On a rainy foggy day (in the places where spring hasn't fully arrived yet), all you need to cheer you up is a colour or a pattern that brings light and fun into your environment. If you're in need for some inspiration - just look around. Nature's shapes and architectural landscapes of different cultures around the world are guaranteed to offer some of the best patterns that can be used in prints and fabrics when decorating your room. Sometimes you only need a little accent to bring your interior to life and to add a pleasant twist to your classic sofa in your living room.
My customers and friends often ask me where I get inspiration when designing pillowcases for Pillowlink. So I've decided to share some of the inspiration behind my favourite patterns, fabrics and colours of Pillowlink pillows.
I have a background in photography and I spent years looking at things and really seeing them. In fact, I always tried to see them differently, so that I can capture them and show them in a unique way. Sometimes to take a great photograph I would have to look from a different angle or use a different light, but mostly I would need to look around me and see things that are right in front of me. You'd be surprised - those simple things around you can suddenly become intricate and very interesting.
Having the pleasure of living surrounded by nature, I often draw inspiration from its wonderful patterns, shapes and colours. Having photographed nature for my artwork, I often take mental photographs of flowers and trees, or the way grass moves in the field - and go back to those images in my head when I have to make a design decision.
When selecting natural fabric for my pillow cases, I often look for warm natural colours and motives that remind me of garden flowers or exotic blossoms. I like hues of red and intricate floral motives.
For this beautiful pillow I chose to use one side of the red floral pattern print and the other side is a white natural linen and cotton blend. I love how the pattern is all intricately joined together - just like the shadows of a palm tree or tiny little leaves on a bush. I love this hue of red, it is a very refreshing colour and really stands out on a grey sofa. I have one of these in my living room and this pillow always makes me think of sunny days in a garden.
Colours and textures
When I need to clear my head and come up with new ideas, I always look up. I love watching the clouds go by and I enjoy letting my eyes wander in the blue. Looking at the sky always helps me relax and often brings great ideas. As I said, it's all about what's around you. The simple things that we're used to - when we look at them differently - give us the most precious gifts.
I love clouds. For a while I wanted to recreate the feel of light, see-through white material in pillow cases. I found that often tightly woven cotton or thicker fabrics have harshness to them and lose the airy light feel. Luckily, white natural linen looks a lot like a puffy white cloud!
The way natural linen is woven, it leaves tiny little gaps through which the light gets in and makes the fabric look slightly see through. Natural linen is very durable, crisp yet light. This particular linen fabric I selected for my white linen pillows, is also eco-friendly and 100%natural. It's also very pleasant to lean on when you collapse onto your sofa after a long day's work. It's like lying on a cloud!
Shapes all around us
For hand painted pillows, I draw inspiration from different shapes around me. Travelling helps, as it makes me see things differently and notice interesting shapes which I can later transform in pillow design.
I am fascinated by man-built objects, such as boats and yachts. They have very strong shapes, which make great recognisable prints. And the image of a boat always brings up other associations, such as a sunny day in the water, holiday, adventure - like a lovely postcard someone sent you from their trip to a far-away land.
I love a strong hand painted print, as you can probably tell! I always enjoy how the rough texture of natural linen fabric gets covered by a layer of textile paint. It's a contrast within the pillowcase - very much like a contrast of heavy metal body of a boat floating on a soft gently waving surface of the water.
I am also fascinated by objects that are very strong and elegant at the same time, such as sculptures.
Travelling to London and visiting parks there, as well as the conservatory in Barbican (one of the strangest old-school buildings over there!), inspired me to join together elegant shapes of plants and strength of the sculptural form.
I believe that our minds are amazing places where things merge, gain new interesting shapes and colours. I think we hold the key to exciting designs and artistic ideas, if we only allow our imagination take in as much as we can from around us, and if we let all of those images sit in our minds long enough to develop into something new.
We each hold a key! Mine is usually in my eyes - looking around, really seeing things and letting my imagination take new routes.
What inspires you?