Great Pattern and Surface Designers to Follow on Instagram

There seems to be an increased awareness of surface and textile design. Here are some of my favorite Instagrams to follow if you love the art of repeat. 

@Cathynordstromdesign

@KittyMcCall

@SurfacesPatterns

@FashionTextileMuseum

@This.Patterned.Life

@ChloeHallillustration

Oh and @PatternOccurring if you don't mind. 

Pattern Occurring Picks - Tea Towel Fetish

I simply can't get enough vintage tea towels.  What is up with me? It's not that i love washing up. There are just so many great ones and they are so nostalgic. I could happily plaster them all over my kitchen walls. Then it wouldn't matter that my kids wipe their sticky hands everywhere. 

I am sure you'll agree they are super.  Below are my picks for best tea towels in store now. 

Oh, and here's a few i made earlier.

The Art of Tommy Bahama

Hello, it's me (said in an Adelle style). I was delighted to be featured on Tommy Bahama's webpage.  I think it goes to show how much they value textile design, when they choose to showcase the craft of design.  

When joining I was blown away by the talent, expertise and precision of my team. At Tommy Bahama, time is actually given to make and refine designs, which results in a higher standard of work! That is something that i've always valued, labored drawing.  I find it barmy when i've worked elsewhere with textile designers who do not like to draw or who do not make the time to draw. Shocking! I believe if you don't take that time to develop and refine your drawing, that it results in poor repeats and overly simple motifs, so sad. 

The tag line for Tommy Bahama is "make life one long weekend". So far? yep this is as good as it gets, drawing and painting tropical flowers for a living.  Only occupational hazard is i want to go to all the tropical destinations. 

Pattern Occurring - Should I work In-House or Freelance?

2015 was a rather unexpected change for me. I had a successful freelance business working with clients like Anthropologie, Mod Cloth and Lands' End.  However I got 3 calls from different people on the same day telling me i should apply for this particular temporary job in Seattle.  I was so not interested especially when the woman that interviewed me 2 days later was dressed as a witch.  I didn't put two and two together that it was halloween that weekend.  I just thought "Oh hello, yet another bonkers Brit trying to be arty." When i was offered the position i thought "what have i got to loose?" If i hate it i can leave. Oh and yes i did hate the first few weeks, change is hard. Fast forward a month and i was hoping that the team would keep me on a permeant basis and the witch and her team were treating me like a valued team member. Gosh that felt splendid, i had truly missed prattling on all day while i designed.  

So you may be in a similar situation, asking yourself should i go it alone or jump into employment? Here were my reasons to return to employment. I hope this helps you in your decision.  

1. Community - Being part of a team

2. A Desire To Learn - As a freelancer you need to go in, preform your task and hand over the deliverables.  From my experience clients are busy and have very little time or desire to invest in your personal growth.

3. Follow Your Work To Production - When working independently as a contract freelancer it is very rare that you get to see or hear where your designs end up.  In house you get to see strike-offs, samples and fashion show.  You can get direct feedback from the buyers, all of which is educating and exciting.

4. Be Given A Review And Goals To Work Towards - Sounds funny, as most people might dread review time.  I myself hadn't had one since 2008 so it was odd at first, but I feel reviews are essential to growth. This process gave me tangible goals i needed to achieve over the following 12 months. Onward and upward!

5. PTO: Payed Time Off! - What is that? I hadn't had that in 8 years. Guilt free vacation. 

6. Benefits - This is not something you civilized folks in the UK don't need to worry about as much, but here the struggle is real, healthcare insurance is required to survive. 

7. Simplicity and rhythm - From my experience freelance can be feast of famine.  You can be traveling all over to work with various clients. Now I love knowing where my desk is and what the expectations are. Life can get very complicated. Not to mention direct deposits every fortnight. That is music to my ears.

8. Christmas and birthday parties -  Need i say more?