Today we are continuing our Surtex features with the talented Rachael King! Rachael is an Australian surface designer whose strongest childhood memories revolve around “constantly, making, painting, creating” and how territorial she was at the kindergarten craft table! She writes:
Growing up with maker parents set me up for my ‘have a go’ attitude as an adult as well as my obsession with pattern and print. My mother owned a fabric shop and all I could think about was how I would like to design the pretty patterns and that is how I have come to this point in my life. After finally accepting that I could embrace my creativity and have an income after the children all went to school, I enrolled in a Graphic Design Diploma. This allowed me to get the much needed skills to turn my art into repeat patterns and also gave me an income stream. After I finished Modules 2 and 3 of the Art and Business of Surface Design with Rachael Taylor, I felt I was ready to make my mark in the surface design world.
Rachael’s preferred techniques include watercolors and ink, and I admire the dimension and personality that are conveyed in her expressive strokes–just look at the richness of this vegetable print!
I am inspired by nature, usually birds and flowers and just love to get some juicy colour into my designs somehow. I start with watercolour elements that I scan, clean up and start playing with in Photoshop. I usually get results through happy accidents! I am also drawn to the whimsy of children’s prints which I seem to be making more of.
To sign off, Rachael has some lovely words of advice for up-and-coming designers:
Please do not be daunted by the amazing amount of talent that is out there. We all bring something unique to the table and there are so many different avenues that Surface Designers can get into these days. Keep your finger on the pulse by reading blogs (such as Pattern Observer’s!), self belief, a commitment to improvement and networking is key to transitioning your hobby into an income.
To design for my income is a dream come true and I cannot wait to get into some challenging briefs.