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The Whitworth Art Gallery

February 27, 2015

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Just a couple of weeks ago the Guardian declared Manchester not only to be a city with it’s cultural head screwed on but also stated that it is paving the way forward when it comes to Art and art establishments. With a 15 million pound refurbishment nearing completion, The Whitworth (who is a mere 125 year old) recently reopened it’s doors to the public. I popped along to have a look for myself and was pleasantly surprised.

It’s was strangely comforting to be greeted by fabrics at the Whitworth, as it’s a place that I associate fabrics with. It has always exhibited, and taken a great pride in promoting, Manchester’s manufacturing heritage in Textiles. A Lucienne Day design ‘Herb Antony’ from 1956 (top right) and others by Liberty & Co from around 1890 make for a harmonious display.

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‘Display’, ‘light’ and particularly ‘space’ have always been key words I’ve carried in my mind, as I’ve previously walked around exhibitions at The Whitworth. It’s always struck me as a beautifully warm environment and I was delighted to see that it hadn’t lost that intimate feel with it’s fresh refurbishment and additional new areas.

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I noticed the slightly less formal way of hanging the art too. Mixing the old with the new and somehow being a little less precious when showing tapestries next to etchings and drawn illustrations snuggling up to oil painted masters. I feel that it all makes things a little more accessible for a modern audience.

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Being situated in a park and having such huge windows, always allows the interior and exterior of spaces to meld together. Almost suggesting that mother nature is also exhibiting here lol The long glass cafe block, even extends out amongst the trees, so you can almost feel you’re having tea and cake with the birds and squirrels !

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The above photo (taken from the Whitworth website) shows the cafe stretching away into the distance.

Seeing such warm, calming interior views, for once I was thankful that I hadn’t gone to the opening, alongside the other 18,000 people who turned up !

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This marble couple don’t appear to be too bothered by their modern string bindings, and I liked the colourful reflections from this rotating glass hanging too.

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I also enjoyed Cornelia Parker’s ‘Rorschach’ (Accidental 1), showing 52 silver plated objects that have been crushed by a 250 ton industrial press and then suspended on wires just above the floor.

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Also her ‘Cold Dark Matter’ An Exploded View (1991) currently on loan from the Tate. For me the objects themselves were immaterial but the shadows and that feeling of an explosion caught and momentarily frozen in time, were amazing. Lovely to see school children in the room trying to draw sections of it too.

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And staying on the theme of explosions, or rather gunpowder, is the fabulously huge art piece by Chinese artist Cai Guo-Qiang. The process of making gunpowder drawings is extraordinary. After laying out large sheets of paper on the floor, Cai Guo-Qiang arranges gunpowder, fuses and cardboard stencils to create forms on the paper’s surface. The spontaneity of the resulting explosion, flames and fumes are controlled through the use of wooden boards, rocks and various other materials, which influence the impact of the explosions that create the final work. The landscape forms of Unmanned Nature (below) reference 14th-century Chinese ink and wash paintings, while the scale of the encircling installation parallels Monet’s Water Lilies. Serene and truly beautiful and possibly my favourite piece of the day’s visit.

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With not one but two little gift shops and a fine new range of Whitworth stationery products, you’re certain to go home with a little more than you came with. I also had a chance catch up with Simon and Angie Lewin who were there admiring the new gallery space, how’s that for timing.

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I took a stroll in the woods afterwards to gather my thoughts and be watched by the eyes of the trees.Fishinkblog 8814 The Whitworth 1

A splash of sunlight to make the raindrops on the branches shine like crystals, and perhaps, just perhaps the early feel of spring maybe in the air ! There’s always hope : ) A grand day out Gromit !

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Mid Week Mix 7

February 25, 2015

Since about 2008, I’ve been collecting images from the internet that have caught my eye. Way back then, I wasn’t so diligent in keeping records as to where images came from, or who had painted, photographed, illustrated or indeed created the artwork in the image. So I apologise in advance for their lack of referencing, but to be honest, it was purely about seeing groups of imagery together, that for whatever reason, I enjoyed.

As I have managed to amass quite a few of these ‘collaged sheets’, I thought I would share them with you, in the hope that they may also provide some inspiration to you the readers, from their shape, colour, texture or out and out randomness : )

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Do let me know your thoughts and which images catch your eye for whatever reason. Enjoy !

Fishink New Illustration 2015

February 23, 2015

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Good morning one and all. I wanted to begin first of all by wishing a very Happy Chinese New Year to all of my followers.  I hope you had a wonderful weekend of festivities and fun wherever you were.

For the past few weeks I’ve been joining in a friday evening event which ‘happens’ on twitter using the hash tag #colour_collective. It begins every saturday, when a new colour is ‘revealed’ which then becomes the colour theme for that weeks illustration.

At 7.30pm on the following friday night, everyone taking part uploads their illustrated entries and consequently likes, retweets and comments upon each others work. Depending how many artists are involved, you can sometimes see between 30 and 90 illustrations, all using that weeks colour to influence or appear their work in some way. It’s the fab idea of Penny Neville Lee and you can read alittle more about it on the Magpie That site.

It’s just a little light hearted fun, but interesting to see how your work compares to that of your contemporaries and also great to feel part of a team of illustrators who assemble online just for this event. You can also see the results on the Colour Collective Facebook page. Here’s a few of my recent ones for the colours Sap Green, Brilliant Violet, Powder Blue, Orange Lake Light and Flame Red.

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I’ve been playing around with some new brushes and combinations of hand rendered and digital artwork. It’s a fresh look for some of my work which I quite like. Any thoughts readers ?

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Subconsciously, I must be willing ‘Spring’ to be in the air, by creating these two new prints. I’m going to be offering these illustrations framed for £45 each, do let me know if you’re interested. More options on my Fishink site here.

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I’m never far from my sketchbook too.

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Here’s a potential new range of art cards, that I’m looking for a distributor for. Again let me know if you’re interested.

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I’m really enjoying my new artwork phase and finally I’m also on the look out for a new art agent, if any are reading this. : )

All suggestions welcome. Private commissions undertaken too. Please share Fishink blog with your friends and check out my range of stationery products, stamps, stickers and framed artwork here.  Many thanks.

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Carol Wyatt Animation allrounder

February 20, 2015

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Carol Wyatt is an Animation Production Designer, Art Director, Painter, Illustrator, and Graphic Designer. I contacted Carol to discover more about the fascinating world that she works in.

When did you first start working in animation and how did that come about?

I started working in animation in 1987 after graduating in Communication Design and Illustration from Otis/Parsons in Los Angeles.
At that time there were only a couple of schools training people in animation and there weren’t enough people to fill the jobs. A couple of friends from college had started working on some of the Saturday morning cartoons and called needing more artists. Mostly painting cells and doing color key. I was already working as an editorial illustrator and graphic designer and wanted to try out animation. I was hired for 3 months, a long job compared with freelance illustration! There, I met many talented artists who went on to be giants in the industry. Every new show, commercial, or title project introduced me to more talented people and opened up new opportunities where I was able to jump into new jobs. I learned the most from the original directors on the Simpsons; Wes Archer, David Silverman, Rich Moore, and Brad Bird. But, I am still learning on each job and trying new things. It’s an ongoing process.

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Founder of PINK SLIP Animation. Carol holds a BFA in Communication Design and Illustration from Otis/Parsons School of Design in Los Angeles. Owner of Carol Wyatt Illustration, a Graphic Design and Illustration Studio in business for 27 years.

What are your main likes / dislikes about life in this industry?

The best part of animation is the community of artists, technicians, writers and producers you meet on each project. We are a very tight community. When someone has cancer, the artists come together to hold fundraisers. When jobs open up, we help each other get into the best positions. Even when competing for the same jobs, we are supportive of one another.
The worst part of animation is the layoffs. The insecurity of never knowing where you will be and what you will be earning in a year from now. The industry goes up and down. There are always kids coming out of colleges ready to work more hours for less money. You have to constantly look for work.

She has a great eye for setting a scene for a cartoon animation, although I’m not sure I’d send my kid’s off to Camp Runny Rump for the summer !

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You’re illustrations are quite retro and has a feel of Disney/Mary Blair about it (if you don’t mind me saying). Do you work this way
because that is what the client wants or because it also happens to be your personal style?

My style is mostly retro. So I am hired often for that particular style or to develop something in a similar vein. My training as an illustrator helped me define what I enjoyed doing. I was strongly influenced by 60’s design, color and pattern. Ironically, I had never heard of Mary Blair until I began working in animation. Once I saw her work I was blown away and became a huge fan. I’m happy to have work where I’m asked to work from her style.

She’s worked for studios including: Starburns Industries, Greengrass, Moonscoop, W!ldbrain, Walt Disney Studios, 6 Point 2, Fox Animation, STARZ/Film Roman, Cartoon Network, Nickelodeon, Universal Studios, Klasky/Csupo, Sony, Hanna Barbera, MTV Networks, Duck Soup, Kurtz & Friends, Joe Murray Studios, need I say more !!

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These series of gouache illustrations (below) are all about ‘Foster’s Home for Imaginary Friends’ a popular cartoon in the US. I love their vintage look and with a Mary Blair / Walt Disney feel.

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I love the work for ‘Foster’s Home for Imaginary Friends’ how did this project come about and what was your initial brief?

Thank you. Foster’s was one of my favorite jobs. Some of my best work.
Mike Moon was art directing Craig McCracken’s new show, Foster’s Home for Imaginary Friends. I had worked on the Power Puff Girl movie at Cartoon Network and was looking for full time work. Mike Moon was looking for people for development and I called at exactly the right time. Mike hired me and another designer, Dave Dunnet, to develop the look. Craig and Mike had specific ideas about the house and what kind of world the imaginary friends lived in. I had about 6 weeks for development, which is unheard of now. Digital paint was still new so I brought in my gouache to paint many small comps that we ended up using for the final digital designs.

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Do you work with sketchbooks quite often or do you prefer to draw digitally nowadays?

I still love the feeling of paint on a brush, but I find it so easy to do everything on the computer. There are some really nice brushes in Photoshop. I like that I can edit and delete. Sometimes it gives you too many choices, but I find myself preferring the computer.
What is the piece of animation or work that you feel most proud of, and which cartoons gave you the most pleasure to be a part of?

I am proud that I was a part of the first seasons of The Simpsons. It was a lot of work in uncharted territory. It was a change from all of the children’s cartoons we were used to working on. There was a lot of pleasure and a ton of stress. The job I got the most pleasure from was art directing a cartoon for Disney called Nightmare Ned. My personal style was used for the nightmare sequences. There was a whole new group of exceptional artists who made the work so fun. The pitches were the best. It was before its time though and the season ended up shelved after airing once.

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I found this essay from 2013 on Carol’s website.

When I’m Unemployed
An essay by Carol Wyatt

We prefer to say “underemployed” (Is that a word?) I believe it’s use is to convince us that we are not homeless, heroine addicts, not that there’s anything wrong with that.

Just like all areas of society, there is a heirarchy of unemployed artists. Those who have been out of work for years tend to suffer the most, becoming angry and bitter, therefore making it even more difficult to get work. The middle tier consists of artists, actors, musicians, (name your entertainment profession), who have had shorter layoffs. 3 to 9 months. The top tier consists of those who manage freelance jobs that provide a tiny income and keep the artist semi-confident in between full time work.

When I am unemployed (I use that word because I am a realist), I get to spend more time with my kids and get our home life organized. It is wonderful for a couple of weeks, helping with homerwork (oops, Freudian Simpsons slip), hearing the latest teenage gossip in the car, and taking my kids on excursions. Free, of course.

And then,….the anxiety begins. Money…Where will it come from?! My 6 year old says, “Just go to the money store Mom.”

I walk the malls, the small town of Montrose, watch crazy holiday shoppers and angry working parents rushing from place to place. Sales, sales everywhere, but not a dollar to spend. The artist in me loves the people watching. I could sketch all day. I am now up on the fashion trends and “What Does the Fox Say” videos. The new high heel, wedge, spiked, with mesh detailed shoes are to die for. They are definitely more confused than I. They make me feel slightly superior, if a shoe can do that.

The joy of spending time with the kids is always overshadowed by the uncertain anxiety of my future. But, kids remind me to keep it simple. Their needs are immediate and important. Always a good distraction.

And then, the competitive artist begins playing tricks on my mind. I’m not drawing enough. I’m not producing enough new work. I need to make a new website, fix my blog, have 20 coffees and 50 lunches with work associates. I suck, and I’m a complete fraud, so I’m told, by my wonderfully positive, creative brain. Maybe I could start a new business crafting… I can learn how to knit, and quilt, and use a flame torch on metals.  I can do it! That’s what I say to myself.

That is usually when I receive an email or call from a friend telling me how much they love my work. They ask if I’m still painting awesome paintings and working on fun shows. And I’m back to stomping the pavement. Calling people I’ve never met, taking tests, for studios I’ve art directed for. “Dance monkey, dance!” A co worker jokingly said to me at the end of our last job. We joke about it, but it’s true. We always have to jump through newer, more difficult hoops.

But honestly, this is the best job in the world. Telling stories drawing and painting every day with the most talented people in the world. There is nothing else like it and I’m lucky to be included. And I promise to stop beginning sentences with “and” and “but”.

It seems even the most creative and successful of us still have doubts and misgivings, a useful lesson for us all.

Who’s work (in your industry or otherwise) do you find inspirational and why?

Milton Glaser, Saul Bass, Mary Blair, Eyvind Earle, John Hubley, and many others. So many people I work with today are inspiring. Anyone who is a great visual storyteller including great live action filmmakers, inspire me. I have to change styles often and learn new trends, so it helps to see a variety of styles for inspiration.

Is there any advice that you could offer budding artists who are hoping to get into the animation industry?

It’s probably the same advice they get in school. Develop a tough exterior because there will be rejection. Learn how to work with all kinds of people and do your best work regardless of difficult circumstances. It’s a very competitive business and don’t give up. Treat PA’s with respect. They will be your producers one day.

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You can see more of Carol’s amazing work on her flickr site here or over on Carol’s Couch. Many thanks Carol for taking the time to inform and enlighten us regarding your enthralling work. Most appreciated.

If you enjoyed this post you’ll probably also like these one’s about Joey ChouScott Wills and Eyvind Earle.

Mid Week Mix 6

February 18, 2015

Since about 2008, I’ve been collecting images from the internet that have caught my eye. Way back then, I wasn’t so diligent in keeping records as to where images came from, or who had painted, photographed, illustrated or indeed created the artwork in the image. So I apologise in advance for their lack of referencing, but to be honest, it was purely about seeing groups of imagery together, that for whatever reason, I enjoyed.

As I have managed to amass quite a few of these ‘collaged sheets’, I thought I would share them with you, in the hope that they may also provide some inspiration to you the readers, from their shape, colour, texture or out and out randomness : )

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Do let me know your thoughts and which images catch your eye for whatever reason. Enjoy !

Mark Rowney Flights into leather engraving

February 16, 2015

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Mark Rowney was born in 1962, amongst the hayfields and moors of Northern England. He was educated at St Martins School of Art, London, and went on to work for many publishers, creating illustrated art work for Penguin Books, the Radio Times, Homes and Gardens and various BBC publications. He moved to New York and lived in very small apartments, producing work for the New York Times, Time Magazine and Travel and Leisure. There he became interested in leather work and started producing products for the fashion designer Paul Smith.

His paintings reveal his love of nature and the countryside, living now in the lovely Durham dales back in the UK. I was intrigued to discover more about this work and his love for carving leather, (which you will see more of below). So I tracked him down and he happily agreed to be featured on Fishink and tell us more.

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Mark says “I’ve been painting since I was a child. I always had a love of nature but especially the small creatures that scurried around unseen. I trained as an illustrator and worked for editorial publications and design companies, but after many years in the commercial industry I rediscovered my interest in Nature. I moved back from NY to our family farmhouse in the Durham Dales and started to paint as I had once dreamt of when I was a small boy. Imaginary adventures and semi-surreal stories of the insects, birds and plant life that surrounded me here. These diminutive creatures are so full of beauty and endeavour, its only when we come across an old nest or dew laden cobweb that we appreciated their struggle. The Painting ‘The Strange effect of light’ portrays the moment in which we see clearly how wonderful the Moths that surround us on the darkest night really are! I walk at night and I once saw the open door of a generator shed emit the light of a single bulb through the Fog. It attracted hundreds of moths, lacewings and Crane flies. A grand ariel dance. I made sketches the next day and spent the next 3 1/2 months painting the picture. ”

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How did you first get into carving on leather and would you say that this is quite a rare profession ?

In the 1970’s my parents owned and ran a Country and Western venue in the North of England and also imported many leather goods from Arizona and Texas. As a child we would go and visit the suppliers and stay on ranches and Indian Reservations. It was during these visits that I became interested in the wonderful carving on leather that I saw. It wasn’t however until I moved to NY to work as an illustrator in the 80’s that I started to carve myself. In Britain it is a very rare craft, one that was once, I suppose, quite common place, but is now relatively forgotten.

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Some of Mark’s work involves leather carving and painted illustration combined.

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What do you most like about the process ?

I love the tactile nature of working with leather. It has so many practical uses and will accept decorative and artistic design to great effect. Leather also allows one to be as creative as the tool one picks up…it marks very easily (which can be difficult sometimes) … so anything that can make an interesting mark can be used. It’s immensely satisfying to start a project with a piece of raw hide and end up with an elaborately carved journal, pouch or sculptural piece.

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Which other designers / artists work do you most admire and why ?

Wow there are so many….Working in so many fields of artistic and creative endeavour. I tend to like individual pieces of work rather than an artist completely. However I love the paintings of Stanley Spencer, the Films of Michael Powell, the photos of James Ravillious (Eric Ravillious’s Son). Also the designs of William Morris, the cartoons of Tex Avery, the illustrative simplicity of the ‘Ladybird’ artist John Leigh Pemberton and the sublime wood carving of Grinling Gibbons. I could list thousands of individual pieces of work that have inspired me, but I guess that I love the profound, Hans Holbeins, ‘The Body of the dead Christ’ and the humorist, Ronald Searle. Most of all, I love work that best exposes the individual and their need to create something memorable and lasting.

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What first gave you the idea of incorporating painting onto the carvings too ?

For me it was an natural progression. I love painting and also leather carving. It seemed the right thing to do. Most of the great crafts, incorporate a wide range of talents. I did however realise that most leather work I was seeing, relied heavily on the purely decorative. I wanted to create pictures and small stories. At first, I tried this idea out by carving mounts or borders in leather around my paintings, so they became a part of the image. I then carried the painting onto the mount and saw the possibilities for a different kind of leather work.

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Do you have any plans for new items to add to your range of products this year ?

Yes…I always make plans for new work. I will be making a range of completely useless leather cutlery for my own amusement ! On a more serious level I would like to move into a more ‘Interior-based’ set of products. I am working on interesting lighting sconce’s and what I call ‘Story Doors’, in which the wooden panels of doors, will be replaced by carved, leather panels, each depicting an ‘image-frame’ of a simple story. I would also like to work on some ‘time’ pieces as well

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To give you an idea of the work involved, I asked Mark to describe the process.

” Each Journal cover I make/carve is unique. I start by making a small drawing of the design, I then cut out the leather for the cover and the inside inserts. The leather is then soaked in water and I start to ‘draw up’ the design on the damp leather. Once the design is drawn I use a ‘Swivel Knife’ to cut or make a ‘plough line’ around the design. After which I then hammer down along the cut line with a ‘Beveller’, ( much like taking a 1/4″ for a ten mile walk). This creates the raised effect of the design. Once completed I then mark the leather with all and any tools that make an interesting imprint. I then paint all the background inks and cover with a protective coat. When dry I start painting ( I mix my own colours with acrylics and inks) all the detail of the birds or butterflies … another protective coat. I then start on all the un-carved spaces, mixing the main background colour of the journal and painting with tiny brushes. Another protective coat. At this point I work on soft surfaces as I don’t want the journal marked. The individual pieces are then hole punched, ready for stitching. A final protective coat is applied and once dried the journal is named, numbered, catalogued and placed in its presentation box. An A4 Journal can take upwards of 120 hours to complete ! ”

Wow how impressive ! There is such a beauty and delicacy to these pieces, that I’m imagining what a steady hand and the amount of patient hours of work that go into each piece. You can purchase a print or an original book cover over on Mark’s Etsy site and discover more about his nature inspired work, here on his Blog.

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Many thanks Mark, for sharing your secrets and passions about your rare and beautiful craft with us.

Nancy Wolff Designer for the young at heart

February 13, 2015

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Nancy Wolff graduated from Skidmore College in the USA, where she studied fine art and majored in painting, she now designs textiles and lives in New York City. Apart from her own business, Nancy has established ‘Loboloup’ where she creates wallpapers, cushions and fabric. She has also designed several fabric collections for Kokka. One of their distributors is Nunoya Textiles, a Japanese company who sells fabrics online and from their shop in Barcelona. I caught up with Nancy last week, to ask a few questions about her role as a designer.

When and why did you first start to design in repeat ?

My first job right out of college was at a textile company. I was a fine arts major and my job seeking portfolio only served to show I had no real marketable skills. It was a miracle they let me in the door, and why they hired me, remains a mystery. I got hooked on pattern by the end of week one.  A few months in, I started creating my own designs at night, with the idea of freelancing once I had a suitably sized portfolio. Oddly enough, I never did the actual repeat when I had a bona fide job. It was someone else’s responsibility to put my faux repeat into a repeat that worked. Once I was out on my own, I had to buy a how-to book and teach myself. I love designing in repeat. It’s a wonderfully complicated puzzle. You start out with a general idea, weave together the various elements until a form takes shape, and eventually all the pieces fit. Now that I’m designing wallpaper, the challenge is considering not only how the pattern looks repeated a few times, but how it will look repeated over and over on several walls.

Let’s start with these fifties inspired geometric designs.

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With regards to modern textile design, what styles/elements do you see becoming more popular in the next couple of years ?

I think it’s the approach a designer takes that makes a style relevant. I take notice of forecasts about color and style, but try not to get too caught up. When designing for home furnishings, you have to take into account that your customer has to live with the choices they make for more than one season. If you’re continually creating new designs, and keeping up with what’s going on in your field, you automatically get a sense of what looks fresh and what feels stale.

What part of your job gives you the most / least pleasure and why ?

I love that I’ve picked up a lot of skills over the years and can rely on myself to get things done. I function as designer, painter, photoshopper, colorist, contract negotiator, and agent. It’s also what I hate the most. The creative side of my brain is often at odds with the business side.

Some cool and very stylish florals.

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Nancy is also the author and illustrator of two children’s books, Tallulah In The Kitchen and It’s Time For School With Tallulah, both published by Henry Holt. In addition, she illustrated This Little Piggy’s Book of Manners, by Kathryn Madeline Allen. Her work has also appeared in numerous magazines.

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Your children’s characters are both fresh and quirky. What inspires you design-wise to maintain that fun side to your work ?

The characters inspire me. I start out drawing the general form of whatever animal I’ve picked for a new character, then deconstruct it into various components — snout, ears, etc., and piece it back together, weaving in pattern and collage elements. It’s probably the same puzzle thing that draws me to repeats. Somewhere in the middle of the process, a personality reveals itself and I just go with it. It’s a happy undertaking.

Which other artists work do you most admire ?

I was a kid in the sixties, and it’s a hard decade to shake. I’m drawn to clean lines, pops of color, text, and lots of pattern and texture. At this moment in time, I’d say I’m influenced by the work of Stuart Davis, Alexander Girard, and Sonia Delaunay. I also appreciate the playfulness found in the work of Saul Steinburg and Maira Kalman.

Most of all, I love her cheeky characters.

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The Penguins, Dachshunds and Forest Folk are fabulous … such expressions !

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Boats and planes never fail to please and these newspapery elephants … Wow !

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A little magic and we’re off to the Circus !

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Do you have plans for more products that you would like to create designs for ?

I always have plans. I’m co-founder and do all the designing at Loboloup. We started out with hand-screened wallpaper and recently added pillows and fabric to the mix. Lately, I’m obsessed with the idea of making rugs. The various textures and effects that can be achieved using wool, silk and other yarns are amazing. I’ve been working on a collection of designs and although I still haven’t figured out a way to make it happen, it would be a thrill to see this dream realized one day.

Loboloup is a design company Nancy founded with her niece, specialising in fun and funky patterns for the modern family. By combining pattern, texture, and typography in a fresh and edgy manner. Designed by Nancy Wolff in New York City, Loboloup is committed to creating child and eco-friendly products. It’s unique and bold designs are painted by hand then silk-screened using water-based inks and sustainable paper. Loboloup is committed to bringing the highest standards of design and patterns to interior environments.

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Anything else that you would like to say to inspire or encourage people who want to draw repeat designs ?

The only advice I can offer is what works for me. Sit down and design. One design inspires the idea for the next, and so on. Design in groups and color stories. Build collections around ideas. Doodle a lot. I’m not a big sketchbook person, because I’m less apt to commit the thread of an idea to paper if I know there’s a degree of permanence. I scribble and scratch whatever comes to mind for my eyes only, then save the scraps that have potential for further examination on days when ideas aren’t forthcoming. Take some risks and do whatever it takes to get your work noticed. Above all, have fun. If you enjoy what you’re doing, it will show in your work.

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Which shows would you recommend attending either to view or exhibit at ?

Exhibiting is a great way to get your work noticed by the right people, especially when you’re just starting out. I’ve exhibited at Surtex, The Licensing Show (when it was in NYC), and ICFF (International Contemporary Furniture Show). Surtex is good for making connections in the fabric, stationery and giftware industry. If you have characters, The Licensing Show is worth considering. ICFF is the right show if you have product (e.g., furniture, lighting, floor or wall coverings) you’d like to get in front of interior designers, architects and retailers. Surtex, ICFF and the Stationery show take place at the same time and in the same venue, so you can participate in one show and get a feel for the others, or just walk all three.

Nancy’s clients include Acme Studios, Barnes and Noble, Galison, Great Arrow Graphics, Klutz Press, Kokka, Mattel, Nickelodeon, Oopsy Daisy, Peaceable Kingdom Press, Pleasant Company, Robert Kauffman, Santa Cruz Organics and UNICEF.

Such a stylish mix of lovely artwork here. Many thanks to Nancy for letting me share them with you and for taking the time out of her busy schedule to answer my questions. Now … who feels inspired ?

Fishinkblog 8696 Nancy Wolff 12

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