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Last month, we announced the winners of our Folio Focus design brief, which challenged students to create a cushion on the theme of "the natural world."
Christine Gardner was one of our winning three artists, thanks to her confident design style and beautiful floral images. Here's her interview!
1) How long have you been an artist?
I’ve been drawing since I can remember and art and design has always been part of my further education and a constant hobby. I trained in graphic design but in the last 3 or 4 years I wanted to get back into drawing again and producing less corporate work which is how I became an ‘artist’ again.
2) How did your particular style develop? What were your influences?
My graphic, layered style has definitely come from my 12 years experience in graphic design but it’s taken time to develop as I am influenced by many artists with varying styles and techniques. I like the variety I can get from my vector style. Everything is still hand drawn on paper first as I like to keep it a bit old school still!
3) Which artists have inspired you?
I am constantly inspired by people I follow on Instagram and Pinterest and admire a huge range of diverse artists - it’s too hard to pick even a few!
4) How did you take the step to start selling your art?
I created some floral invitations for my daughter’s christening and a guest asked me to design some for her daughter. Next came thank you cards and that was it! It was nice to know that someone else liked what I was doing and that I could sell it!
5) How did you start promoting yourself?
I love Instagram and find it a great tool to get comments and feedback on things I post. I’m starting to use Pinterest now too which seems to be a good tool to promote your work.
6) What's been the biggest challenge you've had to overcome as an artist?
Having the confidence and belief in my own work. Instagram can be a huge inspiration but it can also make you start to compare yourself against others. I have learned that there is room for everyone out there. No one has your style, no two people draw the same.
7) What's the best piece of advice you could give to emerging artists, from your experience?
Believe in your abilities and practice, practice, practice! It took me years to hone my style. It didn’t happen overnight and it’s been worth the wait.
8) Why did you decide to enter the competition? How have you found the process?
I was part of the Folio Focus course with Rise, Design and Shine but I had entered a previous competition with Wraptious. I like your ethos and the opportunity you offer designers. The process was so easy once I had the design and I love the mock ups you provide - gorgeous!
9) In an ideal world, what would you be doing?
Just what I’m doing now really! I’m still new in the surface pattern design world so I have loads more to learn and lots more to produce. I just hope I can keep designing and designing until I’m old and grey!
10) What three things could you not live without?
Wacom, MacBook Pro and chocolate.