This week I have the pleasure of featuring the work of Sophia Frances, a London-based surface pattern designer. I love how Sophia pairs simple motifs with sophisticated, yet subtle, textures and then presents them in fun, uplifting colorways. I shared her work in a recent #repeatdownbeat post and am excited to share her story, in her own words, with you today.
“I was always an artistic child and allot of my childhood memories were spent with me and my younger brother being dragged to design museums in London by my mum, who at the time was studying design at university. Little did I know at the time, but this really opened my eyes and gave me an understanding and appreciation of design and art from a young age. (And I still love going to museums now, it transforms me back to feeling like a kid again.) I went on to study Surface Pattern Design at the London College of Printing and this is where I found my love of pattern, textiles, and screen printing.
“I embarked on a short-lived career in fashion buying but felt disheartened with the fast throw away fashion business. I started painting again and this inspired me to set up my own creative design studio that would allow me to design what I loved and not what the trends and fashions were dictating. Today, I vow to only design things that I love.
“My process nearly always starts with a photo that I have taken, I whip out my watercolours and get doodling whenever I can. Allot of my inspiration comes from my time spent visiting family in Northern Cyprus—the culture, the colours, and the food, etc. Spending time in London is also very inspiring. Just being a part of such a vibrant city and observing everyday life gets my mind buzzing with ideas.
“I have 2 young children so my time is limited, but actually I think it works well, as it allows me to be super efficient in the space of time that I have. At the moment I enjoy working fast and getting my designs on paper in a deliberate nieve style, as this allows me to not be too rigid. Then I go back and tidy the work up after. I scan my designs into my laptop and adjust them into working repeat designs, but at the same time, I am trying not to lose the hand painted feel and watermarks that add the look of texture. I love seeing my final designs come to life on fabric and then getting transformed into homewares.”