Beautiful new Cloud9 Fabrics by Elizabeth Olwen

Oh, Elizabeth! You always make such beautiful surface patterns! Congratulations on Wildwood, the latest release for Cloud 9 Fabrics. Warp & Weft is hosting an event with Elizabeth in a few weeks. If you're in Toronto, please go for me! Details here.

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Read more about Elizabeth in Work/Life 3 and in issue #21's UPPERCASE Surface Pattern Design Guide. (If you sign up for my weekly newsletter, you will receive the guide as a free download!)

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Hello Pattern by Judy Kaufmann

Judy Kaufmann has just released this fresh collection of patterns. "This collection has a wide selection of geometric, organic, typographic forms which can be applied from paper to fabric, from wood to walls." Her fantastical representations of her patterns in use is a terrific way of promoting this new work.

Judy is another talented designer who was featured in the UPPERCASE Surface Pattern Design Guide in the spring issue. 

Colours and Emotions with Maria Carluccio

In response to my weekly newsletter that I sent on Tuesday, Maria Carluccio shares this composition with us, made of chopped up old watercolour paintings. "It was so liberating!" she exclaims.

"Out with the old, in with the new—reusing old art to make new art."

"I highly recommend it as a fun way to explore colour connection," advises Maria. "After I pieced these together I started thinking about how colours remind me of emotions and feelings so I wrote in pencil the first thing that came to me when I thought of that swatch."

Maria is one of the 100 artists profiled in the UPPERCASE Surface Pattern Design Guide included in the spring issue (#21). The Guide is also available as a free download when you sign up for my newsletter—I'll send inspiring content directly to your inbox once a week!

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Jason Taylor's Everyday Objects

Jason Taylor was featured in Issue #21, and has an exhibition this week at The Harley Gallery from June 11 to August 10, 2014. 

Here is an excerpt from Fun with Function written by Vinciane de Pape

Jason Taylor is an established, UK-based artist and industrial designer whose innovative work plays with the form and function of readymade objects. His line of lighting and furniture designs has been sold internationally and exhibited in museums and art galleries around the world. Jason brings an artistic sensibility to his design process and enjoys the restrictions and challenges of creating unconventional products inspired by mundane objects.

Finding early on that he enjoyed manipulating and inventing simple designs from objects like tin cans, Jason pursued an education in design to follow his passion for experimentation and to further develop his skill set.

“I chose to do a 3D design course because of the techniques I could learn in different materials, but the focus was mainly on functional objects,” he explains. “An object would become my starting point and I developed different paths I could go down, such as developing a different function for it or remaking it in a different material.”

Somewhat frustrated with the compromises required by the commercial side of product design, Jason decided to go back to what he does best—experimenting with objects. This is when his Everyday Objects project came to life.

“I learned with a previous project that I could be more productive than I thought, and I also enjoyed the sculptural side,” Jason describes. “But what would be the reason and how could I make myself do it? I had seen other people do everyday photography projects and then thought of the double meaning of ‘everyday objects’ and I had to go for it.”

To read the full article about Jason Taylor in Issue #21, click here.

the Happy Happy Art Collective

After all taking the Make Art That Sells e-course in 2013, the ladies of Happy Happy Art Collective decided to form a group to support their common artistic goals and promote their work. 

Happy Happy members Lauren Minco and Tammie Bennett are busy making preparations, and are on their way to SURTEX, while Denise HolmesEmily BalsleyJill HowarthPauline Grayson have been taking on exciting jobs and new clients. 

art by Tammie Bennett

art by Tammie Bennett

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Lauren has some excellent advice on her blog about preparing one’s portfolio for the big event:

"If you're doing Surtex, you definitely need enough art to actually show. Unlike other markets such as editorial and publishing, you don't just have examples of your work to show clients as examples of your skill…you make art beforehand that a company looks at and says "that would make a great XYZ! We'll take it!". Sure, there are still jobs in the industry that artists are commissioned for, but much of your work is made beforehand and is then available to license as you show your portfolio. 

Because of this, some people have hundreds and hundreds of pieces (sometimes even more!) depending how long they've been in the game. There are a lot of opinions about how many pieces or collections of art a newbie should have. I have enough work, but not as much as some of my peers do. However, I know that each piece is solid and nothing is filler. So even if an art director comes up and only has time to see a few pages out of my portfolio, I know they are gonna see my best work.” 

A few members of Happy Happy were featured in UPPERCASE’s Surface Pattern Design Guide. You can see pattern submissions by Emily, Pauline, Jill and Tammie in the free download of the Guide by clicking here.

Victoria Weiss of Butterpop Studio

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Victoria Weiss is the founder of Butterpop Studio, an illustration, graphic design and web design shop based in New York. "I graduated from Parsons with a Communication Design degree, although my last 15 years has been mostly in animation, licensing, graphic and web design. I’ve lived in Hong Kong for some years as well and now freelancing from my house in Virginia Beach,” says Victoria. 

"I grew up in NYC and I spent many days in newsstands and bookshops just going through magazines in the mid nineties. Things have changed so much. Its hard to find ones with great content and treated with great care. UPPERCASE is beautiful."

Victoria’s on her way to SURTEX this year for the first time, and will be at booth 726.

"My portfolio is set up in a way for art directors to be able to use many icons to develop patterns for their collections. I’m aiming for wall art, stationery, gift, home decor and fabric companies this year. Also craft markets like scrapbooking.”

Be sure to check out Victoria’s website and stop by her booth at SURTEX! 

watercolour and florals by Nicole Tamarin

Nicole Tamarin works in watercolour and is drawn to classic themes and imagery, anything from florals to children’s to the everyday. She loves details and little extras, and tries to deliver a consistent level of polish to all of her work. She launched her business at SURTEX in 2012 and is excited to return for her third show this spring.

If you would like to know more about surface pattern design, you can download the UPPERCASE Surface Pattern Design Guide here

artist profile: Andrea Pippins

photo by Nicole Crowder

photo by Nicole Crowder

Andrea Pippins is an artist and designer with a passion for making others smile with her work. Using techniques like stamping and drawing, Andrea reinterprets her inspirations from many global cultures into designs that reflect her keen interest in rich hues, textural materials and mixed patterns. In her work, Andrea embraces colour, texture and scale with a fearless hand, offering a unique perspective in the hopes of inspiring others to enjoy the beauty of bold surface designs. 

How and when did you come across UPPERCASE? What do you enjoy about it? 

Wow, I can't remember, but I've been a fan for a very long time. I've always been drawn to the stories about other artists and their creative process. UPPERCASE does a wonderful job of capturing the essence of the artists and their spaces, and the overall design of the magazine is breathtaking.

You have been busy making new collages and drawings. One of those drawings is your piece called “I’ve Been Thinking.” Where did your inspiration come from for this artwork?

For a long time I've been enamored with the photography of Malick Sidibe and Seydou Keita. Their black and white photos are so rich with pattern and texture that it feels colourful, graphic and bold. I usually rely heavily on colour, so in this new piece I wanted to explore the idea of limiting my palette to black and white but still making an image that was very pattern-ful and rich. Like their photographs, they always feature a figure (or two). I did the same but brought in all of the "colour" into the figure. 

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You have said that you reinterpret inspirations from many global cultures into your designs. What cultures influenced your Surface Pattern Design Guide submissions? 

I've been looking at a lot of global prints like and textiles from West Africa, India, the Middle East and ancient designs from Central America. I love the geometric shapes, the use of lines, and the simplicity in the colour palettes I've been observing in those works, and I wanted to create quirky interpretations of what I saw.

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Why did you decide to submit your designs into the Surface Pattern Design Guide? What do you hope will come of being published in the guide?

To me, UPPERCASE set a lovely art and design standard and offers a different perspective of what artists and designers are doing today as makers. I felt that my designs would fit into that context nicely, and would also be a great way to share my work with new audiences.  

You work for a wide range of clients which proves that you are an incredibly versatile graphic designer. What’s your process for working with such a broad range of clients with different wishes for their final design projects? 

No matter the client, the process is always the same: fully understand their needs and use design thinking strategies to develop designs that effectively communicate what that client or brand represents. Their needs dictate and inform the process and what is produced. For me the strategies have to be fairly flexible to work with different clients and projects.

What projects are you currently working on?

I have my hands in so many things right now. I just wrapped up my collage series, which I had a self-imposed goal of using all the paper I had in that size and color. I have 51 completed altogether but I'm itching to do more because this personal assignment really forced me to stretch my creative muscle. Because the current ones are roughly 5"x7" I'd like to push myself and do some large-scaled versions. I'm also working on new ideas that would include some animation. Those are personal projects, but as a designer I'm working a few big assignments that will take me through the summer.

I was impressed by your 4 page resume of work that you have accomplished over your career. Given your wealth of experience, and a fabulous portfolio, where do you see yourself in the future? Will you continue to be a multi-disciplined designer, or do you desire to immerse yourself in a bigger long-term project? 

Thank you. Currently, I'd like to focus on developing more of my personal projects in addition to working on special collaborations, while also continuing to teach design. Being an artist and educator are the two main areas of my creative path that I want to develop. I would really like to make sure that everything I do aligns with those two important parts of me. So whether it's a creating a collection of shoes, a design collaboration with a cultural institution, or a speaking engagement with teens interested in design, as long as it fits in "artist" and/or "educator" I'm open to working on the assignment.

a dapper zebra and an odd flamingo

Paper & Cloth is a design studio in the UK with a strong focus on illustrational talent. "There has been the odd flamingo running crazy in the studio,” they write about their promo piece. "We are loving all the gorgeous painterly, inky trends we are seeing… Check out the dapper zebra. Inky and yet somewhat debonair don't you think?"

Joanne Hus' interview with Lilla Rogers

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Joanne Hus is a digital illustrator whose clients range from Time Inc., Gillette, the Chase Manhattan Bank, Scholastic, and Papyrus. 

Joanne’s interview with Lilla Rogers, artist rep and educator extraordinaire is part of the UPPERCASE Surface Pattern Design Guide in issue #21. You can read the entire article in the free download of the Guide by clicking here.

a SURTEX lookbook by Nottene

Nottene is a multi-disciplinary design studio with a focus on textiles and illustration. In case you were wondering, Nottene, pronounced "huh-ten-nuh", means nuts in Norwegian. The studio is led by Kimberly Ellen Hall. With a Master’s in textiles from Central Saint Martins, Kimberly has worked from here to there in publishing, fashion and art. She has designed for Coach, Hussein Chalayan, the Village Voice, Peter Jensen, the Denver Art Museum and others. 

Nottene has designed a lookbook in preparation for SURTEX. Keep your eyes peeled for Nottene at booth 454! 

If you would like to know more about surface pattern design, you can download the UPPERCASE Surface Pattern Design Guide here

 

 

strawberries, bacon and jam by Holly Maguire

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Holly Maguire is an illustrator based in Bristol, UK, with a big passion for surface pattern and textiles. Her work tends to include detailed yet playful and bright imagery made using gouache, and pen and ink. Holly really enjoys being able to apply her work to homeward, clothing and functional items. Her patterns are inspired by vintage design, packaging, fashion and popular culture. They often feature elements of nature and food, as well as everyday objects. 

Be sure to take a look at Molly’s Etsy page to purchase her cheerful patterns on prints and cards. 

hola from Macrina Busato

Macrina Busato likes to work with by hand and explore the beauty of images from other periods, to make them say new things in new contexts while keeping a warm nostalgia. Her work is a mix of handmade drawings, ephemera, typography and calligraphy. Macrina is a cultural anthropologist who 15 years ago went progressively into graphs and surface design. Her studio in Madrid sometimes looks more like a library, full of antique science and technical books, old magazines and engravings. 

Macrina is attending SURTEX, and will be showing off some of her new work at booth 317. 

Zoe Ingram at SURTEX 2014

Zoe Ingram is a surface designer and illustrator with an honours degree in printed textile design. Her work has been described as design with a twist, lush, colourful, elegant, playful and organic. Zoe loves colour and often uses hand lettering, layering and textures in her work. Her clients include Robert Kaufman Fabrics, Midwest-CBK, Quarry Books, American Greetings and IKEA. Zoe won an international talent search and is now represented by Lilla Rogers Studio. 

If you would like to know more about surface pattern design, you can download the UPPERCASE Surface Pattern Design Guide from here

Dinara Mirtalipova's Book of Patterns

Dinara Mirtalipova is a Uzbek girl and a self-taught illustrator and pattern designer. She seeks inspiration in fairy tales, folklore, native songs and traditional ornaments. With a love of travel and adventure, Dinara found herself in snowy Ohio, where she lives with her husband and their daughter. Her best inspirations come at night. She closes her eyes and immediately patterns flourish in front of her. She keeps a sketchbook on her night table to catch these ideas before they disappear. 

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In preparation for SURTEX 2014, Dinara printed a book of illustrations and patterns. She has also printed a small book dedicated to her surface pattern designs called Book of Patterns. Be sure to visit Dinara’s website and take a look at all of her beautiful design work!

Nadia Hassan's orange and teal studio

photos by Dana Dillehunt

photos by Dana Dillehunt

Nadia Hassan is a colour enthusiast with a passion for patterns. She delights in applying them to any surface that will sit still, from fabric to phone covers to entire city streets! It’s said that variety is the spice of life, and Nadia’s designs are a celebration of this old adage–she enjoys experimenting with style and motifs, while developing fun, fresh colourways is the common thread and the driving force behind her work. 

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Nadia was recently the Featured Artist on The Salty Platypus blog. You can see more images of her gorgeous orange and teal studio here

UPPERCASE subscribers can all look forward to a special and personal article written by Nadia to be published in the summer issue out in July.

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SURTEX 2014: Elizabeth Olwen

SURTEX is the only business-to-business marketplace where art buyers and licensees from around the world converge to discover unique, cutting edge surface designs, original art, and design resources. Held in New York from May 18-20, artists and designers will set up trade booths with the hopes of making new contacts, learning about the latest trends in art and surface design, and meeting buyers who are seriously interested in buying or licensing their artwork. 

Since many of UPPERCASE's artists who submitted their work to the Surface Pattern Design Guide are either walking the show or setting up a booth, we are featuring some of those hard-working, amazing designers who are adding some finishing touches to their plans, and making their way to New York for the largest industry event in surface pattern design. 

Designer Elizabeth Olwen was featured in the UPPERCASE Surface Pattern Design Guide, and you can read a bit about her experience preparing for SURTEX. 

"When I decided to do SURTEX, I tried to gather as much information as I possibly could. I read blogs, bought e-books, listened in on SURTEX webinars and spent way too many hours on LinkedIn, then put all of that information through a filter and started to design my whole presentation. My career has been in graphic design up to this point. I've spent years designing brands and presentations for other businesses, so it was such a rewarding experience to put that kind of effort into my own business. I was challenged to create things that I'd never done before: I designed a trade booth, a press kit and a promo video. I had fabrics printed, made a lookbook and put ads in publications. I decided that if I was going to do it, I had to dive in headfirst. When it was all set up, it was thrilling to see the whole package." 

Elizabeth Olwen shares her SURTEX story in the UPPERCASE Surface Pattern Design Guide in issue #21. You can read the entire article in the free download of the Guide by clicking here.

Take a look at Elizabeth's promo video and lookbook for SURTEX 2014. 

UPPERCASE delivers great things

Jan Avellana

Jan Avellana

It has been an exciting time for designer Jan Avellana: not only was Jan’s art chosen for the cover of the UPPERCASE Surface Pattern Design Guide and featured within, but after Windham Fabrics spotted her work in UPPERCASE, she was asked to develop a fabric collection with them. We are thrilled for Jan and honoured to have played a part in Jan’s success—just a month after this issue was released!

 

Congratulations, Jan! We’re so happy to hear that you’ll be partnering with Windham Fabrics. We’d love to know more about you. Where did you grow up? What was your childhood like? Did you grow up in a creative family? 

I was born and raised in Honolulu, Hawaii, the third of three daughters to my parents—second generation Japanese Americans. My childhood was was…rough. My parents met with life’s realities hard—a tsunami that claimed our brand new house, a fire and a failed family business and then serious illnesses and hospitalizations for both my mom and dad, and even a time of being homeless. By the grace of God we survived it all, and somehow out of all that chaos, I grew up to become an artist, thanks in large part to my parents, who are both latent artists. My mother had a love of fashion and sewing and my father—a closet writer—came from a long line of accomplished writers and artists. He also has a lovely voice and beautiful handwriting, the kind that you don’t find anymore. But anyway, I didn’t discover my own way to the arts until I was in college. I’m a late bloomer!

Was there a moment in your life when you realized that you wanted to pursue being an artist?

There were always inklings. Looking back, I think my earliest knowing was when I was a child—I loved writing. By the time I was in college I realized I wanted to pursue the arts as a career, so I majored in the fine arts and practiced graphic design for several years…but there was always something missing. Then three things happened nearly all at once: I stumbled upon a website called “Another Girl at Play” and read the interviews of 25 women all thriving in their creative lives, I met an artist-pastor name Dale Vallejo-Sanderson with the God-given gift of counselling, and a friend gifted me with a book by Parker Palmer called “Let Your Life Speak”—lifechanging. Those three things were each a strong epiphany—and I knew—OMG, I’m an artist too! It only took me a decade-plus, a few thousands miles (and tears), two college degrees and two careers to figure this out!

I can say now, without a doubt, that I am an artist through and through. This acceptance has only come recently…in the last ten years or so and what a relief it’s been. The more freedom I give myself to pursue my artistic passions, the happier I am! I’ve finally accepted that I am happiest when wholeheartedly immersed in creative play!


How did you first come across UPPERCASE magazine? How would you describe your relationship with it? How is it part of your creative life? 

My relationship with UPPERCASE magazine is like having the hugest crush on Robert Pattinson from afar, knowing that you’ll NEVER get him to even glance in your direction, but crushing over him anyway. (Not that I get what all the hoopla is over that guy, lol!) But seriously, I’ve only ever lurked on the UPPERCASE website and blog, oh, hundreds of times. I’ve only ever drooled over the beautiful covers and the featured illustrators online. I’ve only ever read through the submission guidelines and participate invitations…er…a few (hundred) times, and I might have fantasized about treating myself to a subscription one day when I “make it”!

UPPERCASE magazine and their artists are what I aspire towards. I am in total and utter awe of the artists you feature. If UPPERCASE magazine and I were to meet up in person, I’d be the goofy misfit in the corner hoping for an autograph…but I’d have a really cool set of pens on me!

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To read more heartfelt answers from Jan as well as an interview with Mickey Krueger, the president of Windham Fabrics, please download a special digital edition of the UPPERCASE Surface Pattern Design Guide. 

The Guide is 58 pages and contains all the content of the print version as well as these bonus interviews.

Simply sign up for our email list for access to the guide!

FYI  if you're an UPPERCASE magazine subscriber or you're already on our newsletter email list, we sent you a Guide download link yesterday so please check your inbox. thanks!

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We've made this digital edition of our Surface Pattern Design Guide available as a free download in order to promote the amazing talent of our readers and to provide valuable industry advice to those hoping to break into a career in surface pattern design.

UPPERCASE is a print magazine and always will be. We just like to share good things!