Friday, May 31, 2013

freebies // The 2013 Designer Calendar :: June

We are officially a day away from June and I still feel like it was yesterday I was contacting the designers to ask them if they wanted to participate in my 2013 Designer Calendar project. This month's fresh and summery design was created by Jennie Whitman, the designer behind JLWIllustration. Hurry! Print it out now and start writing your to-dos on this beautiful calendar. 


About Jennie:
Jennie Whitham is the name and face behind JLWIllustration. With a 2.1 Degree in Printed Textiles and Surface Pattern Design from Leeds College of Art in 2010, Jennie has spent several years working on her portfolio collections. Jennie has recently Graduated from The Art and Business of Surface Pattern course, created by Beth Nicholls and Rachael Taylor. The course has allowed Jennie to expand her portfolio as well as push the boundaries of Surface Pattern, and allowed her further develop her CAD skills. 
With a passion for geometric shapes and florals, Jennie often combines the two, with bright and inviting colours to create designs that will (hopefully) make you smile. Jennie has work to be published in a Surface Pattern book, entitled, PatternBase, based around the popular blog with the same name. The book is due for release in 2013. Jennie is currently looking for Freelance and Licensing opportunities, to work around her family lifestyle.

Her quirky detail:
"I began my Degree at Leeds art with a 6 month old Daughter, and graduated 4 years later with 3 children by my side."

Her favourite Designer
"I've never hidden the fact that Rachael Taylor is an inspiration to me. I remember being at University and being in awe of her success. I think living in the same city is a big factor, and I would LOVE to meet with her one day."

You can download June here or clicking on the download link below the image above, and remember, it can be printed as big as an A3 format (42x29.7cm / 16.5x11.7in). Don't forget to visit Jennie's blog/portfolio, like her facebook page and follow her on twitter. You can also buy her products on her Etsy and Bespo shops.

Monday, May 20, 2013

SPD RedCarpet // Maira Chiodi

Good morning everyone!

Welcome to SPD RedCarpet, the series dedicated to surface pattern designers and their work. Today's guest is Brazilian Maira Chiodi.

Hi Maira, tell us a bit about yourself.
I was born in São Paulo, Brazil. I spent almost all my life in another city over there, Belo Horizonte, but 4 years ago I moved to Montreal. I have a degree in Fine Arts and have worked as a full time graphic designer back in Brazil, until I "came out of the closet", and became a full time illustrator, mostly for the children's market. Recently I've graduated from The Art and Business of Surface Pattern Design and now I'm also looking for opportunities to work as a pattern designer.
What is it that you like about patterns? Which one is your favorite pattern style?
I think they can make almost everything look prettier, more interesting. I love colors, and patterns are a great way to add color to your life. I like floral, geometrical and conversational patterns a lot. Have a thing for children's patterns, maybe because I'm all for character design.

How would you describe your style?
My stile is colorful, happy and inspired by nature. I see a difference between my work as an illustrator and as a pattern designer. Let's say I'm more "grown up" when it comes to my patterns, but I'm always driven to color.
Where do you find inspiration? Do you follow trends?
Like I said before I'm inspired by nature, I guess that's one of my biggest inspirations. But I'm also inspired by books, animation, and things that I see in everyday life. The culture of my home country is really important to me as well because it's so unique and beautiful. I don't tend to follow trends, but I guess since we're exposed to them a lot this will come out in your work somehow. But I wouldn't design something just because everybody else is doing it, both in terms of theme and style.

What color palettes do you prefer?
I like bright, bold colors. I specially like yellow and water hues, but that changes from time to time.
When you design, do you do it thinking of a final product? Which market would you like your designs to be on? depends. I would love to see my designs on toys, wallpaper and clothes. I wouldn't like to see them on disposable stuff.

Which Design tool can't you leave without?
What has been your greatest achievement so far? Where do you see yourself in 5 years?
With surface design I would say a line of wall decals I did for a Montreal based company called Adzif. In 5 years I see myself illustrating beautiful books and making my own products with my designs. I would also love to be working with children and art at the same time, that makes me happy.

Who is your favorite surface pattern designer? Why?
Everyday I find a new designer that I love. There's a lot of talented people out there. But I love Helen Dardik's work. It's a perfect mix between floral and characters, with a folk and ludic quality that I like a lot. In my perception her patterns tell stories of magical places, like a fairy tale.
Where can we find more of your work and products?
I have a website, a blog, and you can find my wall decals and other products here.

I hope you've enjoyed getting to know Maira a bit better. Don't forget to check the other places you can find her (above!) :D You'll find some more beautiful and happy patterns and also adorable children's book illustrations!

Sunday, May 19, 2013

giveaway // CONGRATULATIONS!!!

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Congratulations girls! Can't wait to see you all in class :D 
Thank you to all of you who participated in the giveaway! As a token of my appreciation, you'll be receiving a little present from me! Check your inbox tomorrow ^_^

Remember, if you want to enroll to my Skillshare class to learn how to create perfect repeat patterns in Illustrator, enroll here! The class is packed with lots of information, interesting interviews from great designers and prizes donated by Spoonflower!!!  The FUN starts June 7th :)

ps. I'm so sorry I skipped today's Mani Sunday and will also be skipping the #52collections update. I've been really busy preparing the course, and have had no time to do the other things I'm supposed to. As soon as I get things done... I'll be back to the regular posts!

Friday, May 17, 2013

design kit // google images

Hello everyone! Welcome to my new Friday editorial: Design Kit. This week a friend designer and I talked about how difficult it is sometimes to find the real owner of an image in order to give proper credit, so I told her how I look for them when I find myself in that situation. I use my favorite image research tools: Google Images

Google Images not only allows you to search for images that match a exact word or phrase...

just type the word or phrase on the search bar... get thousands of images that match the criteria you enter: ideal for inspiration research also allows you to do a search using a specific image.

click on the camera icon on the right of the search bar

decide whether you want to look for it using an image's url or selecting it from your computer

on safari you can only browse for the image and choose it

while on chrome and firefox, you can also drag the image from the folder on your computer and drop it in the search bar

What's awesome about this tool is that you not only get the pages that include the exact same image you've used to do your search, but also shows you alike images (perfect to easily build moodboard with similar visual inspiration), and best guesses for the image (so websites that probably talk about themes related to the visual search).

You can also use it to look for your own work and see who else has shared it or find resembling examples. 

Now it's time to start playing... you'll soon fall in love with this tool and add it to your own Design Kit!

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

style // Styling Made Easy :: summer 2013 IT bag DIY edtition

Hi everyone and welcome to Styling Made Easy, a guide to help you develop and strengthen your own unique style.
Today I want to share with you some great DIY tutorials for you to create your own unique version of this season's IT bag: the clear clutch! There's no reason why you can't follow a trend (if you like it and it suits you), but remember that it is nicer and more striking to make it your own! 
set powered by polyvore

Last year's runways were invaded with clear purses: from clutches to tote bags the desire to show what's inside every woman's magic bag was realized. We're seeing them plain, bejeweled, bag-in-bag, and even colored... Choose your favorite and create your very own version of it following one of the simple tutorials below. 

This one is definitely my favorite because of its minimal essence. I love the pop of the neon inside pouch (and I love the model's neon yellow nails!) This clutch is not only super easy to make, but it is also super easy to personalize: just imagine the inside pouch in whatever fabric you want, even in your very own fabric (you can get it printed on Spoonflower). 

diy box clear clutch by swellmayde

I also like this one... it looks very chic in spite of it being made of a very cheap makeup bag. You can paint the popline edge with bright neon colors to give it your own touch, or you can create something different with the chain... something like this.
diy perspex clutch/cross body bag by the muse tv

I like the envelope shape of this one, but if I were to do it for myself I wouldn't choose such heavy hardware; I would probably not add any straps at all or keep them lighter (like a thinner chain or a nice satin ribbon). I also feel the jewels were just placed there with no actual design thought. I like the idea of embellishing the simple shape, but I would do it differently: maybe some rock-n-roll studs, or just an important jewel closure.
diy chain strap swarovski embellished pvc clutch by stripes and sequins

I like the edge embellishment of this clutch; it is a nice idea that can be applied to other bags (why not to the one above?) I also like that the jewels here looked better placed, but I don't like the contrast between the neon yellow border and the brownish rocks. I would love to see this one with brighter stones... very bling bling, hehehe. 

diy embellished clutch by fashion pooch

This one is another favorite of mine, and it definitely is perfect for whoever likes the idea of a see-through bag without the things inside completely on-your-face! I'm also a big washi tape fun, so I can imagine this clutch turning into a very fun and unique accessory if you play with mix-n-match patterned tape :D

diy washi tape clutch by crème de la craft

Finally, another solution for whoever is not comfortable with going around showing everything there is in the bag. This one is really fun and you can use your own beautiful photos or drawings... why not print one of your favorite patterns and make your own acrylic clutch with it?

diy beach acrylic clutches by because I'm addicted
Let me know if you try any of these tutorials or if you create one of your own (even better ^_^ ). I would love to see what you come up with. I think I'll try making one for myself... I've been dreaming with a Furla clear trunk for the past 3 years; I might keep dreaming of it, but I can still satiate my desire for a transparent bag with one of these, right?

Monday, May 13, 2013

#52collections // week 2 :: free to love collection :: inspiration

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Second week of the #52collections design challenge, and it ain't gonna be easy! I asked a friend to tell me the first theme that came to her mind and she said freedom… and all I could think was, mmm… It isn't going to be easy, but I accept the challenge! (lol) On Sunday, you'll be able to see what I come up with… hopefully something good :P

SPD RedCarpet // Polly Taylor

Good morning everyone!

Welcome to SPD RedCarpet, the series dedicated to surface pattern designers and their work. Today's guest is Polly Taylor.

Hi Polly, tell us a bit about yourself.
I'm originally from Devon, a bit of a country bumpkin! I studied in the country as well, at Somerset College in Taunton. I moved to London last September to follow my dreams in the big city. I've done work placements with independent designers such as Petra Green, Jane Foster, and family-run businesses such as MissPrint and Jen Rowland.

What is it that you like about patterns and which one is your favorite pattern style?

I love abstract and geometric patterns. Nothing too floral - I believe it is time to move away from floral prints!

How would you describe your style?

I would describe my style as bold, colourful, bright, positive, abstract, flowing, inky, organic, exciting.

Where do you find inspiration? Do you follow trends?

I do keep an inquisitive eye on interior trends, but I try not to let them dictate my work as such, and rather go with what I like at the time. I get my inspiration from an innumerable amount of sources but mainly from maps, bird's eye views of land, geographical faults, signs, the illusion of texture, ideas of movement within the chosen medium and how this can be applied to a surface, all using the idea of looking at things from a different perspective.

What color palettes do you prefer?

I love to experiment all the time with colour, but favourite colour combinations of mine have to be yellow and grey, blue and orange, red and green, pink and turquoise.

When you design, do you do it thinking of a final product? Which market would you like your designs to be on?

I do tend to keep a product in mind when designing, for example I knew I wanted my screen-printed cushions to be cushions, but also I like to keep an open mind about what else I could apply the same design to, e.g. greetings cards or curtains.

Which Design tool can't you live without?

I can't live without my digital camera! If I see something that inspires me I have to take a photo of it straight away.

What has been your greatest achievement so far? 

My greatest achievement was showcasing my work at New Designers at the end of June, and coming second in the Absolut Blank competition from 100+ applicants. 

What's your favourite patterned object? Why?

This scarf designed by the lovely Petra Green of Room39 who I was lucky enough to do a work placement with in October. I love the striking black and white design with flecks of colour.

Who is your favourite surface pattern designer? 
Petra Green and I also love the new range of cushions by Boeme.

I hope you've enjoyed getting to know Polly a bit better. If you are interested, you can see more of her work here, buy her striking products here, and read her blog here :)

Sunday, May 12, 2013

mani sunday // 60s floral mani video-tutorial #14

Get in trend with this Summer flower prints with this easy, fresh and happy nail-art design!

Don't forget to visit and subscribe to the UrNails channel and leave a comment on the video page. Thanks!

!!! Remember: the UrNails gallery is for both you and me… start sharing your beautiful nails now! You can email them to me, or tweet them to @muymajobv or post them on Instagram using the hashtag #MJBVurnails and I'll be happy to upload them :)

#52collections // week 1 :: Holi collection

Happy Sunday Everyone! Here's the collection I created for the first week of the #52collections challenge. Enjoy and remember, any feedback is more than welcome! :)

ps. Don't forget to come back later for today's Mani Sunday