In 2018, I decided to leave the corporate design world and start my own business called Trace of Colour. I combine my skills as a graphic designer and an artist to create bespoke surface art. All my designs start from a quick penciled sketch, then outlined and defined using markers. Whether it’s common objects, or the fauna and wonder of seasonal change, it doesn’t matter, I love the simple process of drawing. You’ll find my artwork is usually filled with detail, with strong outlines and punchy colors. Every day I go on long walks with my two dogs, and I always carry a sketch book with me – you’ll never know what you’ll see or what will pique the imagination. There’s an endless and amazing source of inspiration in this world, especially in the Australian bush. Once I’m happy with the finished image, I’ll scan it and use Photoshop to digitally enhance and create a repeat pattern. This way I can easily alter or adjust each element of the final design (color, scale and/or texture) to suit any application or product.
I have a lovely little room in my house that has become my studio, it’s decked-out with numerous bits of paraphernalia, material swatches and eclectic artwork. This is my creative space where I become completely immersed in the design process. I am not a hoarder by nature, but I don’t throw away any of my drawings and as a result, I have shelves full of sketch books. I tend to use my sketch books as others would mood boards. To me they represent a visual collage of ideas and inspiration for my creations.
I also love the history of textile design and have an extensive collection of pattern and textile books. It’s fascinating to learn about the origin of patterns - why they were created and their possible cultural connections. To me, surface art is what I would call ‘usable art’. An illustrated piece of fabric can completely alter a craft project - it can tell a story and create an heirloom or transform a room to be admired by many. I truly enjoy the process of creating something from nothing and producing unique pieces of artwork for people to treasurer. I hope you get as much enjoyment from my designs as I do creating them.