Nicola Rowe is a surface pattern designer from Shropshire, U.K. who works with a fresh and vibrant style. She makes patterns for fabric, stationery and giftware companies world wide. She is hugely inspired by nature and uses photographs that she takes on local walks to town and her nearby countryside to create unique color palettes and pattern motifs when creating new collections.

In her past, Nicola was a Hairstylist and also a Special Educational Needs Teaching Assistant and the skills and knowledge she learned in her past employment have helped her pattern design business. Her love of organizing, attention to detail, calm and methodical personality, and knowledge of color theory have helped her enormously and continue to do so when creating new patterns and collections. Years spent working in salons and correcting peoples’s hair disasters have enabled Nicola to have a great understanding of color.

Nicola devoted the time during Covid to learn all she could about surface pattern design She is a self taught designer and loves learning. She mostly creates floral and botanical patterns with bold fresh color and detailed line work. Recently, she started creating patterns for the children’s market; she loves the simple graphics and bright colors that kids patterns have, which suits her drawing style. She is a new designer to the field and has taken many online courses with Elizabeth Silver, Make Art That Sells, Rachael Taylor, and Elizabeth Olwen. She credits Pattern Observer’s blog for helping her learn about licensing and other designers work such as Genna Blackburn’s post here.

She starts her patterns off by drawing them on the iPad in Adobe Fresco and uses photos she has taken for a drawing reference. She creates her color palettes directly from her photos and uses unique line and texture details before finishing off her patterns in Illustrator. She loves the freedom that an iPad provides as she can draw anywhere!

Being new to pattern design, Nicola understand what this feels like, therefore she created an online Resource Library for other new designers who need some structure and knowledge to aid them in their career. Nicola has just opened an online shop where you can purchase her patterns on fabric. She loves to enable others to feel the same joy that she feels when creating her patterns. You can view her fabric shop here. Find out what Nicola’s creating now on Instagram.

At Pattern Observer we strive to help you grow your textile design business through our informative articles, interviews, tutorials, workshops and our private design community, The Textile Design Lab.

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