A sneak peek into the Global Talent Search 2014

It’s that time of  year artists everywhere are putting on their creative hat and enrolling in Lilla Rogers Global Talent Search. I enjoyed every minute of last years competition. It was the final assignment for months spent in Lillas class Make Art that Sells and a perfect way to wrap up all that I had learned during my time with her. Well,  I didn’t win. In fact I didn’t come in the top 50 either. I like to think I was hovering around 51st…

I wasn’t planning on entering this year. I love the process and brief of the competition, but my plate is full of design work and life it is just plain old busy in the summer around here. Yet, here I am!

Call it a severe case of FOMO.

What persuaded me in the end was this little video by Lilla herself and much discussion within my design community. I may have rolled my eyes a few times during the video but, as always, Lilla brings a smile to my face. She is truthful and straightforward. She makes you believe.

Follow the link here to watch on Vimeo

I made a promise to put myself out there in 2014. I am sowing seeds and, as cliche as it sounds, Lilla is on to something with her “inch by inch success is a cinch”

I am also a strong believer that no art is ever wasted. So why not?

I am not sure how I am going to approach this years top secret brief. I spent yesterday on the couch eating cookies and thinking long and hard about it all.I didn’t have an ounce of creativity within me, but my head was swirling with ideas. Unfortunately, the theme is one that has been done before  and I am feeling a little hard pressed to come up with an original idea that is all me and my style. Something fresh..


work in progress for #globaltalentsearch on {artistically afflicted blog}

A bit of research and some doodling, trying to put something together in my head and a starting point. I would like this piece to be traditional – very limited digital.

I am pulling all my tricks out of the bag for this one. Sketching, painting, cutting paper…I have to trust that it will all come together, but right now I have a little bit of everything on the go.


work in progress for #globaltalentsearch on {artistically afflicted blog}

Some  messy freehand dip pen work. My mind works best this way with no preconceived plan. Things are always pretty darn good at this point…then I add paint and it all goes a little sideways..

I think I will save my dip pen work for illustrator and some digital work. I don’t mind the end result  below – it’s not what I have in mind, but it’s all about the process of discovering what exactly it is that I have going on in my mind.

I hope that makes sense.

work in progress for #globaltalentsearch on {artistically afflicted blog}

From here I usually take elements I like and start to expand on them further.  I know what shapes and textures I like and I do love to cut and collage paper.

work in progress for #globaltalentsearch on {artistically afflicted blog}


So the lingering questions remains…

Do you stick with your style in a safe and easy way – a joyful way – do what you do best ..

OR  do you throw it all out to the wind and create way out of your comfort zone with the possibility that it may suck.

Haha..actually, that’s not funny, it’s plain old painful, disheartening and definitely discouraging.

For example..

work in progress for #globaltalentsearch on {artistically afflicted blog}


I haven’t a clue where this is going on how it even got there. It was fast and it was furious and honestly, I am a bit stuck. There is something I like about it, unfortunately I haven’t figured out what that something is!

It is this kind of work that takes me out of my comfort zone. I will finish it, but I am just not sure it will be in time to be submitted.

The clock is ticking….

Best of luck to everyone out there! This is my community. I follow and support these people and vice versa. I will be thrilled to see any one of you win!

What does your creative process look like?

I am very happy to introduce you today to Emma Hawman of Emma Frances Design. Emma is a Uk based  surface pattern designer who is super busy these days designing for Keka case, Spoonflower, Tigerprint, Quincy lampshades..She is one busy girl! Watch out for more of her!

julie hamilton designs - artistically afflicted blog

What inspires you to create?

I am honestly inspired by absolutely everything, so I don’t often need to look for inspiration as it comes to me all of the time.  I have a camera with me all of the time and am constantly taking photographs; I do get some funny looks when I’m taking photos of bizarre things though!  I love the outdoors and nature so a lot of my designs are based around these themes!

What medium do you like to create in?

You can’t beat pencil and paper, or a lovely thin fine liner, they give me such a clean and crisp sketch and that is really how all of my designs begin.  I find I have a lot of control when working with pencil on paper and it is much easier to tweak these initial drawings when I scan them in and work on them from my computer.  

julie hamilton designs, artistically afflicted blog

Tell us about your Design Process

I start off with an idea in mind, a specific flower or plant I want to create a design from.  I’ve chosen the Quaking Grass because it was such an unusual country grass and I loved the unique shapes!  I googled Quaking Grass and looked at all of the images, I don’t always do this but with plants and flowers I can’t take photographs of it is a great way to get inspiration and images to draw from.  I then use these images to draw, sketch and doodle from, here is my initial Quaking Grass drawing.

I then put this into Illustrator where I can play about with the positioning and see how it would work as a repeat.  This is a fairly easy motif to put into a repeat as it can be lined up on top of each other.

julie hamilton designs, artistically afflicted blog

After I’ve figured out how it will work in a repeating pattern I play about with the colour to find a palette I like, this can sometimes take a while!  I also think about putting other elements into the background at this stage to give the pattern some depth.

 julie hamilton designs, artistically afflicted blog

I’ll always go back to designs after a week or two and tweak it until I’m completely happy with it, but below is the finalised design (for now) and a coordinating design to go with it.  I chose to make the design with subtle colours and left the background plain as the design is a fairly fussy one on its own.  I’m sure I will go back to it and change my mind though!

julie hamilton designs, artistically afflicted blog

Quaking Grass ~ final design

Do you keep an art journal, How do you keep track of all of your ideas and inspirations?

I have that many ideas flitting through my head all of the time I can’t possibly keep track.  I do keep any pieces of patterned paper or any other cuttings and scraps and collect them all in a sketchbook that I can flick through to spark off new ideas.  I also try to write down any new ideas in a little notebook or in my phone so I don’t forget anything!

Do you work on just one design from start to finish or do you have a number of different designs on the go?

I always have about 10 different designs going at the same time.  Once I have the main pattern it is fairly easy to make up a collection from it.  If I am not happy with a design and have been working on it for a while I find it helps to move onto a different one and come back a day or two later.  I usually find when I come back to it I go about it a different way and am much happier with it once I finish.

 julie hamilton designs, artistically afflicted blog

Do you prefer to design for a brief or your own personal inspiration?

 I love them both, it is nice to have a structured brief where you have a theme you can really get stuck into.  I love the research part of doing a brief, but I also love the freedom of doing your own work and going out to take loads of photos to draw from.  I can’t choose!

julie hamilton designs, artistically afflicted blog

What time of the day are you most creative?

I’m not entirely sure, it can vary a lot.  I will have days where I get up after a great nights sleep and want to get stuck into some designing and drawing straight away.  Then other days I will be more productive after a slower morning of blogging and networking and a yummy lunch.  I’ve often had productive evenings where I’ll have a coffee and will get a few solid hours of work done.

Thank you so much Emma! Your Quaking grass pattern is  lovely and the design is so versatile. It looks lovely on the plate, but I could also imagine it on fabric, lampshades and stationary too.

To see more of Emma’s work and to keep up with her,please visit her usual hangout spots below.

Emma Frances Designs

Website – www.emmafrancesdesigns.com

Blog – www.emmafrancesdesign.blogspot.co.uk

Facebook – www.facebook.com/emmafrancesdesigns

Twitter – www.twitter.com/emmafrances22

Pinterest – www.pinterest.com/emmafrances22

It’s another beautiful, sunny week here in Whistler. The lake is calling…


Inspired by…a little friendly competition.

There is nothing like a bit of friendly competition to give you a little shove out of your comfort zone.I have discovered the process to be quite fun, if not a little nerve-wracking.  Just a little though ~ I am happy to say, I am getting use to it.

I had to enter this months Tigerprint Competition as I love black and white. I would do everything in black and white if I could (and as I write this I am thinking..well, why not!). Working with color is working out of my comfort zone!

Surface pattern design, artistically afflicted

I believe these competitions are a healthy way to get the creative juices flowing. They can help you to push past your limits, try new design ideas, experiment with motifs and colors you may not normally use, learn new digital tricks – anything to get your work to stand out in the crowd!

Competitions can also be a little bit discouraging! There were hundreds,600 or so, of entries for this one. These competitions make you realize just how many talented designers/artists are out there playing the same game.While I have not won- yet:)- I am hopeful that one day, my time will come. My design will be the right one at the right time. Until then I will continue to push along and dream. It’s all part of the dream.

You can check all the entries out here because, really, they were all very well done. Beware, it’s alot of black and white and you may start to see double after the first or second page.

And the winner is ~ tada~

surface pattern design, artistically afflicted blog

Louise Harrison of Loulalo. Absolutely love her take on stripes. Swoon…

We were very fortunate to have quite a few of our surface pattern design students in the top 25. I have to be honest, it is kind of fun to live vicariously through their victories.It is very inspiring to get a sneak peek into their process from start to finish. Their excitement and enthusiasm is felt widespread throughout our little community.

Here is their work~

surface pattern design, artistically afflicted blog

Runner up ~ Alik Arzoumanian

surface pattern design, artistically afflicted blog, emily ann studio

Runner up ~ Emily Ann Truong of Emily Ann Studio

surface pattern design, artistically afflicted blog, patternjots studio

Maike Thoma  of Patternjots

surface pattern design, artistically afflicted blog, pattern addict

Gill Eggleston of Pattern Addict

surface pattern design, artistically afflicted blog

Jennie Louise Whitham of JLWillustration

Up next ~hand drawn typography. I am very excited about this one as I have been meaning to explore it in more depth. I love to art journal and it adds the perfect personal touch to a page. I am also curious to see how it translates from my scanner to the digital world. More information can be found here on the Tigerprint Competitions blog

Enjoy the rest of your week. The snow is already flying here and slowly creeping own the mountain and into the valley.

Inspired by…a little daydreaming

It’s voting time!

When I first stumbled into this whole new world of surface pattern design no one had ever made mention of competitions. With all my activity in the world of social media, that one just seemed to slip by me. Well, now they have become a part of my weekly life. It seems that competitions are the way to go to get your work out there and seen.

I am not the competitive type.

I have been a bit slow on the uptake here, deciding instead to concentrate on developing my style, working on my website and generally learning. I still have one module left of Rachael Taylors  The Art and Business of Surface Pattern Design and its all about getting yourself seen.

Then this came along…

surface pattern design, competition, Julie Hamilton,
Design a scarf to be sold through Anthropologie and Front Row Society?How could I possibly resist the chance of a little bit of me in Anthropologie?

I just couldn’t pass this one up with a clear conscience. You have to start somewhere!

The theme – Elements – fire, wind, water, earth. We were given the mood board pictured above plus a brief description-

‘Your Element’. Earth, fire, wind, water – what’s your true nature? Are you grounded, fiery, impulsive, or rational? We can all be earthly and celestial but there is always something that stands out. Finding your passion changes everything and we want to see you in your element. Show us what’s in your heart.

A little unsure of where to start I took to my photos. They are generally a good indication of what’s closest to my heart. I have no shortage of nature shots, but I felt the ones that rang true to me were those of my time spent at the ocean or on walks in the woods here in Whistler, B.C.

surface pattern design, julie hamilton, competition, winter woods

Winter Woods ~ inspired by winter walks on sunlit days. Bursts of color amongst the white.

surface pattern design, julie hamilton, competition, dogwood branches,

Red Woods ~ inspired by the flowering dogwood dormant in winter, but still  providing beauty in a tangled web of branches.

surface pattern design, Whistler, julie hamilton, winter trees

Winters dusk ~ inspired by winter walks at dusk and the many shades of gray.

In true fashion, I may have got a little carried away. It’s highly addictive though – similar to putting the pieces of a puzzle together.

And my final piece ~ Beachglass.

surface pattern design, julie hamilton, competition, beachglass

Beachglass – small, colorful, treasures found along the shore.Water and sun glistening off them. Individual in shape, color and texture. Irresistible.

Oh goodness. There was a lot of work involved in the production of those.
I wish I could say I wear scarves, but I am more of a hat girl.

When all is said and done, it was a fantastic learning experience. I am still very new to this process. This competition gave me an opportunity to spend some quality time with my photos, cutting and pasting them around in the digital world. It was quite a bit of fun and no mess:)

If you have a moment I would love you to vote! I will try to make this as easy as possible.You can click directly on the pictures above which will take you to my voting page.Or here is a link to my face book page, which has all the links to my work. Just click  on the links there and it should take you directly to my scarves to vote. (Unfortunately they will make you create a log in – just your email address and a password – it’s never that easy:)

After that just press 5 -dont think too much-(said with a smile).I still think that some of those trees may look better on my walls then around my neck! My version of stripes:)

Thank you, thank you, thank you!

Will keep you posted. Not expecting miracles as there are some beautiful designs, but a girls gotta dream!

Enjoy the rest of your week!