Margaret Cowell designs under the brand name Margaret Clavell, which was her great-grandmother’s maiden name. Margaret originally studied graphic design some years ago and later took a diploma correspondence course in interior design. About 5 years ago she designed a pattern for a friend’s cushion to go into her 1970’s house. She then continued to design more patterns and just fell in love with the whole process. She learned the fundamentals for designing patterns from numerous online resources and continued to experiment and hone her craft. She is eternally grateful to all those people who shared their knowledge and, in turn, has tried to give back by writing various online articles herself.
Margaret uses flowers and nature as her inspiration for her designs, mostly using a palette of just a few colours to create simple but bold patterns. She creates her patterns on a computer using Adobe Illustrator, which gives her style a clean contemporary look.
Once Margaret had created over 100 designs she decided that she wanted somewhere to showcase her work. This lead her down the path of finding suitable products to digitally print the designs onto as well as having to source manufacturers to make these products. Her designs can be found on numerous accessories for the home, including cushions, tea towels, aprons, oven gloves, pot holders, toiletry bags, lampshades, peg bags, tote bags and greeting cards. Although most of the products are produced by manufacturing companies, she makes the lampshades herself. Her background in both graphic and interior design complement each other perfectly to help her create designs for the homewares market.
The resources page here on Pattern Observer has been one of many resources where she has managed to find information to assist in developing her business. Margaret likes to show customers how her designs will appear on real products before they have been manufactured and has found mockups from Creative Market a great aid.
Margaret currently sells her products in her online Etsy shop, as well as at local craft fairs in the Cotswolds and in an emporium close to her home. She has also recently started selling her patterns on Spoonflower. However, she would ideally like to find a licensing agent to represent her and increase the reach of her designs. She feels that some of her more recent creations would work well on stationary, so this is an area she would be keen to explore. Although she is yet to find representation, the feedback from both agents and customers has all been positive and she has not given up hope of finding the right partner with whom to work. Whenever she reads articles about finding art licensing representation, the message is always ‘don’t give up’. She hopes that in the near future, a previously contacted agent will sift through their artist submissions and come across her portfolio, which will be just the right fit for a current client. You can follow along with Margaret’s progress on her Instagram.
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