P&P Scholarship Winner Interview: Nina Nott




It’s almost time to unveil the 2016 Make it in Design Scholarship in association with Print & Pattern. We were thrilled to receive some amazing entries from applicants in 27 different countries around the world and had a wonderful time reviewing all of the applications last year.

Entries were shortlisted by ABSPD co-founders Rachael Taylor and Beth Kempton, with final judging by Marie Perkins at the Print & Pattern blog.

The lucky winners of the scholarship each received a free place on Modules 1-3 of The Art & Business of Surface Design:

Module 1 – Designing your way,
Module 2 – Creating your professional identity
Module 3 – Monetising your designs

Plus 90 days free access to leading trend forecasting site WGSN and opportunities to feature on the Print & Pattern blogMOYO magazine, and the Make it in Design website.

In the run up to the 2016 scholarship we wanted to showcase our very talented scholarship winners from 2014 and 2015 and so today we bring you an interview with Nina Nott.

Graduating from Bath University with a BA Hons in 3D Design Ceramics. Nina Nott has spent the past 15 Years in the digital arena. With a love of all things beautiful, ornate and traditional she loves spending her time roaming antique shops, drawing and creating beautiful patterns that tell a story. Her subject matter can be anything from a cactus to a state building.


When did your interest in design first start and how did that come about?

From a very young age (4yrs) I had always loved making things and being creative. I love bright colours, nature and sculptural objects. As a young girl I picked wild flowers and pressed them (my dad made me the most amazingflower press from wood and glass) I would always collect shells from the beach on holidays and create patterns when I got home. I have been fortunate to have a very supportive family who always encouraged my creative side.

Nina Nott_living_colour02


What steps did you take to get to where you are now as a designer?

After finishing school I completed an Art Foundation course, which introduced me to a plethora of design disciplines from woodwork, photography to textiles. I then continued onto a degree in 3D Design Ceramics. After graduating I did some travelling and spent a year working as a graphic designer. This gave me great exposure to the powerful and creative applications of Photoshop and Illustrator. For the past 15 years I have been working as a User Experience designer for some of London’s Top Digital agencies. Although I have been in the creative industry for nearly 20 years ‘surface design’ is a new discipline for me in which I can combine all my creative knowledge.

Nina Nott_living_colour01

Nina Nott_fly_with_me


How would you describe your style?

My style as a ‘Surface designer’ is graphic and bold with soft hand drawn elements. Bright colors, detail and texture are my key elements that thread my pieces together.

Nina Nott_Gallop


What kind of designer do you want to be known as?

That’s a tricky one to answer! But if I was a designer whose work made someone’s head turn and smile then that would make my day.


What are you working on currently?

I’m illustrating 12 recipes for a 2016 calendar that will be produced for my sons Christmas school fete.

Nina Nott_Sunrise


What advice would you give emerging designers wanting to build their portfolios?

I think the most important thing one can do is keep drawingand Set yourself mini briefs and enter competitions (even if you don’t win you can use the work you have done)


What would be your dream design gig?

To create a wall mural for an entrance way in a hotel or bar.


Looking ahead what are your major goals for the next couple of years?

I would love to work towards producinga series of collections, which can translate onto ceramics and walls.

Nina Nott_flamingo_rock

If you were a pattern what kind of a pattern would you be and why?

I think I would be a ‘conversational pattern’. A combination of prints, and motifs with some sort of narrative or story to tell.I’m a great ‘thinker’ (sometimes over think things), I like to be busy and always seem to be multitasking so I think that would suit me perfectly.


Please tell us about your experience of the e-courses taken as a result of winning the scholarship.

Firstly I feel honored in winning a place. It’s been a real confidence booster and I feel privileged to be mentored by Rachael Taylor and Beth Kempton.

All 3 modules have been jam packed with such great information and challenges.You do need to be very disciplined and set-aside time on a weekly or daily basis. I have found this most challenging of all mainly because I’m a mum of 2 and have a job, but I have tried my best to totally immerse myself as much as I can and embrace this great opportunity.

The information and industry insight have been invaluable. The course is really well designed and thought out with easy to follow exercises. There are technical workshops with step-by-step instructions, design resources for inspiration and a very supportive community with like-minded creatives.


What advice would you give to designers thinking of applying for this years scholarship?

Go for it! You just never know what’s around that corner. Be true to yourself and work ethos, whether you think you have a uniqueor commercial style just put yourself out there.


What was the most important lesson you took away from the e-course?

To keep positive and do what you love to your best.


What difference did it make to have a supportive community of fellow students and how important do you think that will be going forward?

Sharing work and knowledge with like-minded people on the course has been invaluable. Getting and giving constructive feedback helped strengthen my work and also made me stand back from it with fresh eyes! It helped me redirect myself when things were not going well and also gave me encouragement to push myself even more when things were working.

I hope this will continue going forward; there are so many wonderful talented individuals on the course that I would love to collaborate or work with some day…


Find out more about Nina Nott at the following links:



We will shortly be announcing the Make it in Design 2016 Scholarship in association with Print Pattern. In the meantime read all about last years here.

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