These luscious patterns are a part of Return to Nature, a new womenswear fashion collection created by printed textile designer Abigail Pymer. I was immediately struck by the youthful, vibrational energy of Abigail’s work, as well as excited to learn more about her background and process.
Abigail shared: “Return to Nature informs the importance of the natural environment and responds to seasonal Spring/Summer 18 trends in colour and theme. It is a celebration of botanical gardens, an exploration of the plants which inhabit the glass houses, including the interior structure surrounding them.”
For Abigail, she was “inspired by sensory experiences, vibrant natural palettes, and architecture. The designs will exist within a commercial high street market, combining geometrics and florals through digital drawing. Including a capsule collection with a bespoke edge, combining hand screen printed process and embellishment.”
Abigail Pymer is a recent graduate from Leeds College of Art in West Yorkshire, England. Abigail plans on living in West Yorkshire for one more year before achieving her dream of living and working abroad as a fulltime or freelance designer.
Abigail was kind enough to answer a few questions about her time at school and her design process:
I would love to hear more about your time at Leeds College of Art. Was there one course or professor who was highly influential?
Throughout my three years at LCA, I have grown and learnt so much as a practitioner/designer. With only 2,500 students stretched out over Further and Higher Education it is a small University, which is what I love most about it. Printed Textiles and Surface Pattern Design is a brilliant course, and LCA has provided me with the chance to get involved with competitions and live briefs for industry professionals such as ASDA and Hallmark. In my second year I had the chance to enter my designs into the Bradford Textile Society Prize and won 2nd for a printed fashion textile design. My practice involves a majority of screen printing, therefore I spent a lot of my time in the print room at university and I can’t praise the technicians enough. They work so hard and are willing to help anyone/everyone if and when they can. Laura Slater was very inspirational as one of my main tutors in third year. She would give me another perspective on my work. This can be exactly what is needed when there has been a lot of time spent on one design.
Can you tell us a little bit about your design process? How do you get started? Do you start your process on or off the computer?
My process begins with research, into trends for colour, themes, and style. I often find inspiration on WGSN, PatternBank – where I have been featured – and also on their blog and Pinterest. I also think Instagram is an amazing source of inspiration. From there, I then begin by drawing in black, using fine liners and ink. These begin to inform colour studies, in which I mainly use acrylic, goache, inks, and pro-markers. I prefer to draw from life but can also draw from photographs, in which I have gathered some primary research. (In this case Botanical Gardens for my degree show work.) I scan in my imagery and begin working on it in Photoshop. I tend to work from drawings, but have completely designed patterns using my Wacom tablet on the computer. A sample of that design is attached below. When designing for screen print, I use two methods; I prepare the screen separations on the computer and I also create screen positives from directly drawing onto the Kodatrace. I enjoy working this way, as there is much more freedom for expression and I cannot plan what the outcome will be—which is exciting to me.
What lessons did you learn while creating Return to Nature?
Whilst creating Return to Nature, I learned how much I enjoy screen printing. It is a process I would like to continue to develop and refine now that I have graduated. I gained so much more confidence in my work throughout this project, which is so crucial. Exhibiting my work at New Designers in London gave me another amazing confidence boost and I have some exciting things lined up for this summer.