Today, our interview is with James from Brownjames Prints which is a textile print studio, designing unique prints for high end brands for catwalk and high street.
When did your interest in design first start and how did that come about?
I’ve been drawing, painting creating since I can remember. Through school, college and University my focus was on illustration done with pen and ink, coloured pencils, watercolour and biro. Then after university I gravitated to digital – Photoshop and Illustrator, because it increased the speed at which I could create. I’ve always felt like there was an element of me lost with digital production though. So my aim over the next couple of years is to create more hand drawn and abstract pattern and to go back to pen and ink and watercolour using digital methods to refine the final artwork.
What steps did you take to get to where you are now as a designer?
I’ve spent the last 13 -14 years producing illustration (50%), web design (20%), graphic design (20%) and animation (10%). I enjoy these fields but my aim at the moment is to become prolific in pattern design for women’s wear, children’s wear and licensing.
How would you describe your style?
I describe my style as digital computer art with a fun, cute, quirky edge but as I mentioned earlier I aim to get back to more traditional methods of image making with pen and ink, and watercolour.
What kind of designer do you want to be known as?
I want to be known as a designer that is diverse. Someone that produces artwork that is distinctive, modern, cute, quirky, funky, fun and on trend. I love creating new patterns. I see patterns like sweets or lollies, you know those sweets or lollies you just love and can’t stop eating. My aim is to create patterns that are visually delicious.
What are you working on currently?
I’m currently at a crossroads and am working on getting in to pattern design fulltime. I’m currently working on, moodboards for Autumn/Winter 15/16 prints, Halloween prints, some icon design for a digital agency, an illustrated website for an e-learning company and possibly some animated motion graphics for a digital agency.
What advice would you give emerging designers wanting to build their portfolios?
Draw, draw, draw or create, create, create. Do lots of research for your mood boards (get a pinterest account and use that as a mood board) Make sure your designing for the right time of year (check out Patternbank trend reports). Check and see what other designers are doing and influenced by. Most of all enjoy the patterns your creating.
What would be your dream design gig?
Sport wear would have to be Nike or Adidas footwear patterns.
Fashion prints would be Stella McCartney or Liberty London, Speedo and Mambo.
Print Studios would have to be designing for Amanda Kelly or Karolina York.
Looking ahead what are your major goals for the next couple of years?
To get to Surtex and Indigo, possibly Playtime and Print Source and exhibit a collection of 500 on trend prints. To be earning over $100000 per year and to either employ a few freelance repeat pattern designers to give my collection more dimension. Or partner with another designer(s) who has a different but complimentary style to mine. Who’s aim in the pattern industry is similar so that we can share knowledge, techniques, exhibits at tradeshows and strive forward together.
If you were a pattern what kind of a pattern would you be and why?
Either a black and white abstract pen and ink drawing with lots of splats Or a red and navy digital illustrator pattern, red background blue lines with lots of different characters and abstract shapes.
Brownjames Prints is a textile print studio. Designing unique prints for high end brands for catwalk and high street. Originally from an illustration and design background James is experienced in working across large and small-scale projects with varied budgets, timelines and communication strategies worldwide His methods range from traditional hand drawn to modern digital techniques using Photoshop and Illustrator. James thrives on colour, innovation and quality.