Summer is pressing on, and it has been a bit of a whirlwind in the studio. Christmas orders are being shipped out to my lovely retailers, including Paperchase and Oliver Bonas here in the UK. Keep an eye out for my cards cropping up in an outlet near you soon! It seems crazy to be thinking about designing for Christmas when there is actually sunshine outside, but it isn’t long before I will need to begin planning new Christmas ranges for 2017, to launch at Top Drawer in January, where I will be on stand Y46.
I have recently returned home from a week in beautiful Greece for my best friends wedding. Myself and a number of friends spent a week in Skiathos and it was lovely to relax and enjoy the sun, but I still had to do a bit of emailing each morning and ensure all of my shop orders were being packed and dispatched at home! We went on a boat trip one day, to the island of Skopelos (bottom picture). We stopped off at Lalaria beach on Skiathos island on the return journey, and it was just beautiful. I aren’t sure if the white pebbles affected the colour of the water but it was just stunning! We had a very happy time jumping off the boat and in to the warm sea.
A couple of weeks before I jetted off, I exhibited at home and Gift in Harrogate, and launched a new geometric range of cards. They feature the bright and quirky colour palettes that regularly feature in my work. It was lovely to catch up with some existing customers, and get some new ones too!
I have also been working on a number of freelance jobs recently, from adult colouring postcards and a new paper craft collection. I’ll share news of new collaborations once they launch. I am also excited to be going back to New York next May, to exhibit at Surtex for the second time, alongside my friend Jules, under the name The Pattern Social. I was thrilled with the reaction to my work when I debuted there this year, and you can read more about the experience here.
It’s time to go and add some of my latest cards to my Not on the High Street shop now, before finishing the day with some little geometric designs for a freelance brief!
It’s my first afternoon back in the studio following ten days in New York city. The primary reason for the trip was of course to exhibit at Surtex for the first time. I have however been lucky enough to stay for 5 days longer to visit a friend who is living in Brooklyn. I had never real spent any time off Manhattan island so it has been great to explore more of New York on this visit.
Surtex as a show had a great vibe and I think myself and Jules will be exhibiting again, under our collaborative name, The Pattern Social. We had a lot of lovely compliments on the look of our booth and fresh colour use. It also made a nice change for me to do a trade show that wasn’t focused around the wholesale of cards. The National Stationery Show (NSS) was happening at the same time in the same building however, and I was pleased to have my work on display on the Timbergram stand. As always, the stationery brand Rifle Paper Co dazzled, and their booth looked amazing.
There are some photos of our booth below. Follow @ThePatternSocial on Instagram for updates on this collaboration.
I had some lovely meals during the trip, but a highlight was eating at Rosa Mexicano, which is on 18th Street, just off Union Square. The restaurant is famous for its guacamole, which is made fresh by one of their super efficient waiters, at the table. I ended up going there three times both for lunch and later in the evening.
Delicious food at Rosa Mexicano
The View bar and restaurant on floor 48 of the Marriot Marquis hotel was a nice treat after we had taken the show down. The Around the World gin based cocktail was far too easy to drink!
View from The View!
We of course had some time to hit the shops. I was delighted to find one of my favourite illustrators Danielle Kroll had designed a shirt for Anthropologie, whose collection of both apparel and homewares was as colourful and quirky as ever. It was great to go to my first baseball game, where I saw the Mets play against the Washington Nationals. I also tried to keep up with exercising myself, and the pic below was taken on a morning run, looking across to Manhattan from Brooklyn.
I really hope to exhibit at Surtex again and look forward to seeing what comes as a result of the show over the next few months.
May is always a nice month to be a greetings card publisher as it means one thing, PG Live exhibition is happening! PG live is a greetings card specific trade show held at the Business Design Centre in Islington, London. The standard of product is high, the quality of visitors is next to none, and the social scene after show hours is not to be missed! I can’t wait to head down to the capital on Sunday and set up my stand for the show opening on Tues 10th May. I have been working on some new card designs and look forward to launching them at the show. The range is called Eclectic and features imagery inspired by all kinds of themes.
As soon as I am home from PG Live, it’s going to be a quick turnaround before heading to New York for another trade show! This time I am exhibiting at Surtex, an art licensing show held at the Javits Centre, NYC. I am so excited to be heading to New York for a work trip, and plan to get time to eat some good food, take in the sights, and of course shop whilst I am there! I am heading over with a friend, Jules McKeown, and we are exhibiting under the name, The Pattern Social. Take a look at our website to see more and check out the flyer and a couple of portfolio pieces below.
My Fiesta Fever Collection:
Pattern Clash by Jules McKeown:
I am delighted to have teamed up with top salad brand Florette, to create an illustrative yet simple design which depicts various types of salad leaves, that feature in Florette salad bags.
The illustration has been applied to a contemporary white salad bowl, which can be won by Florette customers as part of an on-pack promotion. Thousands of shoppers will have the chance to win a bowl, in the competition which runs from the 2nd to 29th May 2016.
Visit www.florettesalad.co.uk/salad-bowl-giveaway to find out more
Have a great May! Jessica x
I got back from my summer holiday just over two weeks ago. It was a mixture of full on sightseeing in Chicago, followed by three of the genuinely most relaxing days of my life. These were spent on Cape Cod, and then three more days in Boston. My friend and I had both been harbouring a desire to visit one of America’s largest cities for some time, and I am so glad we did.
We stayed in a hotel overlooking Millennium park, home to ‘The Bean’ (formally known as Cloud Gate). The park is in the east of the city and is right next to the shores of Lake Michigan. This was an excellent base point as it was right near to the loop train. This made it easy to access any area of the city that we wanted to visit. We did a lot of walking on our first day, which included The 606 – a 2.7 mile trail designed for walkers and cyclists alike. It is elevated from traffic and gives a lovely view out across the neighbourhood. It is similar to the Highline in New York, which I wrote about here.
Chicago From Above
We rounded off the day with a trip up the 108 storey building Willis Tower. The viewing area which is open to the public is on the 103rd floor, but a super quick lift means you get there in no time at all. It is the second tallest building in the USA, and offers incredible views across the city. The landscape is so flat and you can see for miles and miles. We went just before sunset. It was great to see the city lighting up as the sun went down, and ti was the perfect end to the day.
The view from Willis Tower
One area that I would recommend to anybody to visit whilst in Chicago is Andersonville. This district in the north of the city (nearest Metro stop is Berwyn) is an old Swedish settlement. There are plenty of places to shop, eat and drink. We had lunch at Hopleaf, a bar with a Belgian inspired menu and plenty of beers on offer. There was a delightful stationery store and framers called Four Sided where we both bought ourselves some souvenirs.
We spent the next couple of days wandering the Old Town, watching fireworks at Navy Pier (Wednesday’s and Saturday’s in summer) and eating lots of food. The Chicago Jazz Philharmonic Orchestra played in Millennium Park one clear warm evening, which was a lovely unexpected treat.
Jazz in Millennium Park
The highlight of Chicago for me was the architecture boat cruise which is run by the Chicago Architecture Foundation. A docent volunteer leads the tour and our guide was incredibly knowledgable. We opted for a twilight cruise so by the time the hour and a half was up, it was dark and the tall buildings lit up the sky. The particular tour is listed in the top 10 on TripAdvisor in the whole of the USA!
More Places to Dine..
No visit to Chicago is apparently complete without sampling a deep dish pizza. Lou Malnati’s was our pizzeria of choice and it didn’t disappoint. A simple margarita with a pepperoni topping was delicious and I wish we’d had time for more!
Other food highlights included a waffle breakfast at Eleven City Diner on Wabash Avenue and the liquid chocolate drink at Goddess and the Baker which has three locations across the city, including Wabash Ave.
Goddess and the Baker cake and biscuits. My friend bought the birthday one despite her birthday being in March.Apparently it was tasty!
Eleven City Diner.
Thank you Chicago (and my friend), for a wonderful 4 days in ‘the windy city’.
As I wrote in my last blog post, I love collaborating with companies on products that I wouldn’t normally manufacture myself. I was excited to hear from a contact at Comme Des Garcons late last year,with regards to a potential collaboration. Comme Des Garcons is a Japanese fashion label based in Tokyo and Paris. The company was founded by Rei Kawakubo in 1969. The Costume Institute’s Spring 2017 exhibition at the Metropolitan Museum in New York is dedicated to her. It features around 140 examples of her work from the early 1980’s to the most recent collections. The exhibition runs until September 4th 2017.
I created two pieces of artwork under the direction of Junya Watanabe. The finished garments are included in the Homme A/W 2017 collection and are on the theme of ‘happy army’.
The company had seen one of my repeat patterns featuring colourful cars, and wanted me to emulate that look for the designs to be used on their garments.
My initial sketches (some seen below), were done in pencil and ink, and mocked up in to repeat.
I went on to redraw my sketches and colour the artwork in a similar way to my car design. The end result is two statement prints that have been applied to high quality shirts for men.
I really enjoyed creating the art for this brief. Designing repeat patterns is what I love to do most. Working with such an iconic fashion brand is certainly one of my career highlights to date, and I look forward to working on more exciting and varied briefs in the future. If you’re an art director and are interested in finding out more about my designs, then head to my design portfolio page and fill in the contact form.
I worked on a freelance project last year with Bounty – an organisation that supports mums through pregnancy to the birth of their children and then to toddler and pre-school. The brief was to create designs for use on changing bags and accessories. Bounty wanted two gender neutral designs. After exploring various concepts the team opted for a 2 colour print design. The simple and contemporary geometric print has been applied to high quality textile products and can be bought from their website now
I love working on freelance briefs for companies who apply my art to products that I am not manufacturing myself. There are some images of the final products below.