Wendy Kendall is a freelance surface pattern designer and licensed artist based in the UK. We love her quirky illustrative style and playful use of color and are delighted to wrap up the week by featuring her work!
“My background is in textile design, after completing my degree I worked in-house at senior level at several bedding companies within the UK.
After making lots of contacts in these jobs and gaining years of experience in surface pattern and product design I decided to take the step to become freelance six years ago.
My work and client list is really varied.
I predominantly work on briefs for bedding and home clients on a daily rate basis as well as selling and licensing my designs via my website for a variety of markets.
I usually start with a mini moodboard either supplied by the client, or created myself so I have a bit of a plan on how I would like the work to look in terms of, theme and style and colour. Then I start drawing on A3 with a variety of black pens / inks before scanning and working up colours and repeat in Photoshop.
I love working in collections, creating a little story with patterns sitting alongside each other, which is why I think my work lends to fabric collections well.”
See more from Wendy at wendykendalldesigns.co.uk, or visit her on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter or Pinterest. Have a wonderful weekend!!
Jenn Coyle is a designer, illustrator and blogger at Hello Brio, and we are thrilled to have her on board as our guest expert this month! Jenn consistently supplements her income by selling fonts, illustrations and patterns on Creative Market. Jenn’s Textile Design Lab tutorial, “Successful Selling with Creative Market,” covers her experience selling through Creative Market and provides an in-depth look at how to grow that business. The tutorial is now available in the Lab and you can join here to gain access!
Now we invite you to get to know Jenn a little better in today’s interview. Enjoy!
Please tell us a bit about your design background and career path. What led you to start your own studio, Hello Brio?
I graduated from college with a bachelors degree in Interior Design during the economy crash in 2008, and therefore my student internship couldn’t be translated into a full time job because a lot of the full-time designers were laid off around the same time. From there, I happened to move to California and got a job in fundraising data. Because I needed a creative outlet, I started blogging while I was in California. From there I also started designing WordPress blogs and suddenly my blogging buddies were asking me for help designing and customizing their blogs. After a while, Hello Brio was born and my services have grown from a WordPress design studio to a more inclusive studio.
Can you tell us a bit about the different facets of your current business? What products and services do you offer?
Currently I offer pattern design, illustration, hand lettering, and digitized graphics.
Tell us a bit about your design process. What media/design tools do you like to use?
I love to use watercolor, ink, Photoshop and Illustrator.
What are your go-to sources for design inspiration?
My go-to sources for design inspiration happen to be social media. I’m always finding inspiration on Instagram from fellow designers. I also look towards fashion magazines for design inspiration.
Who are your design heroes (past or present)? What about them inspires you or influences your work?
I have a broad range of design heroes, listed below. I’m drawn to these designers and artists because of their color palettes and consistent work styles.
Surface Pattern Design: Bonnie Christine, Elizabeth Olwen
Illustration: Cat Coquillette, Caroline Kelso, Helen Dardik, Inaluxe, Willowmarkworks, Nate Williams
Lettering: Ian Barnard, Jen Mussari, Jessica Hische
Over the course of your career, what actions or decisions have made the biggest impact on your design business?
Deciding to stay at home and work for myself made the biggest impact on my design business. Without doing that, I’d still be juggling multiple jobs and responsibilities.
What have been some of the challenges you have faced in your design career and how have you overcome them?
Some challenges I’ve faced include working for myself and making sure I’m doing so efficiently. I’ve overcome these challenges them by re-evaluating how I spend my time and then applying observations. For example, I recently noticed I was spending too much time on Instagram, so I did my best to make sure I was only following the most inspiring accounts. Consistently re-evaluating how you’re spending your time is key for managing your time efficiently when you’re working for yourself.
What would you consider to be your most proud achievement/greatest success so far in your design career? What are your goals for the future?
My proudest achievement in my design career is what I’ve taught so far. I’m especially proud of my Skillshare classes, “Paper to Digital: Create Your Own Hand Drawn Font” and ‘Watercolor Meets Surface Pattern Design“. I’m also extremely proud of my e-book, Getting Started with Brush Lettering. In the future, my goals are to create more learning materials using techniques I love.
What advice have you received in your career that has stayed with you or influenced you? Do you have any words of wisdom for aspiring designers trying to build successful careers of their own?
I have to credit a lot of my business success to entrepreneur Sean McCabe. In the spirit of Sean: do what you love, work hard, and expect big returns.
We all want to feel like a hero—the one who gracefully gets everything done for our clients, friends and family even if we have those “frazzled” moments that we all have on occasion. But in order to feel like a hero we have to reach out for help from other creatives.
By reaching out for help we raise the level of our work. We become heroes to the consumer and to our industry.
Doing everything yourself isn’t an option if you want to be a hero, and it’s not a whole lot of fun to try. It’s a never-ending cycle of high expectations of ourselves and an endless to-do list. Most of us get the concept that we’re more powerful when we stop trying to do it all ourselves, yet we sometimes resist it. Pride, maybe. Ego, sometimes. Effective and efficient? Rarely! Fear of trusting others in the design community to deliver is why so many of us take on work outside of what we do best.
It is okay to ask for help and seek out the right help. When we let fear dictate our decisions we end up wasting hours of time that we do not have on projects that could otherwise be completed in half the time. Fear drives us to DIY our entire business, or take a course that we don’t have time to complete to learn how to do a task we really don’t want to do.
As someone who runs an entire business built around training and mentoring others through courses I am going to share something with you that will seem strange: not every solution can be found in a course. For many of you:
- A course won’t grow your business; you barely have enough time to respond to emails and meet your deadlines.
- A course won’t serve your customers; in fact, it takes you away from doing what you do best.
- And a course won’t make you look good or feel like a hero: That only comes when you deliver exceptional products that embolden your creative spirit.
Besides, you’re busy designing products, painting masterpieces, and illustrating wonderlands. You don’t have the time to make the most of another course.
But imagine… You find a team of experienced designers with the expert skills you need so you can focus on what you do best—whether it is designing apparel garments, illustrating graphics, or painting masterpieces. Imagine creating excellent work, building your reputation, and being the hero to your clients, coworkers, and the consumer.
That’s what I want for you. And that’s why I created Pattern Observer Studio.
Pattern Observer Studio is for product designers who want a reliable textile design team that they can turn to season after season, without the hefty price tag of an in-house textile designer.
Pattern Observer Studio is for fine artists and illustrators who want to turn their artwork into patterns, but just don’t have time for another course.
Pattern Observer Studio is a place where super talented, emerging textile designers can take the next step in their career by working closely with clients. Clients get fresh talent and vision for their projects, while knowing emerging designers are supported by an experienced team.
The Studio isn’t simply another oversized, impersonal online marketplace for patterns. By going small, working with select clients and hand-picked designers, we are able to make a bigger impact. Clients get the reliable, exceptional service they are looking for season after season and our designers are supported and able to thrive in this marketplace. This is the heart of Pattern Observer Studio.
My team and I get to know the ins and outs of our clients’ businesses. It saves us time, and our clients’ money because we get to know their brand, their vision, and their customer. We’re able to recommend the perfect pattern from our library, or develop the perfect custom pattern because we understand how the pattern will be used by the end user.
Every hero has a sidekick who supports them and empowers them to achieve more than they ever thought possible. Pattern Observer Studio can be your sidekick—the secret to your design success.
Are you ready to be a hero? We’re ready to help. Request Your Insider Tour.
We are gearing up for our annual Collaboration for Designers group study that starts on Monday August 1st in the Textile Design Lab, and can’t think of a better way to celebrate than with this fabulous guest post by Dari Design Studio! It is an honor to welcome sisters Dariela and Dariana Cruz back to the blog to share more of their wonderful insights (check out their previous tutorial on how to photograph your surface pattern designs here.)
Tips to growing your business through creative connections
Do these situations sound familiar to you? Have you ever had a great idea for a new project but didn’t follow through because you felt the work would require help and you didn’t have a partner to work with? Maybe you already realize the benefits of collaborating and are wanting to connect with other creatives but don’t know how to get started? Are you thinking that other creatives won’t be interested in connecting with you, due to fears of competition and the whole crowded marketplace environment?
If I were to tell you that you could grow your business by collaborating with other creatives, would you believe me? But, it’s true! And working alongside other creatives and artists can be an extremely satisfying way to grow your business as well as your personal life. After all, isn’t growth the ultimate goal for all of life?
Today more than ever collaborations can help us grow personally and professionally. It’s important to see our creative peers as potential partners because as we form alliances, we find strength in numbers. Technology makes it even easier because now we can collaborate with others remotely without having to be in the same city.
Among many of the benefits of collaborations these are my favorites:
• Interacting and maintaining relationships always bring an enormous potential for growth.
• Our personalities, likes, dislikes, roles, aptitudes, virtues and faults come to the surface easier than when we work alone. This allows us to know ourselves better and self awareness always leads us to becoming a better person, because we make more assertive decisions, more aligned with who we are.
• Creativity increases. Not only is there more creativity available but also ideas feed from each other’s processes and new creativity sparks in ways that would be impossible if there was only one person.
• We become more effective as a whole. We get better results yet each collaborator works less than normal.
• There is extra value that comes from giving and receiving what the other doesn’t have. There is always something to gain and something to give – resources, followers, knowledge, techniques, new systems, new methods, traveling, and so on.
How to find someone to collaborate with
• Build your tribe, most likely your future partner will come from your tribe or will show up from seeing the passion you show in what you do.
• Go as far as you can with your project or idea while you search for the perfect partner to collaborate with. For the time being get everything ready. Put yourself in their shoes. Wouldn’t you want to see someone ready and with his/her idea together? Have a website, a diagram, map a draft, a written description, a sketch, a Pinterest board. Show you are serious about it and that your intentions are truthful. The important thing here is that you aren’t waiting for a partner to come and do all the work, there is a clear difference between collaborating and just hiring someone’s services.
• Have a vision of the person you would like to work with based on qualities. When you envision your partner, make sure you are focusing on qualities, instead of external specifics. As you build your vision, listen to your intuition here. Say the words and see how they ring inside. Qualities sound like this: Self starter, responsible, humorous, easy going energy, bold, and so on. Stay alert for qualities you haven’t developed yet, that way there will be a more complete web between you.
• Start drafting an agreement: Think through a structure for the relationship and the project. What will the roles be, how many hours of work, what is expected regarding ways to communicate. The agreement will help you filter through candidates and can work as a guide to help you decide. However, even though agreements are meant to guide us, we must be flexible and adjust our ways as we see pertinent.
• Be active in Masterminds and Facebook groups that aren’t your own. Here is where you can not only find your potential connection to collaborate with but also a group of people that can watch the project come along and support it from the start.
• Don’t be afraid of approaching someone. Relationships take time, and sometimes we don’t have that time. Many collaborations just start based on how in sync people feel about the same project, once involved in the project the relationship grows from there. Remember if someone says “no” that just means “no, right now” or take it as a detour sign, there is a better fitting collaboration somewhere else.
• Send a clear message about what you are looking for. Post it on your website or in a relevant Facebook group. Put the message out there and see what comes back!
Once collaborating keep this in mind:
Collaborating can sometimes show up as a rocky road. That isn’t a bad thing. That is just the clue to know it is time to shift perspectives and grow.
To me there are 2 key aspects of collaboration that need to be in place:
1. All members agree on the main mission of the whole and welcome different ways and personalities to get there. The idiosyncrasy and the culture of the collaboration is what makes it remarkable and noteworthy.
2. All members establish civilized, creative and proven ways to transcend disagreements.
Given those essentials there are some tips than can help along the way:
• Choose your battles. Know as well as possible your potential deal breakers.
• Be crystal clear on the role you are performing.
• Refresh your memory regularly on the mission, goals and objectives. That keeps you inspired and on point in your role.
• Focus more on executing than planning.
• Infuse the collaboration with your personal life. Don’t try to separate everything. In the end, we are humans and we connect better when we allow people to see our authentic human side.
• Stay fun and creative!
About Dari Design Studio
Venezuelan born artists and sisters, Dariela and Dariana Cruz of Dari Design Studio are on a mission to infuse your life with creativity, a sense of style, and bold vibrant designs. Currently residing in California, they work together virtually. Dariela lives in San Diego and has had an interest in design from an early age. Her sister, Dariana, lives in Los Angeles and came to love design after years of working in the industry. Together the duo love to create pattern designs and uplifting illustrations and photographs. Their modernly eclectic portfolio blends certainty with experimentation, multicultural traditions with modern trends, and hand painted art with digital.