FAQ for Students
Surface Pattern Designer Jessica Wilde, beautiful hand drawn illustration inspired by florals and nature. Based in Staffordshire UK
surface pattern designer, freelance designer, textile designer, wallpaper designer, art licensing, botanical illustration, floral illustration, biophilic design, botanical gifts
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 I often receive emails and questionnaires from students which I’m unfortunately unable to answer individually, so instead I’ve put together this useful FAQ about my business, background and handy info if you’re looking to work in the design industry.

*Also please note I’m unable to offer any work experience placements/internships in my current studio.*

I wish you all the best on your creative journey!

What’s your inspiration?

I’m a keen photographer so always have my camera with me to capture florals, botanical forms and animals. Living in Staffordshire I’m lucky to have some great countryside and woodland walks on my door step.

What’s your creative process?

 I tend mostly to work in fineliners and watercolour inks using photographs or flowers and other found things as my reference. I often work on loose sheets of paper as it helps loosen up the creative process, and also love switching from super fine detailed work to getting messy with the paints and ink. I then scan everything in and manipulate it in Adobe Photoshop and/or Illustrator, adding colour and layering up various textures.

What training have you had?

I studied Textile Design at Birmingham City University specialising in  weave, I really enjoyed the process of creating fabric and loved working with textures. I did miss drawing though and so later side stepped back to print. Recently I returned to Birmingham City University to do MA Fashion & Textile Design, this enabled me to explore the concept and inspiration behind my work in more depth, and new applications for my surface pattern.

What industry experience do you have?

I was lucky enough to have a year in industry at Monsoon Accessorize Ltd. whilst studying and undertook placements with other high street retailers and trend consultants/agencies, which all helped me understand the industry when I was first starting out. On graduation I worked as a wallpaper designer for a manufacturer for five years before going freelance. I very much value my in-house industry experience and recommend learning as much as can before taking the leap to go it alone.

Who are some of your favourite inspirational designers/brands?

Marimekko, Harlequin, Designer’s Guild, Timorous Beasties, Zandra Rhodes.

What is your normal day like?

My day normally starts by doing general admin and emails, followed by tending to any online orders that need posting out. Once the small jobs are out the way I get stuck into my design work, whether that’s client projects or new development. Working for yourself requires a lot of multitasking and a large proportion of the time spent running your own business is often on marketing, admin, book-keeping, website maintenance, managing stock, product development etc. Where possible, for creative time I block out days to focus on projects.

What advice would you give in regards to breaking into the industry?

Industry experience is incredibly valuable when first starting out, whether it’s design placements or working in a studio. Research your companies well, remember to be patient and professional when making contact!

For more industry information and further training see the links below:

Make it in Design

Make Arts the Sells

Pattern Observer

What advice do you have for someone wanting to start up a business?

Starting a business is hard work, it can take a lot of time and nurturing but it can be incredibly rewarding! For creative startups The Design Trust website has some great guides that have really helped me over the years on things like pricing, funding, marketing and lots more.

Do you have any placements available?

Unfortunately I’m unable to offer any at this time.