We are so proud of all of our alumni, many have sold work, been licensed and started their own labels which are known all over the world. Today we are featuring Wendy Kendall who speaks of her experience and success since taking “The Art and Business of Surface Pattern Design”
What was your motivation for taking ABSPD?
My main motivation for enrolling on ASPD was to find more information about licensing your artwork and launching products under your own brand highlighted in modules 2 and 3.
Freelancing was relatively new to me, I was working from home predominantly for a bedding exporter after many years of working inhouse as a textile designer. I noticed that the industry was changing a lot…individual designers were beginning to promote and put themselves out there via websites and social media and I was keen to find out more information on this.
I signed up for the first launch of module 2 in January 2012,I had just returned from Heimtex in Frankfurt after a busy few months of designing new ranges and exhibiting with Bergner.
What was the most important thing you learnt in the course?
I think the most important lesson learnt from the course was the value of having an appealing website showcasing your style of work which the course covered really well. Since launching mine in august 2012 I have gained lots of new customers through this and from images being pinned via the sight onto pinterest. I have sold designs outright this way to UK and US retailers, which has been great! I also now have licensing deals with Deny designs,Wallpapered(after winning ideal home show wallpaper 2013)S-blinds and Dashwood Studio.
How important was the community aspect of the course? What kind of people did you ‘meet’ through it?
The community aspect of the course was lovely and really encouraging.I met some fab people in the modules I took and some have now become great friends.I met up with Susan Driscoll,Nik Griffiths and Kirsti Davidson when the course finished for drinks and at tradeshows.Its great to have people to interact with that are doing the same job as you,as being a freelancer can be like you are in a little bubble on your own sometimes.Susan and I have now joined forces with two other designer friends,Lizzie Mackay and Dawn Machell and formed the Dotty wren studio.We are currently working on new collections of designs to sell and license at Surtex in New york in may.
How has your work changed since before the course?
Ive always historically worked to briefs for customers and although I still work this way,it is lovely to create work that reflects your personal taste that you really enjoy doing.I create more childrens designs now compared to before,as I love designing for this market and I also think about my work more in groups ,adding in extra co-ords to make a complete story since working on fabric collections more recently.I do think my years of experience of designing bedding inhouse has been a great advantage to me,so this mixed with knowledge gained from the course on licensing and social media was really good timing for me.
Since taking the course what kind of work and press coverage have you secured?
So pleased that some of my designs have been selected for the next print and pattern geometric book and Ive just sold one of my designs to be used on christmas gift packaging to a retailer in the UK.
What are you working on now?
I’m really busy at the moment producing lots of new designs to launch in may and am also working on my next licensed fabric collection for the craft market. Hopefully the NY show will bring lots of new exciting contacts ,the dream would be to see my designs on fabrics in Ikea or John Lewis one day.
In the meantime I will just keep designing and look forward to what this next year will bring, there is no plan as such, just keep working hard!
I am a freelance surface pattern designer based from home, just outside Stone in Staffordshire UK. Since graduating from the University of Derby, where I specialised in print design, I have worked as a bedding/nursery designer for several UK manufacturers situated in the North West.
Connect here: Website
Still time to join us
If you would like to jump start your design career in Surface Pattern Design, we have a new series of classes starting on Monday 24th March. We also have our module 3 starting and our all new module 4 so whether you are a complete beginner, would like to hone in your design skills or get feedback to build your portfolio, there is sure to be a class just for you.
Please take a look at our Design School courses and registration is open here