I stumbled upon a most informative UK-based website called New Designers Online, a comprehensive guide showcasing new design talent mostly from Europe, much along the same lines as Trunkt here in America. It’s a site you’ll want to browse because the talent featured is phenomenal – so fresh! And talk about inspired design… I’d like to share with you a few of my favorites, all of whom I’ve written to requesting more information and imagery, with hopes that they will write back and I can feature them again in the future. I’m especially smitten by the work of Heidi Turner and Matt Smith. Wow. Impressive.
Heidi Turner – “Contemporary, embroidered and embellished designs with a bright folkloric feel, inspired by nature and environment on natural fabric.” – New Designers Online.
Loretta Harmer – “Loretta’s distinct style is inspired by her dual love of nature and textures, evident in her creations which include silver seed pendants, poetry bangles and pine cone table sculptures.” -New Designers Online. Loretta also has a website called Natural Impression.
Katja Behre – “Katja creates distinctive neo-romantic designs with consideration given to colour, shape and theme, manifesting itself as wall coverings and textiles for furniture, drapes and fashion.” – New Designers Online.
Matt Smith – “Matt juxtaposes the permanence of clay with the fleeting coincidenses of day dreams to produce charming and whimsical vessels and wall pieces.” – New Designers Online.
Helen Gallogly – “Helen produces highly decorative, hand drawn and embroidered textiles, inspired by 17th/18th century wallpapers and botanical illustrations. Products include, furniture throws and bespoke chair coverings.” – New Designers Online.
(images from new designers online)
Camilla Meijer was trained as a graphic designer and produces vivid digitally printed floral fabrics. Just last year (2006), she launched her collection of pillows and wall hangings and will soon roll out lampshades as well. They have this 60’s vibe to them that’s fun and free. Plus, it’s fun to look at her many patterns because a single pillow can inspire the color palette of an entire room. Shop Roost online for her pillows right here.
I think it’s important for creative types, especially those who work on their own as independent artists, to continue pushing the envelope and design from the heart, let go of fears, not design based solely on what will sell or according to what trend setters forecast to be the next big thing, but show your true colors and what you stand for in your work. Isn’t that what indie artists set out to do in the first place, rebel a little and have ultimate creative freedom?
And while I’m completely open to trends and enjoy shopping for something trendy now and then, I set a rule for myself as a consumer that I’ll only buy something that’s a so-called trend if I truly like it. No peer pressure, in other words. For example, I’m not about to hop on the skull-as-a-motif bandwagon simply because it’s a trend. I don’t like skulls and no matter how hard I’m being told that I should, I don’t and that’s the end of it. I’m also not a fan of chintz. Call it my southern upbringing, but I think being around it for years has left me a bit uninspired by it. (Sorry, Domino.)
As consumers, we have the choice to shop for what we like. As indie designers, you have the right to explore the possibilities and dive into whatever it is that you’re passionate about. Jump!
This is precisely why I like Turtle Papers. This lady designs what she likes, using motifs she enjoys, and sure cupcakes are a bit trendy, but it’s okay to incorporate a popular motif into a collection if you truly like it and you’re taking a popular motif and giving it your own spin. But if everything you create is based on a trend or what the market is telling you will generate the most money, then designers may find themselves losing their joy and passion over time. Isn’t that why some leave corporate in the first place, because they are tired of designing what their company tells them to, according to their standards? Some of the most successful small business owners are those that go into something because that is what they wanted to do and they are designing products that reflect parts of themselves. As a result, they may not always generate huge profits, but they are happy and happiness is priceless, right?
At the end of the day, being happy and authentic, being yourself, is more important to me than anything else. So if you are considering opening a store selling your wares, go with your gut and push the envelope. Design products that you are passionate about. Put the independent back into independent design.
(images from turtle papers)
The moment Irene from Bloesem blogged about Susy Jack, I had to purchase some of her modern journals because I carry notebooks on me at all times and of course, they have to be pretty, but also lightweight. My order arrived today (super fast shipping), so I thought I’d show them to you.
Fantastic quality, and the colors are very cheery and contemporary. I love yellow and blue, so the items above suit me perfectly. Susy even took the time to write a very sweet card expressing her thanks for my order, another reason why I value shopping indie – the personal touch is priceless.
So if you are looking for beautiful, affordable stationery shop Susy Jack. From first hand experience, it’s a great find! Thank you Irene for the tip.
(images from me + also susy jack)