So many possible words to describe Justina Blakeney’s new book The New Bohemians; stunning, creative, amazing, the list goes on and on. Blakeney describes the concept of the new bohemian as being someone who “embraces a free-spirited, no-rules lifestyle and applies that attitude to all areas of their existence, including their homes. With little distinction between work and play, the new boho home often includes an office, art gallery, showroom, photography studio, restaurant, or even a pop-up shop.” Her gorgeous book explores 20 homes and includes interviews with the home owners. It also discusses styling tips on how to adopt some of the ideas that each home owner uses to your own home. Included in the book is a section of 12 DIY projects created by Blakeney, that are inspired by the desire to achieve the new boho vibe in any home. Overall a stunning read full of beauty and gorgeous textile inspiration!
Season after season Ace & Jig uses the arts and crafts movement to give depth to their collections. This season the Vienna Secessionist movement was referenced, where artists like Gustav Klimt snd Koloman Moser could’ve been direct inspiration for the mood.
– bekah hilleson & mollye pooton
Today I am very excited to bring you this interview with one of the most amazing people I know. Andi Bakos is owner of West End Select Shop, a super cool boutique in the heart of Portland inspired by her life abroad in Tokyo and her love of fashion. Her personal style is wild, eclectic, and fun.
What’s selling in the store? Of course we’re especially interested in terms of print, pattern and graphics.
Currently we have this print story by a brand called Nanushka from Budapest. They do the best prints because they always tell a story! This season (SP/SU15) the print was inspired by aboriginal folk tales so you catch glimpses of koala bears, snakes, sun rays and trees in the print, but it’s done in a more abstract way. Another thing I love about this print story is that the repeat is large so each garment carries a different part of the print. We’ll have a size run of one shirt and they all have a different part of the print featured. It’s been selling really well, people love to treasure hunt in the print to find new motifs!
What are some of your favorite print or patterned pieces to wear or admire right now?
We got this denim dress in the shop from a Berlin-based label called Starstyling and it features an allover print of some alien viking code language and it’s all done in a reflective vinyl. I’ve been enjoying wearing that one, especially if someone takes a flash photo of me – then I really LIGHT UP!
Above: West End Select Shop, Nanushka dress, Starstyling dress
How about color? Any colors or combos that are making you feel excited?
Cool pinks are my favorite current neutral. I looks great next to almost every other color. I also love mixed whites, like wearing pure white with off white. I think that’s so very chic!
When you’re buying pieces for the store or your own wardrobe, how does print and pattern infuence your decision?
I am ALWAYS on the hunt for prints! Currently there is so much minimalism clogging the fashion feed, I am simply yearning for prints and color! The best thing about a print is that it does a lot of the work for you. A great print can make an entire outfit come to life. The rest of your look can be simple and your print can just be your power!
Feeling drawn to the early work of Michael Morris! The Canadian artist is known for his patterned, geometric, line work and dynamic large canvases. Morris’s paintings, which have been shaping the field of Pop and Op art since the 60’s, are a combination of bold strong lines and clean color palettes that work together in a way that is truly inspiring!
Suno is a brand that likes to interpret print in a textural way. For Pre-fall 2015, hand loomed textiles were used as panels on the front of garments which called to mind our favorite vintage Kilim rugs.
– bekah hilleson & mollye pooton
So you’ve got a decent body of work and you are wondering how to get it out there. Should you work independently as a freelancer? If so, how do you find clients? Is it best to work for another more established print studio and if so, how do you approach them? Or perhaps simply finding a good job in-house is your goal. What are the pros and cons to each approach and how do they work?
Of course the first thing you need for any of these tracks is a great online portfolio. These days, there are plenty of sites that offer attractive templates such as Squarespace and WordPress. Put your best work up and include a great description of your experience, whether you’ve done client work or just work for yourself. A brief description of your process and what inspires you is always great to see too.
Many companies are looking to hire entry level designers so it’s ok not to have a lot of experience as long as your work shows what the company is looking for–usually a cross between unique and commercially viable and of course work somewhat relevant to that company. For interviews to on-site jobs, a great resumé is important as well. You can learn a lot about the industry by working for a company that uses a lot of print. The drawback to being an in-house designer is less creative expression and a more structured environment. Also you are very focused on one brand and perhaps not exploring enough options. It’s a matter of temperament though. Working on site may be just your thing.
Or perhaps you are looking to work for yourself. Working as a freelancer has its’ perks–flexible work hours, freedom to choose the kind of work you pursue and not having to answer to a boss. But you also have to like working alone, be self motivated and handle the many tasks surrounding having your own business–accounting, marketing etc. If this is the route you want to take, you can work for clients and/or contribute to the collection of another print studio.
Sites like Behance, Coroflot and Carbonmade offer not just a place to host your portfolio but a community of other designers and potential clients. These are a great way to find clients. Of course online marketing on social media like Facebook and Instagram always helps too.
Working with a larger print studio is a great way to learn about what types of prints clients are looking for. Studios will typically send you mood boards to show you what they are looking for. You will then design and send them your prints. Often you can get feedback for your work from seasoned professionals and this will help you learn how to work with a client. For a list of studios, visit the websites of industry trade shows and look up their lists of exhibitors. Here is one.
For more specifics about how the print industry works and is organized, tutorials on pattern design, tips on portfolio formatting and much more, check out our revised and updated e-book Pattern Design & Beyond.
Also, comment below about what you’d like to learn about and one lucky winner will get a free copy of Pattern Design & Beyond!
With a needle as her tool, Jazmín Berakha creates elaborate embroidered abstract patterns and portraits capturing women in frozen moments. Berakha lives and works in Buenos Aires, Argentina where she adapts traditional craft techniques to expand the possibilities of textile design in contemporary art. Her images on fabric combine playful patterns which will delight the eye of any print lover. View more of her work here or pick up a piece to add to your collection here.