Emerging Designer: Sophie Brabbins


Sophie Brabbins is a happy, hard working illustrator and surface pattern designer. Born and raised in Yorkshire, her designs are inspired by the beautiful countryside surroundings she grew up in. Sophie is extremely passionate about creating beautiful watercolour illustrations and surface pattern designs. All of her work is carefully drawn and painted with great consideration of tone and shade. Her expressive saturated colour palettes feel life like and modern, whilst her wildlife paintings almost threaten to walk off the page. Her work is characterised by both detailed and loose watercolour painting and a playful use of colour and composition.


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

Ever since I can remember I have been drawing and doodling. It probably started with the little illustrations I used to do using my huge collection (at the time), of gel pens and it really just grew from there. I studied art and design all the way through school and college and finally completed my degree in Printed Textiles and Surface Pattern Design.


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

Since my degree I have definitely made it a priority to take on different projects and be open to variety! I have worked creating patterns and illustrations for all manor of things – from small projects doing bespoke wedding stationery to large collections of designs for international brands. I think it’s important to experience working in different markets and being able to adapt to different briefs.


  • How would you describe your style?

I would probably best describe my style as life like and modern watercolour.

Tiny Taped Florals




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

I would love to be recognized for my fun floral patterns and my signature watercolour style.


  • What are you working on currently?

Recently I have just finished some new designs for Surtex 2015, which I am exhibiting at in May. But I am also working on my first range of gift products including oven gloves, tea towels, notebooks and greetings cards – which I will be launching summer this year (and I am super excited about!)


Meadow Floral



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

The best piece of advice I could give would be to pursue your ideas. I think the best work comes from organic ideas no matter how random. You will always create your best work when you have a real passion for it.


  • What would be your dream design gig?

I love what I do and my dream is to continue and grow my business, I would love to work on more freelance projects and continue collaborating. That is what really drives me.


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

Surtex is a huge step for me and I am really excited to build on my freelance portfolio, as this is something I am hugely passionate about. I am also super excited for the launch of my first product range later this year and looking ahead for the next couple of years I am hoping to have a stand at Top Drawer displaying my products.


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

If I were a pattern I would have to be a summery floral because there is nothing I love more than an English summer day and a floral is the perfect way to bring the outside in.


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