I am delighted to announce that confessions of a design geek is the official blog for Pulse again this year, and so I will be running a series of interviews with the new designers exhibiting at LaunchPad. As anyone who’s received a copy of the Pulse Edit in the post will know, roddy&ginger are one three brands I picked as “ones to watch,” so who better to kick of the interview series with?
What’s the most important thing to know about you?
I still haven’t given up the day job, so I combine roddy&ginger with freelance graphic design and illustration, which can be a bit tricky at times!
What inspires your designs?
All my designs are inspired by something close to me, a mid-century rocking horse I found in a junk market, a welsh blanket, a book I loved as a child, a garden in Spain, a logpile – also in Spain, I like to visit it every time I am back there!
Talk me through your design process from initial idea to final product?
First I need to find time to sketch ideas, always in an A4 black sketchbook, often when I am away from London. When I am home I work them up in Illustrator and fiddle with the repeat and separations. I am self-taught on the computer so my methods are my own and probably a bit eccentric! I make my screens in a print studio and then print at home in my basement where I experiment with colours and print samples and prototypes. I hand print fabric for my cushions but my home wares and wallpaper are manufactured for me in small batches using traditional methods.
How do you overcome creative block?
I leave everything behind, put on my wellies and dig my allotment.
Describe a really good day and a really bad day in the life of roddy&ginger.
A good day – the sun is shining, I have made some new screens, I’m sampling colours and fabrics, and it’s all looking good. This is all best done at the weekend when the phone doesn’t ring mid squeegee.
A bad day – it’s raining, I have a deadline and I am staring at a computer screen all day long.
What are you most looking forward to about Pulse?
Showing new designs for the first time and meeting new people, as well catching up with friends I met when I was part of Spotted at Top Drawer in January.
What are you most proud of?
My twins Charlie and Lucy.
How do your products make people’s lives better?
My products are simple and light hearted. I hope people buy them because they like the colours and design want to add a bit of cheer when times are glum.
What advice would you give to an aspiring designer?
Spend as much as you can afford on really good product photography. I use Heather Hobhouse for my best shots and she always does a lovely job for me.
Be organised with filing and storage, both on the computer and in the studio – advice I wish I had followed, being able to find things quickly would make my life a whole lot easier.
And finally, what’s your favourite colour?!
A greeny yellow, a bluey green or a muddy pink – I can’t decide!
Further reading for the especially geeky:
Having established confessions of a design geek in 2010, Katie Treggiden has gone on to a career in design journalism, writing for titles such as The Guardian, The Telegraph, Elle Decoration, Stylist, Design Milk and Ideal Home. In 2014, she launched Fiera, an independent magazine dedicated to discovering new talent at the world’s design fairs. Her second book, Makers of East London, was published in 2015.
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