Last week we had the honor of sharing the work of Kevin Brackley who is part of the Four Corners Art Collective. This week we are excited to take a deeper look at this collective of surface pattern designers creating fresh, modern patterns available to license and buy. The seven founding members (Beth Schneider, Emma McGowan, Jane Kirkpatrick, Jocelyn Proust, Julie Anson, Kevin Brackley and Pippa Shaw), who are based in the US, UK, Australia and France, have been enjoying some fantastic successes since launching in November last year, including attracting nearly 1,000 followers on Instagram and securing licenses with Guildery, Minted, Aladdin, and Padlocks.
Patterns by Pippa Shaw
How they got started
Each member of the collective has worked in different parts of the creative industries, in graphic design, advertising, illustration, book and stationery design, and ceramics, amongst other things. Over the past few years, they each independently began exploring the possibilities of surface pattern. The group critiques each other’s work, shares trend research and discusses opportunities for getting their work in front of more buyers and art directors. And despite being located in all four corners of the globe, they’ve managed to meet in person in Glasgow and Bath so far. The next get-together will be at Premiere Vision in Paris in February and then it’s Surtex and Blue Print in New York in May.
Why the collective works
“We all have our own signature styles,” explains Kevin, “but we have a shared commitment to quality and attention to detail. And we’re genuinely rooting for each other to do well. “As artists we all experience highs and lows. At some point, each of us has needed a pep talk from the rest of the group. It’s at those moments that being part of Four Corners is really worth its weight in gold.”
Patterns by Jocelyn Proust
In May, Kevin and three other members of the group, Beth Schneider, Emma McGowan, and Jocelyn Proust, will be exhibiting at Surtex in New York. “We’re keen to get our work in front of more buyers and Surtex is the perfect platform,” says Kevin, who lives and works in Sydney, Australia, “but it can be nerve wracking to take such a big step by yourself. “Being part of a collective means we can share the cost of the booth and marketing materials, which makes the whole thing much less risky, plus we give each other the emotional support you need when you’re preparing for a big show like Surtex.” Kevin is in daily contact with Emma in the UK, Beth in the US, and fellow Australian, Jocelyn, to finalise the details of their booth design and marketing material, and to inspire each other to create lots of new work.
Patterns by Beth Schneider
After Surtex, the collective are planning to run some more fun Instagram challenges (their Christmas advent challenge inspired more than 1,800 posts from members of the collective and their followers), and to start approaching more potential clients. “We each have our hit list of dream clients,” says Kevin. “2016 is going to be about pushing each other to make contact with those dream clients and to get our patterns on to more products.”
Find out more
You can see examples of each artist’s work and learn more about the collective at www.fourcornersartcollective.com
To kick off this year’s Surtex features we are featuring the work of surface pattern and graphic designer (and Textile Design Lab member!) Kevin Brackley, who will be exhibiting at the show for the first time in May. Kevin has a bold, exuberant style that is all his own–his portfolio is filled to the brim with ultra modern geometrics and sprightly textures that can’t help but put a smile on your face. We are delighted to share his work and a bit about the designer himself below:
“Kevin lives in beautiful Sydney, Australia, where the blue skies, fresh air and beaches influence his colourful designs.
Born in Zimbabwe in Africa, he moved to South Africa in his teens, and has lived and worked in the UK, Taiwan and Singapore.
Having spent over a decade working in visual merchandising and graphic design he knows just how important it is to tell a powerful visual story through designs that speak to customers in both a compelling and eye-catching way.
Kevin’s design process begins with researching trends, as well as observing his surroundings. He sketches ideas on paper with pen or ink, before bringing them into the computer to further refine and colour. His on-trend vibrant geometrics, abstract florals and seasonal prints and patterns are designed for stationery, apparel, home décor and packaging.
This will be Kevin’s debut at Surtex, where he will be exhibiting with other members of the Four Corners Art Collective in Booth 229. He looks forward to meeting attendees to show them his portfolio and discuss ways in which he can collaborate to bring their products to life.”
Today the spotlight is on Textile Design Lab member Rocío Fatás, who designs under the name The Soul of Birds. Rocío is a prolific designer and it is always a joy to see her colorful collections shared on our forum in the Lab. Today we are pleased to share snippets from several of Rocío’s latest and greatest patterns as well as where she finds inspiration, exciting projects she has in store for the future, and more. Enjoy!
Tell us a bit about yourself. Where are you from? What is your career background and what drew you to textile design?
I was born and raised in La Rioja, a famous wine region of Spain, where I also currently live after having spent almost 18 years away in different national cities and in some other countries afterwards. I graduated in Fine Arts in Valencia, at the Universidad Politécnica, and I completed my Master’s in Interactive Digital Media at Trinity College Dublin. Since I was a child, I have had a fascination for beautiful clothes and prints. I used to enjoy changing costumes and showing up in my mother’s young years’ attire when I was maybe 4 up until I was 10. One of the family friends, who I used to spend quite a lot of time with, had worked in High Couture in Paris and was very fond of all sorts of fabrics, which she collected to create incredibly amazing pieces of patchwork. After a good few years working in digital arenas, I felt that it was time to reconnect with my Art, so I started trying a number of different activities, until I came across textile design, and I felt like a fish in the water.
What courses have you taken in the Textile Design Lab? What is your favorite aspect of the Lab?
I have taken numerous courses, such as The Sellable Sketch, The Ultimate Guide to Repeats, and Pattern Planning and Goal Setting. These three concretely have proven immensely useful to help me set up the foundation of my practice, which is now a regular activity where I invest a large amount of time. It is thanks to these courses that I have direction when I create, as well as technical insight. My favourite aspects of the Lab are possibly the Monthly Challenges, which help immensely to expand my creative range while tuning in with trends, and the forum and critiques, where I get invaluable feedback from other members and of course the Lab’s team, always so grounded and full of expertise.
What projects are you currently working on?
At present I am working on my first set of collections for the Quilting Industry. My goal is to have about 200 prints ready by the end of April, which I have been carefully crafting over the past few months. Some of these patterns are so beautiful though (in my opinion, that is ;-)), that I would love to see them printed and on the wall of a museum or an Art Gallery. For the last quarter of the year, I’m hoping to have launched my first product which I still don’t know what it will be, but I will certainly follow ethical fashion guidelines.
Where do you find inspiration when creating a pattern?
I like to believe that Nature is my main source of inspiration. There is always a hint of Nature in all I create, whether it is a theme, a shape, or a palette. I often take my colours from pictures of birds. But other important sources are textile design books, especially from different eras and cultures, and also, some form of insight; there are times when I just close my eyes and see what is going to be born next. Materials themselves are a good inspiration too, since the unique qualities they possess often guide my creative process.
What do you do if you’re stuck in a design rut or feeling uninspired?
I go for a walk in the park just outside my house, which is really big and goes along a big river too; I meditate, I do some Qi Gong or some Yoga; I take a sneak peek to Pinterest, some of my Art Books or the Lab.
What do you hope to achieve as a textile designer? What are your goals for your career/business?
In the long term, I would love to work with some great fashion designer/s to co-create some pieces of meaningful fashion. In the short run, well, get my patterns to inspire people in their home environments, with quilts, bedding sets, and other home decor items. I would also love to work with furniture, I believe upholstery can be a great match for my work, if the pieces are a bit daring and quirky that is! In the mid run, I want to have my own product brand in the market, but I’m still not 100% sure what my products will be, and I’m hoping I will get to discover my perfect match as I go along!
All of the patterns featured in this post are available for license. Get in touch with Rocío at rociofatas.org/soul-of-birds or on Facebook. Have a great weekend!
Ready to transform your talent into a thriving career in textile design? Join us in the Textile Design Lab today! Membership is just $42/month and comes with a variety of e-courses, a private forum, weekly live artwork critiques, guest expert tutorials, fun design challenges and lots more exciting and helpful content to get your textile design career off the ground. Visit textiledesignlab.com to learn more!
Some weeks I look at our featured designer’s work and a million thoughts and insights and observations come to mind. Other weeks I am left speechless; totally in awe of the creativity, the beauty, and the craftsmanship that I see before my eyes. This week is one of those weeks. The work that you see here was created by artist and designer Gillian Arnold. The vision that she holds for her work and business are so strong and so beautiful that I am going to use her words to share her story. Enjoy the journey ; )
About Gillian Arnold the design brand
“Gillian Arnold is a home wares, gifts and jewellery producer with a passion for blending botanical design and artisan production skills. We have a social mission to support community regeneration and employment opportunities for young people in the North East of England. Our designs are created by Gillian’s inexhaustible experimentation with sustainably gathered English wild plants and rich colour drenched collages, which are transferred to an ever growing range of handcrafted luxury products.
We also invest our artistry and profits into developing young people and community regeneration projects, deliberately situating our factory in an area of deprivation allowing us to insource our manufacturing process and help develop social renewal projects. We supply our handcrafted products internationally through our on-line and retail shop based in Bishop Auckland, and through an ever expanding list of selected retailers. We work in partnership with local colleges and universities to offer practical training and employment to young people.”
About Gillian Arnold the artist
“Gillian Arnold is an artist and surface pattern designer who has worked for over 20 years, fine tuning her craft techniques and developing her artisan production methods. Gillian’s tireless commitment to her art work and methodology is what gives her work its depth and beauty.
When you’re looking at a Gillian Arnold product, you’re looking at a piece of nature, frozen in time. Every design begins its life in the ground, as a wild flower, a roadside wonder or something drifting in the wind. It is a handpicked bouquet, chosen because something in the formation of the plant life inspired Gillian to look twice, pick it up and produce art with it.
Gillian prints onto many surfaces, always in exquisite quality and it has taken years for her to perfect these skills of being able to bring an honest but artistic representation of wild life onto fabrics, glass, ceramics, acrylic, aluminium and many more surfaces.”
Visit Gillian around the web at www.gillianarnold.com or on Facebook, Instagram or Twitter.