Where did you study and what was the course title?
Birmingham City University – Illustration with a Foundation Year - BA (Hons)
Name of your lecturer – course tutor?
Lauren Georgia Hope is a passionate illustrator based in Birmingham. She is focused on surface pattern and interested in exploring products and packaging, editorial and advertising. She also has a love of all things print and brings this element into her work in varying ways. She is co-founder of The Crafty Coven Shops, a small business that supports local artists and crafters where she also runs classes and workshops.
How did you feel about winning the Colour in Design Award – what does it mean to you.
I was so shocked, I still don’t think it’s really sunk in. I’ve always believed in myself, my work and my abilities but I’ve received some pushback from tutors over the years and I think that planted a seed of doubt in my mind. To be recognized by industry experts in this way has been the boost of confidence that I needed and I couldn’t be more grateful.
How important is colour in your work and how do you choose and narrow down colours?
Colour is super important to me as I think it’s one of the main things that draws people in. I’m a huge lover of the 70s and retro design so the warm colours associated with this have been key in my branding and recent work.
What is your main source of inspiration?
I find the most inspiration in things that mean a lot to me such as music and my spiritual beliefs. I have quite a diverse background as I’ve previously studied fashion & textiles, graphic design and fine art, I also have a love of all things printmaking so I pull different elements from all of these to inspire my work.
What makes you happiest/most fulfilled in your creative process?
Following my heart and seeing the outcome. I can definitely take constructive criticism and love receiving feedback but I think at some points you have to stay true to your gut and do what feels right to you.
Creative high point?
My creative high point would have to be a collaborative project that I completed with graphic design and music students in Level 5 at university. It’s funny because it was such a small project and I don’t think it meant much to the other students but for me it’s where everything seemed to click and I realized that creating patterns and applying it to products is where I thrived. I also have to give an honorable mention to my foundation year, it allowed me to be so experimental and free, my tutors were amazing and it definitely set me up really well for the rest of my degree.
Creative low point?
My creative low point would have to be during college. I knew even then that I wanted to do surface pattern design and after speaking with tutors they said I would be best placed in fashion & textiles. Unfortunately, I felt that unless you wanted to weave/sew/knit there wasn’t really much support so I got lost in the cracks. I still learnt many valuable skills such as screen printing, machine embroidery and garment making but it wasn’t what I wanted to do and this led to me taking a couple of years out before going to university as it really made me question everything.
Where do you want to be in 3 years’ time?
I still want to be running The Crafty Coven Shops and seeing it go from strength to strength as well as creating my own patterns and products under LGHCreates but I would also love to do some freelance illustration work for clients. The dream would be to do a part-time surface pattern design job that I can run alongside the shop but I am open to full-time work if the right thing comes along!
Please tell us about a special person during your studies/life who has really made a difference to you on your creative journey.
That would have to be my mum, we run the shop together and she really took on the bulk of it whilst I was finishing up at university and attending new designers, I wouldn’t have been able to achieve what I have without her. She’s also always encouraged me to go for what I wanted over the years and never pushed back on me wanting to do something more creative with my career which I’m so thankful for.
What is your favourite colour?
It’s hard to pick just one!! Orange, red and pink are what I will always come back to.
Image credits: Lauren Georgia Hope