Since buying the 'Into The Blue' collection, we have seen a massive love for these fabrics with all of you lovely sewers snapping it up, so we thought why not chat with the lady that created such a beautiful depiction of the underwater world! Introducing Bethan Janine, an illustrator and textile designer from Sheffield, who designed the Into The Blue collection for Dashwood Studios... We asked Bethan a few questions on what inspires her, and the inspiration behind her beautiful patterns and this is what she said!
1) WHAT IS IT ABOUT BEING A SURFACE PATTERN DESIGNER & ILLUSTRATOR THAT YOU LOVE SO MUCH & WHY DID YOU BECOME ONE?
I originally studied fashion design and had a passion for drawing, pattern and colour which meant textile design was a natural progression, my first job was as a surface pattern designer which I fell in love with, I remember being so excited the first time I saw someone wearing one of my designs.
Also I find drawing really therapeutic so it’s amazing that I get to do it as my job and the flexibility of working from home has given me a better work life balance.
2) WHERE DOES YOUR LOVE FOR BEING CREATIVE COME FROM / START?
I wanted to be an artist from an early age and my family were really encouraging and creative so I got lots of art materials as presents and spent my time making art and learning new skills. My grandparents were keen gardeners and kept a wonderful wild garden with lots to explore and they taught me about flowers and nature.
3) HOW DID YOU GO ABOUT DESIGNING THE UNDERWATER PRINTS FOR 'INTO THE BLUE' COLLECTION, WAS THERE ANY PARTICULAR SOURCE MATERIAL THAT INSPIRED YOU, TO INTERPRET THE PRINTS THIS WAY?
I was thinking a lot about the increasing environmental concerns for ocean life and I wanted to explore the beauty and magic beneath the waters, with majestic whales, turtles, jellyfish and cute seahorses hiding amongst the coral with lots of added detail and patterns.
I like to watch lots of nature programmes as well as being in the outdoors as much as possible, the recent Our Planet series on Netflix was amazing.
4) WHERE DO YOU GENERALLY LOOK FOR INSPIRATION FOR YOUR DESIGNS?
A good walk in the countryside with my camera, sketchbook and Border Terrier, where I can spot wildlife, collect feathers, leaves and flowers to study at home.
Scandinavian, Japanese and mid century design have always interested me so visiting art galleries and museums are really important, the V&A is my favourite place.
But I’m also a huge movie fan and love films about the natural world, beautiful scenery and animals. Anything by Wes Anderson!
5) WHAT IS YOUR PROCESS WHEN DESIGNING A COLLECTION OF PRINTS AND WHAT IS YOUR FAVOURITE THING TO DRAW?
I start design collections with a theme and colour palette, sometimes I’ll make a mood board on Pinterest.
I’ll usually focus on the main print then work on complimentary prints to go with it.
My favourite things to draw are birds! I love the detail in the feathers.
6) WHAT MEDIA DO YOU LIKE TO DRAW OR PAINT WITH, AND WHY?
I draw everything by hand before colouring digitally, layering bold shapes of colour with line work on top, I like to use lots of detail and geometric patterns. Working on my iPad with Procreate app is great for getting my ideas down quickly and good to use on the go.
7) IS THERE A CRAFT OTHER THAN DRAWING THAT YOU ENJOY AND WHY?
Yes I like to hand sew bears and also find weaving really relaxing and satisfying, it’s another nice way to experiment with colour, pattern and texture.
Feeling inspired then check out our collection of Bethan Janine for Dashwood Studios here: