Good morning everyone!
Welcome to SPD RedCarpet, the new Monday series dedicated to surface pattern designers and their work. My first guest is Laura Escalante, a fellow designer from my hometown Bogotá (Colombia). Her work is very romantic and delicate. Scroll down to read her answers to a few questions and see some examples of her beautiful work.
Hi Laura, tell us a bit about yourself.
I studied Product and Visual Communication Design at Universidad de los Andes (Bogotá) and have just graduated from The Art and Business of Surface Pattern Design course. I grew up with markers, crayons, colors and paints all over my room, and since then I have a fascination for hand drawn and colored pencil illustrations. Today I find myself beginning my own Surface Pattern Design business, based on wallpaper design.
What is it that you like about patterns and which one is your favorite pattern style?
What I like the most is the way patterns bring color and life to places, outfits and a wide variety of products; even the simple ones manage to do this. With this in mind, since little I have loved colorful patterns, especially patterns in stationery, swimwear fabrics, wallpapers, tableware and kitchen textiles. I have always been particularly obsessed with colorful pattern scarves; I feel they are a great way to decorate my outfit and bring life and happiness to my everyday life.
I definitely don't have a favorite style. I love detailed floral, organic and nature based patterns, but also have a fascination for simple colorful geometric patterns.
How would you describe your style?
I consider my style to be based on delightfully detailed and delicate hand drawn motifs inspired by nature, which are layered and interwoven with simple graphic elements in gentle and soft calming colours.
Where do you find inspiration? Do you follow trends?
I am inspired and amazed by a lot of things in my everyday life, such as packaging designs, stationery, giftwraps, colorful scarves prints, wallpapers, swimwear fabrics, tableware and kitchen textiles. But most importantly, my work is inspired by the beautiful flora and fauna of my country.
I am not a huge follower of trends, but eventually my work is influenced and inspired by retailer showcases, products people are using, design blogs, designers’ webpages and networks like Pinterest. Though I think trends are important, I prefer staying true to my style and instinct.
What color palettes do you prefer?
I like very much soft pastel colors, bright bold colors and the combination between black and white. The color I use the most in my designs is pink, and the one that makes me struggle and I find hard to work with is red.
When you design, do you do it thinking of a final product? Which market would you like your designs to be on?
Normally I don’t design with a final product in mind, but lately, since I am focusing in wallpapers, I have to consider that scale and composition must be adequate.
I would like to see my designs in childrenswear, wallpaper, stationery and the homeware textile industry.
Which Design tool can't you live without?
It’s very hard to choose just only one. I’d have to say colored pencils and fine liner pens.
What has been your greatest achievement so far? Where do you see yourself in 5 years?
I believe my biggest achievement is designing what I've always dreamed of and seeing how my portfolio is becoming stronger and bigger in the design industry I love. Another great achievement was being shortlisted as one of the Top 5 Finalists of the Ideal Home Show Wallpaper design contest of 2013 held in company of Wallpapered and Laurence Llewellyn Bowen, who chose my design to be in the top 5. It was a great boost of confidence and satisfaction seeing one of my first pattern designs being in the top five designs of an international contest, and I was so happy to see my work reaching places that I had never imagined I was going to be capable of.
I see myself in 5 years, having a successful business in the wallpaper, stationary and homeware textile industries. The core of my business will consist in offering my clients tailor made designs for business stationery, packaging, textiles, wallpapers, giftwraps, and other products that may satisfy their needs.
What's your favourite patterned object? Why?
My most prized patterned object is a notebook I bought in Medellin’s Botanical Garden souvenir shop, because its cover has an amazing detailed and delicate placement design of a botanical illustration that perfectly fits my style.
Who is your favourite surface pattern designer? Why?
My favorite designer is Vera Bradley because her products are beautifully designed with colorful happy floral patterns.