Ria May Heighington

After being a fan for Ria May Heighington’s work for a while, I finally had the pleasure of chatting to her in depth about her designs, as well as seeing her latest collection. As always her work is stunning, enchanting, with so much life. The vintage style Ria favours is one she has worked with and developed over the years, but she is not someone who is afraid of pushing boundries or her self. Her work is not only vintage, but modern, with an identity of it’s own. With so many young fashion designers out there, it’s difficult for each to develop their own unique style, but Ria has done this almost effortlessly. The beauty and depth of her pieces have so much character, they almost seem to tell a story. It’s all these things that make me a big fan of her work, and because of this I’m delighted to introduce you to her today. Here’s what she had to say…

Can you tell me a little bit about you and your work?

I’m a fashion design student graduating from Cambridge School of Art. I love the forties and fifties, bows, lipstick, dolls and Disney princess!  My interests of Vintage and childhood memories bring feminine pieces with a creepy and humorous twist to my collections.

By researching and adoring print designs from the 1950’s known as conversational prints, this is where my ideas formed and for this collection and my previous collection I collected random vintage items from charity shops, vintage fairs and markets and scanned them straight to the computer and presented them in a story like way, this time dolls from around the world were used.

What are your biggest inspirations as a designer?

As a designer my inspirations come from girly and cute styles from the 1950’s, the innocence and dreamlike fairytales from Disney Princesses and the creepy context of Alice in Wonderland and also the use of dolls for the outstanding exhibition by Viktor & Rolf that I adored at the Barbican art gallery many years ago.

You have a very strong visual identity, do you have any advice for young designers looking to develop and establish their own style?

Advice I would give to young designers trying to establish and develop their own style, would be to try every aspect they can; if it be print, embroidery, womenswear, menswear, childrenswear etc and once you have the aspect you prefer then bring everything you love into that and experiment as you might surprise yourself!

Finally what can we expect to see from you next?

After graduating I hope to set up my own label named Little Dot and hopefully collaborate with other up and coming designers.

In the future I would love to have my own boutique shop whilst working on many other collections which is very exciting!


To see more of her beautiful pieces, visit her page on the Cambridge School of Art website.

All the best


Creative Graduates from Edinburgh Napier University

Last sunny weekend I visited Edinburgh Napier’s University Creative Degree Show 2013. I hadn’t been before but as the underdog of creative university’s in Edinburgh there was a certain number of graduates that caught my eye. Main image – Product Designer Aimi Robertson, Bottom Images – Graphic Designer Sam Dexter.

Aimi Roberston is a graduate in Product Design with a love for furniture design and restoration. Lucky enough to have been on exchange in China for 5 months last year she has great experience and has a fun approach to her work as a designer. Her degree project shows a love for Scottish Industry using Harris Tweed in an interior context. It’s quirky use of Harris Tweed shows the traditional fabric in a new light.

Originally from Inverness Aimi has shown her Scottish roots by using the iconic Scottish Harris Tweed jacket in a bespoke piece of furniture taking direct influence from the jacket with the 2 pocket detailing on the sofa with a modern twist. The bespoke piece has a strong historic narrative showcasing Harris Tweed’s history yet comments on Harris Tweed’s recent resurgence. The sofa uses high class materials yet is designed to be extremely flexible and I can see it fitting nicely within people’s homes. It is a great take on the traditional and ties in nicely with the current handmade market with consumers seeking out hand made, quality items rather than mass made. Aimi’s branded her idea really well even down to the traditional bottle of whisky in the sofa’s pocket!

Sam Dexter‘s ‘Red Letter Day Project’ motion graphic piece informs the public about a particular event that is important to the history of Edinburgh. With an interest in philosophy and ethics, Sam chose the birth of the philosopher David Hume and his theory called the ‘Induction Fallacy’. As Sam explained to me ‘Induction Fallacy’ theory implies that nothing in our world can be predicted. In the stop frame animation she communicates this theory-which would usually be quite hard to understand- in a humorous way using dominoes, similarly tumbling but with one rogue domino breaking the rules in an extraordinary way! As her first stop-frame animation and using 112 dominoes Sam’s made this animation with perfect detail and you can watch it here. Sam said that what she likes about graphic design is that ‘you can communicate with the audience on so many different levels and make a subject like The Induction Fallacy something quite light hearted and easy to grasp. I like to think my work is light hearted and uplifting. Since this project a lot of my work has been motion graphic based, I really enjoy film and projects that involve interaction and involvement with the public…’. Her attention to detail is incredible! Make sure you have a look at her ‘Red Herring Route’ intervention project which made people in Edinburgh look, and see, the city differently from usual.

Good luck to both Aimi and Sam!


Kirsty Baynham’s colourful illustrations

Strolling around the art boutique shops of Edinburgh I came across Kirsty’s bright, colourful illustrations and, as a massive fan of everything geometric, I loved them. Kirsty graduated from Edinburgh College of Art in 2011 with a degree in Illustration and has certainly put her skills to good use producing allsorts of goods from gift wrap and cards to Giclee prints and screenprinted bags.  She has an individual style teaming animals with intricate geometrics, detailed patterning, colour blocking and a playful manner with shapes. Her strong individual aesthetic has a definite identity yet is commercially successful and has been key to her success as a freelance illustrator.

I contacted Kirsty and she kindly answered some questions about her design work, her experience so far and gives her invaluable advice to freelance designers.

Since graduating from Edinburgh College of Art in 2011 I have been working as a freelance illustrator. My business ‘Prism of Starlings’ is a range of design-led paper goods, prints, textile and stationery items. My current focus is on designing a small collection of hand-made artist’s books and limited edition zines.


How have you found working as a freelance illustrator?

While it’s hard to get started as a freelancer, it’s a nice feeling to move forward in this discipline. Looking back on the past year, I found it much more of a struggle to get work at first, but once you develop a portfolio and contacts, opportunities do arise. I think most illustrators would agree that their artistic style stays fluid, to a certain degree, long-term, so even though I have developed a more definitive style over the past year or so, there is still a degree of flexibility which enables me to still think of this job as a novelty.

How do you start an idea? What is your inspiration?

I find myself making lots of lists, to make sure every idea I think of is documented in case it develops into something. I always have an aesthetic in mind which I want to convey before I start drawing, and it generally comes from something abstract: either a combination of colours I’ve observed, a shape I want to experiment with, or a visual hybridisation I’ve been able to photograph. I’m constantly looking for random juxtaposition of styles to take inspiration from. I believe all design work needs a level of ambiguity, and I like to create this by giving each design a backstory, which is vaguely reminiscent in the design. Concepts don’t always need to be loud, but I think they inspire a more enthusiastic approach to each piece of work.

Are there any times that you have been stuck in a design rut… do you have any advice?

It’s easy to fall into a design rut, and it’s easy to take the wrong route when trying to escape from it. I think the secret is actually to avoid changing your style/routine sporadically or for the sake of necessity, and instead to be as objective as possible and make changes in a methodical manner. Different approaches suit different people, but from my experience – go back to the basics, do your research, familiarise yourself with the progress of your work over the past few months by literally laying it out and re-evaluate the main priorities of your design work. Ask yourself, has your work become too heavily commercial and you no longer identify with the aesthetic? Are the restraints of your print method or colour scheme restricting your creativity? Are you thinking too much about how your work fits into current trends and have lost an identifiable element that makes it your own? Good design is fuelled by enthusiasm, simplicity and direction, so it’s important that you’re not putting so many restraints on your work that it becomes laborious.


I am completely in love with Kirsty’s notebooks – why buy a normal boring run of the mill notebook when you can have one of these beauties?!! Her Etsy shop is definitely the place to visit if your looking for any quirky stationery, presents for friends and fab unique prints. I’m already imagining my future house glittered with her beautiful prints. Her portfolio is on her website along with her contact details. Have a look and nap yourself a unique notebook or one off print!



Will Prince

Kid Cudi, Joey Fatts and Asher Roth have all featured his work on various album and mixtape covers. His work is constantly being featured on Ill Roots and has even had his own showcase in Austin, Texas last year. This talented boy is called Will Prince and is definitely one of the freshest artists of his age around at the moment! He draws lots of his inspiration and concentrates a lot of his art on hip-hop artists and even self-confesses that he is probably more obsessed with music than art, “When you think of hip hop as a culture there is always the graffiti element to it.

I first discovered his designs when one of his images popped up on my Tumblr dashboard and from then on I have become an avid follower of his work. Some of my personal favourites are his creative sketches of Frank Ocean and Kanye West. I love how he creates such a bold image and creates such a balanced mix of art and the obvious Hip-Hop influence.

The artist from Cumbria states he simply uses a sharpie, paper and his Macbook to create his expressive cartoon style images. He is currently working on some mixtape and album projects and even a T-shirt line! I’m just hoping he will be doing a showcase in the UK very soon, so I can finally see the original drawings in the flesh!

Check out some of Will’s other work here:


And Will’s Twitter:


Faye Galloway

Faye Galloway is a young and highly talented fashion designer, currently studying at Winchester School of Art, Southampton University. With her graduation just around the corner it won’t be long before her beautiful style of design is unleashed upon the world. Her work is so playful and expressive, allowing her to convey a strong androgynous style with light hints of femininity. This gives her work a rich depth that appeals to a vibrant and modern woman. But her style is by no means limited. With interests for colour and print, Faye’s work has developed over time to become versatile and flexible, whilst still maintaining her trademark aesthetic.

Faye’s broad interests both inside and outside of fashion have allowed her work to grow and adapt over time. She is also a talented illustrator, which allows her to convey her designs in beautiful and intricate illustrations.

Here’s what she had to say:

Can you tell me a little bit about your work and your style as a designer?

I specialise in fashion design but my work is very print orientated. I have a love for illustration and am forever drawing. I am drawn to colour and simplicity and this is always a starting point to starting a new project.

What has influenced your latest pieces?

I am currently working on my final major project and my main influences were collage, women and power. I recently visited the kurt schwitter exhibition, held at tate britain and felt instantly inspired by his work and the story portrayed about his immigration through the war. The silhouettes in my design process have been driven by androgyny and boyish looks with flirty hints of femininity. Reoccurring research within my project is imagery of mick and bianca jagger.

As well as being a talented designer, you also create beautiful illustrations of your pieces, will you ever branch out into over avenues of creativity besides fashion design?

I am a keen fashion illustrator so illustration is definitely an option I won’t cross out. Prior to my degree my work was very much about printed textiles, it is a path i still wish to pursue and am looking into studying at a higher level.

Where might we see you in the next few years?

After my degree I will be looking to apply for jobs in all of my interests whether is it fashion illustration, design or print for fashion.


If you love Faye and her work as much as I do then feel free to get in touch with her to find out more about her work:

Email: fayegalloway@hotmail.com

Well I hope you all enjoyed that. Until next time…


Stephanie Webb

With a background in textile design but a flair for illustration and everything in between, Stephanie Webb (perhaps more easily found as her website name ‘Stephanie-Says’) epitomises the true ideal of a ‘designer’: everything she produces is touched with a clear personal style, no matter the medium.

Her work has a very ‘tea and cake’ kind of vibe; but the more geometric designs and more edgy patternwork definitely carry her portfolio on past simply that. Also she does do some really cool drawings of bears wearing jumpers, and if you say you don’t like drawings of bears wearing jumpers then I’m afraid I just don’t believe you.

Originally from Coventry, Stephanie graduated from Edinburgh College of Art in 2009 with a BA in textiles, and she remains there working as a freelance designer and a window dresser for Anthropologie. If you happen to be a native there yourself then you can more often than not find her work being sold at places such at the Red Door Gallery on Victoria Street.

She was also generous enough to answer a couple of quickfire questions from me, which you can read for your delight below…

Your work ranges beautifully from papercuts to very illustrative pieces to textile prints- is there a particular form you enjoy working on the most?

I think I’ll always have a love of print and pattern for textiles, it’s what I studied at college so the screen printing process is something I’ll always go back to. The papercuts were initially a technique I used to create repeat patterns in ways other than drawing and painting, but these have since evolved to become individual commissions which I do really enjoy doing. They’re always so personal to the client and each one is different.

What piece of work, or event in your career so far, are you most proud of?

I’m proud of my wallpaper designs for Anthropologie, still! 

What does the immediate future hold for you and your work?

I’m hoping to expand on my collections of stationery and prints this year, and I continue to sell on Etsy and in craft markets where possible! I collaborated with a fashion designer, Antonia Lloyd, last year and provided her with a print for her Menswear collection. Going forward I’d love to be involved with more projects like this, it’s great to see your work in context and used often in a completely different way to what you’d expected! 

And lastly (apologies, a groaner of a question): what or who is the biggest influence on your life and work?

I’m quite lucky in that for the most part, the freelance work I do is self initiated, at first it is anyway. So I guess I get my inspiration from whatever’s around me.  Living in Edinburgh is pretty inspirational, it’s such a beautiful city. I wouldn’t say there’s one particular influence on my life and work, but I suppose music plays a big part. Ask me that question 10 years ago and I would have said Radiohead. No hesitation.


So make sure to go check out her work! She’s got both a lovely website, a blog, and an above mentioned etsy shop


You can also follow her on twitter, facebook and tumblr, so you pretty much don’t have an excuse not to check her out really.


Gee & Tea

I love Gee & Tea for three reasons:

1) They’ve got a pun in their name.

2) That pun involves tea, which is not only my favourite drink, but my favourite thing in the world full stop.

3) They make truly awesome jewellery and crafts.

And though I could go on for days about the excellent properties of tea, it’s the third reason that I’d like to explain to you in a little more detail.

Gee & Tea is the craft collaboration of Gemma Bolton, Kathryn Broughton, Sarah Hunt & Aimi Liversidge. Based in Sheffield, these four ladies between them specialise in creating all kinds of wonderful things, including necklaces and other accessories, greeting cards, mittens, homewares, bags of all shapes and sizes and even gorgeous 50s-style lace knickers. Everything is unique and beautifully handcrafted, and all the products have a distinctive daintiness about them, incorporating beautiful fabrics and innovative designs. The range is expanding all the time too – for instance, budding photographers out there should know that there is camera bag in vintage colours being developed for you as I type.

If you live in Sheffield, you can find Gee & Tea at the Nichols Building craft and vintage centre, or out and about at craft fairs across the city. If you don’t live in Sheffield, pop over to their website and have a look at a selection of their lovely things on there. Wherever you are, you can follow them on Twitter @geeandtea or on Instagram too for your fix of handmade goodness.

– Georgie

Jack Emmons. Artist.

With an eye for detail and an impeccable illustrative style, Jack Emmons is a new talent in Great British design and illustration that is undiscovered, but surely not for long. His beautiful illustrations are both whimsical and intricate, creating stunning depth and line work. With a growing online following Jack designs are slowly becoming more popular, all while he polishes off his degree. There’s no doubt once he leaves Universitywe’ll be seeing much more of him, and his beautiful illustrations.

His infectious sense of humour and friendly demeanour translate well into his work, giving it a unique character. Jack’s skills translate through to a variety of media, but he’s best know for beautiful and detailed line art illustrations. I urge you to head over to Jack’s Facebook page and check out his work. Keep an eye out now because Jack often sells cards and prints, but editions are limited so to get your hands on one of his beautiful designs you’ll need look out for news and new updates.

To find out more and see what’s next from this talented illustrator, then follow his facebook page now, or even send him a message. I guarantee you’ll love him and his work.


Masha Reva

Masha Reva is a Ukrainian-born designer who migrated to the UK in 2010 to complete two short courses in Fashion Marketing and Creating New Concepts in Fashion at Central Saint Martins in London. Shortly after completing her courses, Reva created quite the buzz on in fashion industry, and has since been involved in numerous collaborations and shows.

Reva’s work is completely unique, stemming many ideas from her surroundings and being described as ‘tip-toeing between fashion and art’. Her designs are not for the conservative or for the colour-shy – You have to be bold and confident to wear something so flamboyant and artistic. Recently, Reva was asked by Kiev/London-based clothing company, Syndicate, to collaborate with on designing a limited range of sweatshirts, which are available in six different designs, called “Botanical Layers”. Reva explains the collaboration as, “A juxtaposition of immersion in the rapid pace of contemporary life, gadgets, and social networks with a yearning for our natural environment, explored as a metaphorical botanical garden of Photoshop layers and loading bars.”

This designer is definitely one to be on the lookout for, especially in early 2013. Who knows what will derive next from this talented artist!

 You can view more of Masha Reva’s work/designs on her website here, as well as her current collaboration with Syndicate here.

 (Images Courtesy of Masha Reva)

 – Killian

‘Designed by Stephanie Jayne’

If you’re after some thing beautifuly designed and quirky then check out Stephanie’s designs. Her business is fairly new but shows great potential,from mirrors to phone cases her illustrations are sure to make you smile.

“I’m currently just starting up my business ‘Designed by Stephanie Jayne’ with the help of the University of Huddersfield’s Enterprise Team. They help me with the ‘tricky bits, the maths, tax and everything else that comes along with starting your own business, and alongside all of that I get to do the fun bits and the exciting parts… Designing, creating products, selling designs, marketing! Alot of work for one person but its great to do a job your passionate about, even better to start a business that your passionate about. Alongside creating my own products, I Freelance for Tigerprint Studios. Its very exciting and fulfilling to work with a great team of creative people.”

What is currently happening with Designed by Stephanie Jayne ?

“Well its hectic at the moment! But being busy is a good thing, it’s a bit like Santas Workshop in my bedroom! I’m preparing for my official Launch at Thought Bubble Convention in Leeds next weekend the 17th & 18th of November; I’m a featured designerexhibited in the New Dock Hall ( was Saville Hall). So I’m super busy preparing all my products, packaging etc for then. n November, I also have 3 more main venues in which I will be selling; Tuesday 20th Nov – University of Huddersfields Global Enterprise Event. Saturday 24th November Queensgate Market (I will be having a one day pop up shop!) Monday 26th November University of Huddersfields Central Services Building”

Hopefully, I will then be opening an online shop & have a website up and running! But as I’m doing all this by myself, I wish I had several little Steph’s to help me; its all very rewarding though.

What inspires your illustrations?

My taste in design is so varied and I love adapting my style to suit the needs of the client and the project. I love the freedom in design, and the most rewarding thing is to design something and for other people to appreciate it. A lot of my characters were just 3 minute doodle sketches but once colour and type is added they can become a whole lot more. I love to produce handwritten typography I believe it creates a personal touch to my work. I also like to have a flexible approach, so I take my inspiration from everywhere. From fabrics, to architecture, history, movies… the list can go on. PINTEREST is my favourite app on my phone ( its very addictive). I believe that everyone should have it, it could make anyone be more creative; and creativity is exciting. But it is very handy to have my inspiration on the go.

I’m one of those people that gets Eureka ideas in the middle of the street, or when I’m in a shop queue waiting to pay… so I always need to carry some form of paper to record them… else I’m very good at forgetting them.

Whats your favourite peice of work so far?

Is it ok to say everything? I’m like a kid in a toyshop! It’s so exciting to be designing for products and seeing the products and final pieces all coming together and building together collections. I do love my Beary Nice Phone Case though, he’s a little cutie! It’s nice to have my work handy to showcase and show people! These are available from my Society6 Store ( please ‘bear’ with me, more designs are going to be published there soon).

What are we to see from Stephanie Jayne Designs in the future?

A LOT!!! This is just the start, so expect more!!!

Follow Stephanie on Twitter to keep up to date with my developments & designs @designedby_SJ
If you would like to contact Steph then just click these links! 🙂






Memo is the working alias of Helen Entwisle, graduate of the Norwich School of Art and Design and now a freelance designer and screen printer living in Leeds. Her range of work encompasses limited edition prints, greeting cards, self-published ‘zines (she puts together a collaborative ‘zine entitled “Ten Fingers”), tote bags, hand-printed stationary and accessories. So no small range then.

Memo’s designs are quirky and playful, and embody a sense of fun and good-humour. They feature everyday objects such as radios, cameras, typewriters, ducks, and sweet, good-humoured messages like “coffee is good for your brain” and “nice to see you” accompanied by a sketch of a pair of spectacles. My especial favourite is “you float my [drawing of a boat]”.  In short, Memo’s designs are bright, homely and full of character.

If Memo’s designs tickle your fancy too, and you’d like to have a greeting card or two for your very own, visit her stores on either Etsy or Not On The High Street. You can find out more about her via her own website.

– Georgie

Kate McLelland

Kate Mclelland grew up in North East of England, completed BA degree in Theatre Design in London and moved to Edinburgh to gain her MA in Illustration. She is an excellent fit for the Born in Britain concept, as she has nurtured her talent by taking learning experiences and creative opportunities across all Britain.

Kate McLelland’s achievements include nomination for a D&AD Illustration Award and a Penguin Design Award. She has worked on prints, commissions and for her degree show in Edinburgh College of Art she designed a charming range of children’s books called “Soot” and “Follow That Sparrow”.

Her outstanding contemporary designs are bold, original and vibrant. Each illustration has its own unique atmosphere and personality. Her ideas are embodied into illustrations in a beautiful manner, maintaining her signature style throughout the portfolio.

Kate Mclelland’s design was first runner up in a competition “New London Skyline” held by London Transport in 2010 to design the skyline that reflects London today. Every year since entering this competition she was creating a new skyline, at first Edinburgh, then Paris.

Elegant prints impress with appealing colour combinations, clean lines and precision in capturing the character of each city.

To see more of her inspiring designs and to find out which skyline she is working on this year, take a look at her website www.katemclelland.co.uk