Katie Darlington

Welsh-born, Kingston graduate Katie Darlington is one designer making waves in the fashion industry.  Her debut collection ‘Collecting Sentiment’, incorporating innovative pattern cutting and print design saw her win the Wolf & Badger Graduate Design award for fashion, with her collection now stocked at Wolf & Badger in the fashionable area of Notting Hill.

Katie’s collection features a combination of soft tailoring with gentle fluidity, most noticeable in jumpsuits and dresses.  The inspiration behind ‘Collecting Sentiment’ came from her great grandfather’s journal, documenting his time in North Africa and Italy during World War Two; linking the past with the present.

Another noticeable aspect of Katie’s collection is the heavy use of prints – originally meant to be digital print, following a tutorial with print designer Mark Eley; Katie instead decided to incorporate the look of hand-dyed silk, so whilst the ink print has been digitally printed on her collection, the image is blown up from hand-dyed ink bleedings, giving it a more raw feel.

To have a look at some of the pieces from Katie’s beautiful collection, check out her website

 

 

Emily May

Emily May’s illustrations are simply lovely and adorable in every way, with a sweet style that suits any kind of commercial brief. Having done work for ASOS, Urban Outfitters, Cath Kidston among many others whilst even helping redesign an entire PDSA shop in Leeds, she’s got an impressively full portfolio for someone who only graduated in 2010 (that’s from Leeds Met with first in Graphic Design).

My favourite pieces of her work have got to be her cat and dog print designs (the dog one you can see on the left here), which are intricate and cute in equal amounts. Her style is mainly based on her detailed line penwork, but she also uses a fair bit of digital colour to add variety and tone, which works very well.

She was also lovely enough to answer some quick questions for me, so here’s a little interview for you:

What part of your career or portfolio so far are you most proud of?
Supporting myself as a Freelance Illustrator for nearly 2 and a half years has been a massive achievement for me. Its a terrifying prospect for any young creative to come out of University and try to make it on their own in the real world. I’m proud of myself for having the guts and determination to stick it through and get to where I am now. In regards to my portfolio, though its pretty awesome seeing my illustrations printed in magazines or on peoples sweatshirts, I think I get more of an overwhelming sense of gratitude when I sell a print in my shop; knowing that a person wants to hang my drawing in their home is the loveliest feeling.


Do you have a dream commission, or do you simply enjoy the act of creating in general?
I don’t know if I have a dream commission really, I just love any work that comes my way where I can put my own creative twist on things. For anybody that has seen my work, its probably quite clear that I’m somewhat obsessed with animals and working for the PDSA was probably the most rewarding project I’ve ever done; so getting commissioned by the RSPCA or WWF would be beyond amazing. I could easily spend all hours of the day drawing kittens, so to avoid this I prefer working to a brief, that way I keep myself challenged.


All your animal drawings, but the cats in particular, have such a great sense of character- but are you a cat or a dog person?
I have 100% belief that my dogs love me more than anybody ever will in the whole entire world, and I also believe that the only reason my cat is rubbing up against my ankles right now is because he wants to be fed. But at the end of the day, I couldn’t live without either and I find them equally as hilarious with buckets of personality – and that’s what makes for a great drawing.


What  does the immediate future hold for you and your work?
I’ve got a few things on my plate right now. I’m currently working on an illustration for Cath Kidston and I’m very excited for when that goes to print, and I’m also working on an animation project which is scary new territory for me but something I’m really enjoying. 


And lastly: what or who is the biggest influence on your life and work?
If I had to choose one person it would be my granddad. I remember from a very young age sitting on his lap whilst he looked at my drawings and showed me how to improve them, I believe I have inherited his perfectionist ways. He worked at Gaumont British Animation as an animator and created the more than beautiful series ‘Animaland’. He is such a skilled illustrator and painter and he’ll forever be my biggest inspiration.

 

LINKS

Website

Etsy Shop

Blog

Twitter

Partimi

Let me introduce you to one of the most exciting UK fashion brands to arrive within industry for a while, Partimi. The brand who offers arresting patterns and digitally printed graphics on a simple silhouette garment was founded by Eleanor Dorrien-Smith in 2009. Eleanor a graduate from the infamous Central St. Martins, first big break came when she got chatting to a woman from Anthropologie at her final year exhibition who immediately commissioned a capsule collection.

It was great to get in touch with Eleanor to see how she finds the inspirations to create her unique designs. “I always draw inspiration from personal experience; childhood memories by the sea, places where my parents grew up, teenage obsessions with artists, musicians and writers, familiar landscapes.  I like to focus my attention, or the lens, on something that I have a direct connection with because it helps me to create designs that are simple, clean and that tell a story”. She also mentioned the huge effect Britain has on the way she takes inspiration for the collections, “Prints I have designed have come from British granite coastlines, the undersides of old fishing boats, wild cliff faces, and patterns in the sand at low tide.  The designs have now become even more British as I now also produce all the pieces in London and the printing is done in Sussex”.

The connection to Britain’s coastlines and nature adds a certain uniqueness and an understanding to the collections. The talent of Eleanor is inspiring in her own right and the advice she gives to any other aspiring designers is“to get as much experience as you can working at a variety of different design companies.  If you are planning to launch a label then don’t underestimate the importance of business experience as well as design.  Knowing how to produce balance sheets and cash flow projections is just as important as creating patterns and designing prints.  Also familiarise yourself with the support that’s out there!” .

Partimi’s up and coming projects include the new collection designed for Liberty London Fabrics entitled ‘Wild Perennial’ will be launched in A/W 2014. Check out the current collections on the website with more information about the brand and its stockists.

http://partimi.com/wp/

All images courtesy of partimi.com and Eleanor Dorrien-Smith.

David Galletly

Trying to think of a way to ‘sum up’ David Galletly and his work in a pithy little intro sentence, ideally with some kind of witty remark or pun involved somehow, is almost impossible – and believe me, I tried.

For as much as you could try his portfolio is just far too varied, with his style and approach altering to fit whatever brief he was working to at the time. 

As he says himself he doesn’t “necessarily have a favourite way of working” rather preferring to “bounce around as much as I can”. But there definitely are two main styles there: an intricate line-based patterned approach, and a more quick and fun cartoony one. And in an illustration world where it’s very easy for designers to become obsessed with this notion of a utterly-set-this-is-my-style-and-I’m-stuck-with-it-for-the-next-forty-years, in a really lovely refreshing way Galletely doesn’t seem to mind his more relaxed experimental approach. Rather he focuses more on just “consciously trying to make things that I don’t immediately hate”, which in my opinion gives his work a great sense of enjoyment and vibrancy to it. Plus it’s a good maxim for life in general I feel.

And if these various talents weren’t enough Galletly has forayed into the world of film and animation as well; alongside his illustrations for Scotland-based beer brand Innis & Gunn he produced a flip book and hand drawn animation of the evolution of an oak tree. Using stop motion animation he has also made a ridiculously fun and adorable music video for Kid Carnival’s You Only Went Out To Get Drunk Last Night- you can watchg it here on the left hand side.

LINKS FOR YOUR ENJOYMENT:

Twitter

Website

Facebook

 

He was also kind enough to answer some questions for me, so here’s a charming wee interview:

What or who would you say are you biggest inspirations?

Looking at work by other illustrators often makes me jealous so I’m often better motivated by people in totally different fields. For years, people like Adam and Joe, Michel Gondry and Vic Reeves have been filling my head with ideas.

More directly, I guess, comics have always been pretty important to me. I remember pouring over Calvin and Hobbes collections in the local library when I was young – Bill Watterson’s attitude to his work and refusal to sell out in any way whatsoever taught me that, y’know, funny pictures are valuable things and you don’t necessarily need to be a tortured artist to be credible. The Moomins, Peanuts, Krazy Kat and Little Nemo are all fantastic.

Recently I’ve been psyched to hear that Chris Onstad’s amazing Achewood is set to return and I’ve also rediscovered my love of Disney through theme-park focused blogs like longforgottenhauntedmansion.blogspot.com. Marc Davis’s work as an Imagineer in particular has been a joy to pour over. He’s unmatched when it comes to telling a story in half a second flat 

 

As a Scottish and Scotland-based designer, have you ever felt at a disadvantage (or even like you’ve benefited) for not living in London like many designers?

I think I’d get eaten alive in London. It’s not for me. My workload divides up fairly evenly between Scotland, the rest of Britain and overseas and almost every project across the board comes through email. It’s very rare that I’ll talk on the phone with a client, let alone meet them in person. As a fairly mumbly, shy fellow, this suits me pretty well. Without the internet, I wouldn’t have a job.

Saying that, Glasgow is a really great place to live and work. I’m from Stirling originally so the city still feels big to me and there’s always loads of stuff going on. Through places like Recoat in the West End, I’ve met people and worked on things that would have never come my way if I was locked in my studio all day.  

Being a one-man-band means it doesn’t take much more than a computer, some paper and a desk to doeverything I need to on any given day. When facing the reality of going 100% freelance after years of part-timing, I’d settle my nerves by adding up my  modest outgoings and telling myself stuff like ‘right, if I can find 20 people in the whole world to pay me 1/20th of this number, I can survive’. It’s going ok! I’d have lasted a month in London.

Rather than complicate things (the death of print! etc), I really feel like technology will allow more artists, designers and illustrators the opportunity to support themselves through their work. Do some sums! Make a plan!

 

What has been your proudest moment of your career so far? 

Without wanting to sound like a stuck record, supporting myself through my artwork for my first full year felt like a massive achievement. It’s a position I’d hoped to reach for a long time and, after a few false starts, I finally got there. I’ve no idea how long this ‘career’ will continue but, for now at least, it’s exactly where I want to be.

 

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

I’m working on a few really exciting things – some secret animation stuff which is kinda new territory for me, a lot of illustrations for the awesome Edinburgh-based beer company Innis and Gunn and some odds and ends for my long-time favourites, Fence Records. I hope to work on more large-scale projects with Team Recoat as soon as we find the right project and my website is feeling a little neglected so it’ll be getting a wee overhaul too.

A new set of problems have also been presenting themselves recently and I’m trying to fight through them as best I can. These are the fairly unromantic, shouldn’t-really-complain-about, things that nobody really prepares you for: Time management!  Lack of drawing practice! Writers (drawers?) block! Working out how the hell to get on the property ladder as a freelancer! Weight gain!