Saturday, 16 June 2012

This blog has moved to my brand new website!

 "Wandering Wild: Mustard"

Hello there! My new website is finally live, woohoo! As a result my blog is now part of the website and will no longer have it's home here. Over the next few days the new blog will be updated to include my archived posts and they will also stay here for a little while just in case.

Please check out for a brand new post and to take a look around my brand new website. I'm really proud of it and I think the design is really quirky and unique. All the bits and bobs were designed by myself and then my lovely fiancé did the technical bit and developed the design and made it all work :o)

Please take a look and let me know what you think?


Sunday, 3 June 2012

Blog hop!

Hello everyone!

Today I am part of something very exciting - the Passion for Pattern bloghop. You’ve probably just arrived here from the wonderful blog of Michelle Drew. After you have read my post, make sure you visit Njeri Designs who has some great designs to show you. If you have only just found the hop, pop over to Claire’s blog where you can get started and join in the fun! The image above is from my "Pocket full of posies" collection.
This is the perfect time to blog as I have recently finished the surface pattern e course I started last year. I can't believe the course has finished! I'm so sad about this as it was great fun and provided me with much needed daily organisation and motivation. Taking this course was one of the best decisions I have ever made as I have now amassed a huge collection of patterns and networked with hundreds of brilliant and lovely people. I really hope to meet some of them in person soon. I'd highly recommend this amazing course created and run by the lovely Rachael Taylor and Beth Nicholls.

Over the next few weeks and months I'll be putting my first patterns into production. I'll be starting small by producing cards and prints and selling via Etsy and Folksy (shops soon to open). I then hope to produce some textile products with my own fabric printed via my Spoonflower shop. I currently have cushion covers and placements available on Envelop.

In a moment I'll leave you with a selection of some of the patterns I have created over the course, but before I do I have one more thing to share. My new website will be going live very soon! I am so excited about this as my current website was a bit of a work in progress and only showed my illustration work. The new site will show all my work and the design feels very me and really reflects my illustration and pattern styles. I am really proud of it and I hope you will like it too! It has also been a great collaboration between myself and my web developer (and fiance) Simon Childs. Please check back here as I will be announcing the launch very soon. You can also follow me on Twitter and if you're interested in web development you can follow Simon on Twitter too.

Thanks for reading and thank you to Claire for creating this wonderful opportunity :o)

Monday, 9 April 2012

Surface Pattern: Can you help me decide - which colourway works for you?


To family, friends, pattern people, peers and followers

Above is the pattern motif I have been working on this morning. The motif is loosely based on a flower that was in a bunch that my Mum bought for me at the weekend. I have no idea what kind of flower it is so I have created my own take on it and I'm really happy with the result. The resulting pattern is really just a repeat of the motif as I wanted something bold.

I was inspired to create this design after seeing a skirt I liked yesterday. The colours were mustard, white and grey but the motif was uninspiring and the skirt was very expensive. So I decided to create my own pattern today and I will then be using Spoonflower to create my own fabric and sew my own skirt :o) I've been itching for years to make my own clothes as being petite nothing ever fits correctly and I like the idea of wearing my art.

I thought it would be a fun exercise to share this work in progress with you - would you like to help me? I have created x4 versions of the design above. The same, grey, slate, mustard and white colourways feature across the designs but I just can't decide which tones work best. If you like this pattern and have an opinion on which version works best please reply with either top-left, top-right, bottom-left or bottom-right on here, twitter of facebook

If you would like to start creating your own patterns and are not sure where to start, consider registering on the "Art & Business of Surface Pattern Design"  e-course as I did. If you're lucky you might even win a free scholarship if you sign up on the Print and Pattern Blog.

Thank you :o)

Monday, 2 April 2012

I've just turned 30 and Pattern4 has appeared on my wall!


Two things to tell you about this week. Firstly I turned 30 today which I was absolutely dreading because it seems to have just suddenly crept up on me. However I have had such an amazing weekend, starting with Simon's birthday on Friday, a visit from our friends on Saturday (which included a speedboat ride) a chilled day and Sunday and a lovely breakfast and trip out today. I also received some really lovely and thoughtful gifts from my family and friends. To let you into a little secret I also had an afternoon nap today as well so perhaps this getting old lark isn't too bad after all!

If you read my blog last week you'll also know that I'm going part-time at my current job from this week so that I can finally focus on my design career. I am so excited about this and turning 30 definitely gave me the push I needed to finally forge a career for myself. I need to feel proud of what I do for a living.

Secondly, just over a week ago I made a rash decision to paint a design on one of our living room walls. I still had the lovely ash and mustard tester pots left over from last year when we were deciding what colours to paint the living room. I had really wanted these colours as they are quite bold. Simon was worried they might be a little dark and I think he was right as that room doesn't get much light. However they work perfectly as accent colours- if i say so myself. Take a look at the pictures below and see what you think. The idea came from a pattern I created recently and I just drew very loosely,  free-hand onto the wall and then painted over the lines. I'm really pleased with the result and I now have lots of ideas for all of our other rooms :o)

Sunday, 25 March 2012

Spring Fever and great news!

HELLO everyone! It's been a while since my last post but I have been so busy- sorry :o)

I currently have that spring fever that I am sure you are all gladly suffering from ... longer days and lighter evenings, birdsong, freshly cut grass and BBQ heaven. This week has given me back my motivation and I cannot wait to get started on some new pattern collections and illustrations. I am particularly excited at the moment as I received some excellent news on Friday. My boss has agreed to let me go part-time starting in April yippeee!! This means I will have two extra days a week to spend designing and illustrating and giving my career the push it needs. 

The image above was created as part of the fantastic Surface Pattern e Course. We were asked to create a design inspired by the 2012 Olympics. I wasn't looking forward to this challenge to be honest as I don't have much interest in sport and felt a little stranded. So I decided my design needed to be fun and full of energy and I think I've cracked it. Again I wasn't even sure of the end result as it didn't feel very "me". The design has really grown on me though and now I kind of love it. It feels really fresh and captures that sense of energy and I really hope it appeals to the teenage market. The idea was for this image to be mocked up on a t-shirt which I haven't done yet but I really think it will work. Funnily enough I've also become a little bit more energetic myself and have started running and I'll be cycling to work this week. Maybe Olympic fever is catching.

Happy Spring to you all :o)

Tuesday, 7 February 2012

Wrapping paper inspired by Tangerine Tango

Oh what fun I had creating this! It's entirely digital and symmetrical and just the kind of design I love.

This design has slightly random origins. Ever since Pantone announced Tangerine Tango as the colour of the year 2012 I was reminded of the peachy / coral coloured nail varnish all the fashionable girls have been sporting for the last few summers.

So I am referencing that colour in my design and the main motif is built from a shape that resembles a fingernail. Inspirations comes in the weirdest of guises sometimes!

The name references digits, cuticles and lollies. It's a little too cute for my liking but I think it might suit the teen market, especially as it has lol in the title.

Now I am not a girly girl at all but I must admit I'm quite tempted to go and purchase nail varnish in this colour for myself :o)

Monday, 9 January 2012

Ohh dear "Stuck on repeat" competition

Hi All,

Above is my entry for the Ohh Dear "Stuck on repeat" stationary competition. The winning design will be printed onto notebooks. Check out the details here

I might need you to vote for me soon if you would kindly oblige. I'll keep you posted.

Thanks for viewing!


Sunday, 8 January 2012

A 60th birthday, a wedding venue and a new pattern

Hello everyone. I hope you all had a great weekend. Mine was lovely. We travelled home for my Dad's surprise 60th birthday. There was a mixture of family and friends and went to Mum and Dad's local Indian restaurant for a buffet. The food was really good and we had a nice gathering- quite small and low-key so as not to embarrass Dad too much. My Mum did a great job of organising everything.

Simon and bought John Bishop tickets for Dad. If it wasn't for Rachael's tweet I wouldn't even have known they were available. All four of us are going to see his show in Liverpool and we're really excited. Dad spent the early part of his childhood growing up in the Wirral so we'll make a weekend of it and he can show us around. We did visit Liverpool last year but it was a bit disastrous when the clutch failed on our mini. This year we'll be going in Giuseppe, the Fiat 500 so hopefully he won't let us down!

Dad's birthday wasn't the only exciting thing this at the weekend. We also visited a wedding venue and I think it might be THE ONE! I can't say too much until we're definite and it's all booked. I can tell you that it will be in a field, it will be beautiful and wellies will be required ...

Then finally, I also finished a repeat of my "Pattern 4" in a spare hour I had. I do hope to think of a more interesting name for the design but for now I like how understated it is and it helps me keep track of my progress. I created this pattern during the surface pattern e-course that I am taking
If you're interested in buying this design Pattern 4 is now available on Society6 as print, iPhone case etc Please take a look.

Thanks for reading x

Thursday, 5 January 2012

Welcome 2012: A new adventure – Surface Pattern e-Course with Rachael Taylor and Beth Nicholls.

Hello all and welcome 2012. Spring will be here before we know it :o)

2011 was a great year for me but I do love a new start and this year will certainly bring some changes.

I’d like to start with owning up to being rubbish at writing this blog. I have so much I want to say and then when it comes to writing it I can’t think of a thing. So in the spirit of New Year Resolutions, I’ll make keeping this blog up to date my first one. Hopefully telling you all about it will make me stick to it. I’m also going to treat myself to a lovely little notebook or jotter to jeep my thoughts in and then remembering what I want to write on here will no longer be an issue. As much as I adore my iPhone typing notes is just not the same.

Anyway what I’d really like to tell you about is the “Art and Business of Surface Pattern Design” e-course that I enrolled on at the end of last year. I’ve just completed the first module and can’t wait to get started on the next one. My parents bought me modules 2 & 3 for Christmas. They always encourage my work and provide continued support when I doubt myself.

The course started in November and it is already shaping up to be one of the best decisions I have made yet!

I decided to take part on in this course for a number of reasons. For a long time I have been looking for a course to further my knowledge of art/ design and also because 6 years after uni having never worked in the field full-time I feel I have started to stagnate somewhat. I felt that it would be great to be part a community of like-minded people again as I have really missed the support of my peers. The great thing about an on-line course means I can do it in my own time and continue to pay the mortgage! I couldn’t possibly justify the cost of a Masters when I feel that I haven’t used my degree to its full potential and at 29 I am now itching to carve out that illusive career for myself as soon as possible.

So the course … I was particularly impressed with Rachael’s portfolio and it is just the kind of work that I love- really vibrant and detailed but loose line work. I’ll admit that I didn’t know of Rachael before the course was advertised on twitter. I haven’t been following surface pattern at all. In fact since graduating as an Illustrator I have ignored that nagging suspicion that surface pattern might actually be my “thing” because I felt I needed to choose a career and stick to it. The way Rachael works and her and Beth’s positive attitudes towards life have genuinely inspired me.

One of things about this course that really stood out to me was the level of motivational support offered. I have struggled with confidence my whole life and hidden it fairly well but when I comes to my work I am my own best critic and I am constantly so afraid to fail that I don’t even start! (3rd Resolution – stop doing this!) Our group shared images of our work on Flickr and we held discussions on there too. I have been overwhelmed with the lovely comments people have added about my work. I have also been trying to comment on other people’s work as much as possible and to suggest inspirations/links. I’m really feeling the love within this group. I can’t share the group’s photos but you can see my images here:

In just the first week of Module 1 I felt my confidence come rushing back. I was doing homework for the course every night and at weekends and I loved every minute of it. Designing patterns feels completely natural and the exercises we were given were just so much fun. Mind I did get some funny looks when photographing things with my phone at lunch around the industrial estate where I work. But who cares!

Starting this course made me realise that my passion for design has come full circle. My very first design and colour inspiration came from hanging around the design studio of a wallpaper and fabrics company that my Mum used to work for when I was a child. I got to help out in the studio as a teenager and try screen-printing which was so cool.

I have shared a love of sewing all of my life courtesy of my Mum and I she helped create some of the soft furnishings in our house.

The biggest change for me this year will be to go part-time which I’m really hoping my manager can accommodate. We’ve not agreed it yet but it looks likely to be a positive outcome. This is a huge scary step for me as I love my independence and to pay my half of the bills. I realized however that in order to kick-start this career I need a lot more time and going part-time will allow me the time I need whilst still contributing to the household. I wouldn’t be able to do any of this without my amazingly supportive fiancé. I am so grateful to him. However I’m happy in the knowledge that if he thinks I’m slacking he’ll be sure to kick my ass! Plus he also turned my designs into an amazing website last year. Together we will be updating it this year to include my pattern work and we will be working on a friends website together.

So a big thank you to Mum and Dad and Simon. I am really lucky to have such a great family. My lovely Dad is actually 60 today! I just can’t believe it as he neither looks or acts like a 60 year old. It also means that I have been privileged to know him for almost 30 years :o)

Ps … things of interest

As you might have noticed I love twitter! I found the course through twitter. I’ve also made new friends, found endless inspirational blogs and websites and a global art community. Follow me @lozbritchford

Pinterest – wow! Warning because as Rachael said this site is highly addictive. Essentially a digital mood board and place to share images of everything you love. Also a great place for your nearest and dearest to navigate to when stuck for present ideas. To join, you will need to request an invite though.

Etsy is full of beautiful hand-made things. *I’d like to make my 2nd New Year’s Resolution to make a real effort to buy hand-made wherever possible to support makers and to buy unique products. To buy British as a priority in order to support our economy and for environmental reasons. I will also open my own Etsy shop this year.