If I’m honest, there has always been a frustrated product designer in me…played out as just so many aborted ventures when the desire to create the things I had lined up as concepts in my head always seeme to meet so many logistical challenges at the manufacturing stage. The last time I seriously attempted to print my designs to fabric, half a decade ago, those samples ended up in the bin as soon as they arrived….
Well, this year started with me having a bee in my bonnet to (finally) get somewhere with this ambition and, combined with some giant leaps in technology, perhaps the time had finally come for a breakthrough. Two companies (and trial runs) along the line and this project grew its sturdiest legs so far when I joined forces with a well-respected print and manufacture company, based in London. Our collaboration means that I can set to work designing, well, all sorts of things while they can do what they do best.
The start point of my design process is the backlog of all my paintings in oil (the work of over a decade as a professional artist exhibiting in traditional…and not so traditional…art galleries) and many years as a compulsive photographer in search of moments that light up into colour and radiance. Add to this an increasing desire to play with digital art and voilà, I have arrived somewhere that genuinely fills me with a renewed urge to get creating pretty-much every day. The reason this just feels so good is that I seem to have reached a cross-over point of many of my interests, plus a way of sending my artistic vision out into the world in ways that enhance the everyday life experience so much more than by just hanging what I make on a wall. This feeds a latent part of me that has been longing for creative expression – in its broadest sense, using many surfaces and modalities – since I was about eight years old messing around with bits of cardboard and fabric in my bedroom. Painting is wonderful but this….this just feels so liberating, like I am firing on all cylinders.
From rugs, cushions and curtains to silk, muslin and cashmere scarves or wraps, swim and yoga wear, beautifully crafted notebooks and journals and even designer furniture….my shop is already stuffed with products for on-demand ordering. With fast turnaround, international delivery and an amazing attention to detail since everything is handcrafted by an experienced assembly team to extremely exacting standards. These people are experts at printing to an impressive range of fabric and so the posibilities are almost endless while colours are vibrant and lasting. You can even purchase fabric and wallpaper by the metre; ideal for creative projects of your own. Just about everything you see can be customised using numerous in-store options (pick your fabric, dimensions or trim) and by getting in touch if there’s something else you need tweaking, such as colour options or scaling.
Designs range from adaptations of my paintings, as featured in this post, along with innovative use of my photography plus a growing range of designs that have been digitally created (or which use a mixture of art and photography together in new and inventive ways….) with fabric in mind. The collection is expanding daily since I feel like I have been unleashed and am awash with new ideas all the time. You can expect some of these to be featured in this space, mixed in with new artworks.
In the meantime, check out my shop at http://www.helenwhitedesigns.com.