One of the main things people always ask is how I come up with my ideas so I thought I would share a snippet of my journey in creating my first collection. The process of creating a new collection is always exciting as you never know where it will lead you - and your ideas are constantly changing.
So first of all, an interest in post-impressionist art and a love for detailed hand drawing is what sparked the idea for my project. My brief was to create a visually strong luxury wallpaper collection with a cohesive colour story, using post impressionism as my starting point/inspiration.
Henri Rousseau was the first painter from this era I used as inspiration as I loved the hidden detail in his paintings. These are usually large jungle scenes, where animals are hidden amongst the leaves. You would not notice this until you studied the painting closer.
This sparked an idea and prompted me to research the style of pointillism. This technique branches from impressionism and is where small, distinct dots are placed on the page in such a way they form an image. Most of the time, the dots aren’t clearly visible until further inspection. Being someone who enjoys very fine and detailed drawings, this appealed to me. I decided to blend both Rousseau’s and Signac’s style together with my own. I used Rousseau's paintings to give me the subject of animals and foliage, paying close attention to the style and shapes of leaves, whereas Signac provided the drawing technique.
The challenge for me was blending different artists techniques of drawing and combining this with my own personal style, whilst approaching from a design viewpoint.
The result was an animal jungle themed project in the drawing style of pointillism as I think this is a balance of both styles. I brought in my own character through using fine liner pen to create dots instead of the more traditional painted brush strokes.
When moving on to designing, I was unsure on how to take individual drawings from my sketchbook and turn them in to designs suitable to be used as wallpaper. The designs could be understated in style and in a repeat pattern, or be large statement designs similar in style to a wall mural. In my opinion, the wall mural route seemed like the obvious choice as I was drawing jungle scenes. However, a mural would shift the focus away from the detailed drawings and towards the grand scale of the design and I wanted the detail to be the main focus.
For this reason, I decided to take my project down the repeat pattern route.
The next step was choosing a colour palette. I believe that colour is one of the most important elements in a successful design as it can be used to highlight detail or catch people’s attention. It’s important to create balance in a design so picking complimentary colours that weren’t overpowering was crucial. I found choosing colours for this collection challenging at first, as I could not visualise how to transform black and white into colour.
My method was a combination of taking colour swatches from paintings I had studied and looking at trend forecasting websites.
Luckily the colours I picked from the paintings were similar to those from the forecasting websites, so I just tweaked a few to form a final colour palette I was happy with. This was mainly reducing the amount of green and playing around with colour proportions to explore what colours complemented each other best.
Moving on, it was time to create patterns! The aim was to create a mixture of busy and spaced-out designs to give the collection a balanced look. The fuller designs reminded me of Rousseau’s jungle paintings, and I was excited to see this translate in a design. I thought the busier patterns were the most visually impressive so focused on creating these. I then made co-ordinate prints to match these, that had more empty space to create a balanced collection.
To make each design stand out from one another, I experimented with features such as background stripes and gold-leaf foil.
I loved working on this collection as it allowed me to explore my creativity and pushed me to find my own style and colours.
You can view and shop the collection HERE.