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.