feature. The Art and Business of Surface Pattern Design (ABSPD) course is the creation of Rachael Taylor and Beth Nicholls, and you can find out more information about the course here.

Today I am pleased to share the work of Worthy Design Studio, owned and run by Gillian Hollingsworth. Gillian's work makes me smile and her designs are so versatile.

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

I actually studied Fashion Design in college. I always loved making and sewing so this seemed like the right step to take. While there, I was able to take part in a Printed Textiles module which I loved and ended up using it in my final degree collection. I guess the seed was planted then.
Having spent a few years in the fashion industry, my love for it was starting to dwindle. I became more interested in illustrators and print designers rather than fashion designers. I'd buy fashion magazines based on a beautiful photo shoot rather than the clothes. In work, I would be so interested in the printed fabrics we were using and not so interested in the garments they were going into. 
Then one crazy day, I was made redundant from my job which was a shock but a blessing in disguise as it allowed me to re-think my career and where it was going. So I turned to my books for inspiration, most of them being graphic design, print and pattern books. A lightbulb went off in my head....why not try surface pattern design?!

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

It was actually a graphic designer friend of mine told me about the course. She had heard great things about it and once I read up on it, I knew I wanted in. As it turns out, I missed the 1st Module and but went and booked Modules 2&3 together. I dove straight into Module 2 which I LOVED. It showed me how to put my ideas together and how to really make a collection. As for making a brand for myself, it helped me to work out what I want to show the world and best of all, HOW to do that! I'd no idea about blogs or competitions before signing up, now I have a website / blog and facebook page. Without this course, I wouldn't have know where to begin.
I cant wait to get stuck into Module 3 and I even went back to enroll in next term's Module 1 because I feel there are areas within that Module that can still help me. I've definitely got a lot of learning still to do but the adventure is really exciting so far.

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

To be honest, I'm still trying to find 'my style'. I'd like to think it is illustrative and I tend to be drawn towards subdued colours. I usually draw a motif with quill and ink, scan it and then bring it into either Photoshop or Illustrator and add colour that way. I'm hoping in the next few weeks to get my hands dirty with some paint though. It's been so long since I used a paintbrush and I used to love water colours. My designs often comes from photographs of flowers I take in Marlay Park at the foot of the Dublin Mountains. I also tend to look to the past for inspiration, historical figures and architecture. Then of course, there's always doodling!

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

I'd love to see my work used in the interiors market and probably fashion textiles. I'm obsessed with stationery also...who wouldn't want to see their work on the shelves in Paperchase?!!!!
I'd love be to have my work licensed and maybe have a small product line. But it's early days yet so for now, I'll just focus on getting as much work done for my portfolio in the hopes of landing some freelance work. 

Find out more about Worthy Designs here: