The answer is 13. THIRTEEN SLEEPS! It’s been a while since I’ve written a post — forgive me — but I’ve been completely absorbed in my Surtex preparations and all of the many facets of it, and I’m so excited for the show. What an adventure! One thing that I’ve noticed about myself as I grow older, is that I’m way more organized than my mind would lead me to believe. Since I registered for the show, my mind has been a constant flurry of new pattern ideas, obsessive worries about not doing enough or working hard enough, daydreams, budget planning concerns, logistics coordination and the seemingly endless list of to-dos that must be done for the show. At points my nerves were just frazzled, and there were points when my mind had trouble entering a state of calm. It really required a lot of juggling, but looking back, with the show within reach, I can’t believe how many to-dos I’ve crossed off my list and I guess I surprised myself. While I often felt like I was in a state of chaos, I was moving forward every day and I think I’ve realized that I just might be good at this business thing after all. I can’t help but feel like planning a wedding would be a piece of cake after this boot camp. With less than two weeks to go till the show, I’m certainly filled with all sorts of emotions but if I had to select a single phrase that would capture how I’m feeling right now it would be this: BRING IT.
I’ve had some amazing support along the way, the help of my amazing friends and tons of you lovely folks cheering me along from the internet sidelines. And I’m thrilled that two of my very best friends are coming to New York with me, so I know I’ll have a good support network when I inevitably have doubts creep into my mind when I see all of the beautiful artwork unveiled by other super talented exhibitors. But everyone has something different to offer, and I’ve been so pleased to find that this community is so supportive, friendly and encouraging.
I shouldn’t have waiting so long to write a post — I feel like I could write a novel — but for now I’ll leave you with some of the patterns I’ve been working on for Surtex. And any help in getting the word out is so very, very welcome and appreciated. Thanks everyone. Cross your fingers for me!
HELLO! I hope that spring is springing wherever you are and that you’re starting to feel yourself coming back to life after a long grey winter. I’ve been busy busy prepping for Surtex, which is only — gasp — 65 days away!! It’s going to be here in no time. Preparing for Surtex has really been one of the most fun projects I’ve ever been able to work on. I’ve been putting in a lot of hours but it just doesn’t feel like work because I love love love what I’m doing and I have big hopes and currently, an abundant amount of optimism, and that’s all very motivating. I feel like I’ve made it to the final of Project Runway and I’m putting together my collection… except that I will be competing for business with hundreds of other folks, but let’s focus on the positive, shall we?
After weeks of obsessing about my booth, I’ve finally put the finishing touches on the design and I’m super happy with it. I toyed with a ton of concepts, designs, themes… but in the end, I settled on something that puts my patterns first and I feel will immediately tell people what I do. And hopefully lure them in to see the rest of my work.
Getting ready for Surtex is a multi-faceted task and there will never ever be enough time to do everything I want to do, but I’m making progress. It’s a balancing act between developing new work (patterns!), planning the presentation (booth design! samples! product mockups! postcard giveaways!) and getting people interested (press kits! researching buyers! marketing! tweets! spending way too much time on linkedin! sending emails! following up! putting yourself out there!) which I think is the hardest part. But what’s the point of planning beautifully if nobody knows about it? Luckily I’ve had some really amazing folks in my corner helping me work through things. If you’re reading this, you know who you are and I’m soooo thankful!
I’ve got some new collections in the works and thought I’d share one of my faces here. I like to post quick pics of some of them on my instagram (elizabetholwenxo) and my new obsession, Vine (elizabeth olwen) — so if we’re not connected yet, add me!
Hope everyone has a fabulous weekend and thanks for reading!
Hello lovelies! It’s been a few weeks since I’ve posted, I’ve been busy preparing for Surtex, and working on fun new things that I’ve never had to do before. So everything is fresh and exciting, and truthfully at times, overwhelming… but in a good way. I feel like I’m climbing a small mountain but when I get to the top I’m going to do a little victory dance — okay, maybe it will be a big over-the-top victory dance. My top priority right now is making connections with buyers who might be attending the show, and while I feel like it requires a certain level of telepathy in trying to figure out who might be going, I’m feeling great about it and I’m making new connections all the time. I’ve also been so very lucky to connect with a few seasoned Surtex veterans who’ve given me some amazing advice. As a result, I’ve had some great interest in my work from some really great companies. Life is good!
And when all the administrative work is done, I do what I love to do, which is the point of this whole thing. I’ve been making more patterns. Thought I would share a few new ones that I’ve been working on, and there so many more in the works!
Hope you’ve all made it through February unscathed… spring is just around the corner, I can feel it!
I can’t believe it, but SURTEX is only 3 short months away. I’m in the heart of planning fun things like my booth and my promotional materials, including a promotional video.
Today is my birthday! Woot woot! I’m officially moving into a new age bracket and with everything that’s been happening lately, it really feels like I’m entering into a new chapter of my life. About 6 months ago, I was doing what I normally do, sitting at my computer and working away. And then I got an email that was a game-changer. The email was from a lovely Editor at TeNeues publishing, asking if I would be interested in licensing some of my patterns for notecards. I read the email, read it again in disbelief, read it again, and then proceeded to jump up and run laps across my apartment trying not to scream for fear that my neighbours would get worried. After composing myself, I replied a whole-hearted yes, and it’s been the sweetest 6 months of anticipation. I thought the day would never come, but the day has arrived when I can finally show the world what we did together! Ladies and gentlemen (well, mostly ladies), here they are… my In Bloom series, published by TeNeues. The cards come in a beautiful box, with a little magnet closure, and feature 4 of my floral patterns (5 of each design). It was a delight to see that they matched the backs of the cards with the patterns, which are beautiful shades of yellow, pink and peach. And, for me, an incredible exciting tidbit — the box even has my bio on the back. I’ve shown some pictures here, but if you’re interested in picking some up for yourself, you can find them through TeNeues and if you’re in Canada, through Indigo books. And hopefully lots of other places around the globe!
Now, that was the Coles Notes version of this blog post and if you care to stick with me and get a little more personal, I’m going to share a bit about how I got here. Last year was a game-changing year for me and sometimes I stop and think, how did I get here? How did I get so lucky? And I’m lucky to have people in my life that tell me I got here because I worked hard because otherwise, I’d feel like I just have a horseshoe in my pocket.
A few years ago, I was working as an art director for an ad agency, and didn’t really have a lot of creative outlets outside of that. I doodled and I made patterns for fun, but it wasn’t anything that I thought would ever take me anywhere. I wasn’t creatively fulfilled, and I felt a yearning in my belly to do something more but I didn’t even know what. It’s not like I could just make *patterns* for a living… right? Then one day I got the phone call that my dad, who’d been sick, had taken a turn for the worse and was in the hospital and that we needed to come say goodbye. He passed away few days later. It was a horrible time, but the message, to me, was loud and clear. Life is too short, do something that makes you happy.
Soon after that, my boyfriend Dave and I booked a ticket to Berlin, I quit my job, and a few months later we left for a 3-month sabbatical. And it changed my life. I wanted to see what would happen if I had some time to just explore, to do creative things, purely for fun, for myself. And soon I found myself getting up every single day and working on pattern after pattern after pattern. By the end of the 3 months, I had developed a big collection of work. And had no idea what to do with it.
It’s been two years and I can’t believe how much has changed. Things are finally starting to fall into place and I’m so thankful for it. Last week, I was in a bookstore here in Toronto, and I spotted my notecards and I literally broke down and cried. It’s been an emotional journey, fueled by a simple desire to find happiness and spend my life doing something that I truly love. This year is going to be a big one for me, especially with Surtex coming up in May, and I can’t wait to see what it has in store. I am full of hope and I’m dreaming big. A big huge thank you to all of you for having a part in that and for all of your support. It means the world to me!
It’s no secret that I adore wallpaper. Always have, always will. So as a pattern designer, it’s been an absolute dream to eventually have my patterns printed on wallpaper. So, when I started talking to Wallpapered.com this past fall about a partnership, I was absolutely over the moon and it’s been a true challenge trying to keep this on the down low. I’m thrilled to announce that it’s now official — Wallpapered.com is now offering a range of wallpapers with my patterns! Ahhhhhh! The collaboration includes a handful of wallpapers along with a few custom mural designs, as shown below. A million thank yous to Wallpapered, and a special shout out to Kat Truong, for making all of this happen! This is an absolute dream come true!
Happy Monday! Hope you all had a fabulous weekend. The weather in Toronto this weekend was UNREAL and felt just like spring at 14 degrees celcius. Spring is still months away but it was a nice break from slush. I’ll take it!
A while back, I saw this great post DesignSponge about an adorable little candy shoppe in San Francisco named Miette (check it out, it’s irresistibly lovely). And ever since I’ve had candy shoppes on my mind, so naturally I thought I’d let this be a driving force behind a new pattern series inspired by old fashioned candy shoppes where you bought candy by the scoop, vintage packaging, lollipops and bon bons. A nice mix of novelty and geometric prints, I think these patterns would look adorable for fabrics for kids clothes.
Hello all! Just wanted to share a few geometrics I’ve been working on. I’ve been looking through some old sketches and found some doodles that needed to be worked into proper patterns. And I thought it was a good opportunity to start playing around with Pantone’s 2013 colour — Emerald Green!
If you’d taken a look at the pattern work I was doing about a year ago, it would have been largely geometric… But over the past year my style has really started morphing and becoming much more organic in style. Over the past few weeks I’ve been reviewing my collections and trying to determine a plan of attack for rounding out my collections, filling voids and ensuring I have a balanced body of work on offer. What a strange turn of events to find that what I’m lacking are geometrics. Here are some folk-inspired geometrics I’ve been working on! I could see these being lovely for a baby’s room.
Happy Holidays everyone! I hope you’ve all enjoyed some time off to relax, hang out with your favourite folks and eat way more than you can normally justify! I’ve been having a really lovely holiday so far and I’m keeping this party going until the New Year, heading to Montreal for a few days.
So I have some really exciting news! I’ve been trying to keep it under wraps but am happy that I can openly share it now. A few months ago, the lovely Thomas and Estelle at Dioton, a stationery company in France, got in touch to see about licensing some of my patterns for their beautiful (and I mean, BEAUTIFUL) line of customizable stationery products, including birth announcements, thank you cards, wedding invitations and more. And I was absolutely flattered and thrilled, and I couldn’t be happier to share with you what they’ve done with my patterns. They’ve captured the essence of the illustrations with their type and graphic treatments, and absolutely taken them to the next level. I couldn’t have dreamed that they would be more beautiful!
These two birth announcements will be available beginning January 1st, with three more to come in the early part of 2013. Currently the designs are available only in french, but they’re looking to expand their offerings in the future. Check out their blog post too!
I’m very grateful for all of the amazing things that have happened in 2012 and I can’t wait to see what happens next! I wish you all the best that life can bring for 2013 and hope you’re all ringing in the new year in whatever way suits you best!