Thursday, 20 July 2017

Etsy shop find...a chat with Shannon Kirsten

I'm super happy to be able to share the beautiful designs of Shannon Kirsten with you in todays etsy interview.
I discovered Shannons signature style on instagram a while ago, but saw it in all its glory at The National Stationery Show in New York.
A talented gal in the surface pattern world, Shannon is an artist who creates the prettiest of stationery, adorned with colourful florals, hand lettering and whimsical illustrations.

Obviously she has her etsy shop full of greeting cards, enamel pins, phone cases and prints, but Shannon also has her own product line of stationery for retail and wholesale, and has done work for clients such as Hallmark, Urban Outfitters and Nordstroms.
She's also available for custom wedding invitations.

Shannon is one busy lady!

So, let's get to know a little about this creative gal shall we...

1. Can you tell us a bit about you and your background... 

I have always been interested in art and making things. 
My mom is an artist so we were always doing crafts and projects growing up. 
I went to the Art Institute of Fort Lauderdale (Florida) and majored in fashion design. 
It was there that I fell in love with illustrating and became intrigued by surface design as I learned how to make repeat patterns and such. 
In 2009 when I graduated, I opened up my Etsy shop just for fun. 
I took a freelance job with a large department store doing surface design (making repeat patterns for textiles / clothing). 
On the side, I was adding to my shop and starting to do a bit of custom wedding work. 
I took a full time job as a design director for an athletic apparel company. 
It wasn't fulfilling my creative needs, so shortly after I embarked on my own freelance adventure and never looked back. 
I began adding more work to etsy, participating in styled shoots with other creatives, 
and working for friends in order to add examples to my portfolio. 
A styled wedding shoot I had created invitations for got picked up by a notable wedding blog and I began seeing more traffic to my shop. 
Things just grew from there!

2. Tell us about a typical day for you...

I really have no typical days, ha. 
I do like to head to my studio early in the morning and start with e-mails. 
I try to blog a few times a week so some mornings I work on my posts and I like to read other blogs while I finish my coffee to get inspired. 
Some days I paint all day...sometimes for myself which ends up being new cards and prints for my stationery line and sometimes I'm painting client projects like wedding invitations. I wear many hats so somedays I have to keep up on the business stuff like accounting, managing wholesale orders, etc. 
I love that everyday is a little different due to the large amount and variety of projects I have.

3. Can you give us an insight into your creative process?

I keep a notebook of ideas, it's a variety of wording I want to use for greeting cards and little sketches of things I've seen and loved. 
I take lots of photos on my phone when I'm out and about as well. 
If I'm working on a client project we start with a moodboard to determine the vibe and colours. 
Everything I do starts as a hand painting and I use only my hand writing for wording! 
After I paint, I scan and clean up my designs a bit on photoshop before printing. 

4. How would you describe your work?

Whimsical, colorful, happy and quirky.

5. What’s the most popular item for sale in your etsy shop? And your personal favourite?

My current best selling greeting card is the 'You're the foxiest' 

My newest favourite item is this boho floral notepad planner
I find these to be so useful for jotting down notes. 
I use mine as a mouse pad and am always writing stuff on it.

6. What’s the most rewarding thing about being a designer/illustrator?

Being able to do what I love everyday is my biggest blessing. 
I have always loved cards since I was little...
I like knowing that my cards are floating around out there, being sent amongst friends and family to make each other smile. 
Working on weddings is also rewarding because my typical client is a fun, creative gal who loves design, they are so excited about the designing process so that makes it really fun for me being able to bring their visions to life. 

7. What are you currently passionate about or fascinated by 
and how is it inspiring your work?

I'm passionate about seeing the world. 
That has always been a constant source of inspiration for me. 
My sister is the ultimate travel buddy and we've been to some exciting places together. 
I take tons of photos when I go anywhere and love drawing from the colors, architecture, and cultural of new places. 
I am fascinated by the large amount of amazing, talented female entrepreneurs who are making their own way...between gals I've come across on social media and my own group of friends with businesses, it keeps me super motivated and inspired.

8. What books/ magazines are currently on your coffee table?

I read Vogue, Elle, Frankie, and Flow every month!

9. Where do you work? Describe your studio/work area...

My studio is in the downtown area of our small-ish town. 
It's in an old building with an adorable courtyard in the middle of several offices. Everything is all white with the exception of my colorful illustrations on the wall, above the table where I paint. 
I have two adjoining offices; one side I work on my computer and painting and the other side is mostly my storage and inventory with an area for packaging orders that are ready to ship. 

10. What art do you have on your wall?

In my studio, I have a random assortment of my past work and projects that are in progress with pages from magazines and little things I've collected that I enjoy looking at. At home, I have a lot of photography from my travels, a couple animal prints of Becca Stradlander that are just the cutest, and a big print of one of Emily Jeffords paintings – her work is so soft and calming, those are among my favorites.

11. What makes you laugh?

My friends make me laugh the hardest. 
I love my band of weirdos and fellow creatives, most of whom I've been friends with since elementary school (going on 20 years with some of them). 
When we can all get together it's constant story telling and loud laughter. 
I also have three goofy pets that entertain me on a daily basis.

12. What are you working on currently? 
And any big plans for the remainder of 2017?

I always have wedding clients that I'm working with. 
I just finished a project with Shutterfly that was fun and different for me. 
I designed a collection for Hallmark last year that got released this month so I've been having fun styling some photos of them for a social media (and also seeing them pop up in my grocery store!). 
I have a big collaboration for the end of the year, it's still a secret so I can't disclose much but this will be very big and exciting for me! 

(all images above © Shannon Kirsten Studio)

A huge thank you to Shannon for giving us an insight into her world.
If you'd like to follow her on social media, click below...

instagram | website | etsy | pinterest | twitter

x x x


Tuesday, 18 July 2017

Colour crush...

Todays colour crush post is a little celebration for green.
I love the combo of mint, lime, teals and grass greens with the pinks, blues and oranges.
Super summery!

(clockwise from top left)

1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 

x x x


Friday, 14 July 2017

Moodboard...Happy Swimmers!

With the lovely warm summer months upon us, it's no surprise there's a lot of happy little swimmers making a splash in print and pattern trends.
Kate Pugsleys' swimming ladies (1) look particularly pleased with themselves, but who wouldn't, wearing snazzy cozzies like that!
I've got my eye on that mustard polka dot one.

Let's head to the lido...

1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6

x x x


Wednesday, 12 July 2017

Five creatives to follow on instagram...

Here's another five fabulous creative folk to follow along with on instagram.
Be sure to check out their accounts and hit that 'follow' button!
If you missed the last little round up, see it here.

x x x


Monday, 10 July 2017

Creative Quarters... Brittany Bucknall

The next designer to be featured in Creative Quarters is Brittany Bucknall.

Brittany has recently graduated from Leeds College of Art studying a (BA Hons) Degree in Printed Textiles and Surface Pattern Design. 
She would refer to herself as an illustrator as well as a surface pattern designer as she loves to create characters and include narratives within her design. 
She loves to draw with a story behind her drawing; which she usually achieves by sketching what she sees on her country walks. 
She focuses on producing great quality work by creating fun, playful and naive designs which her audience can connect with. 
As for process, she is interested in both hand and digital processes, 
and would describe her style as simplistic, graphic, bold, playful but also elegant and quirky.

Her current practice is within creating patterns and illustrations for various surfaces. 
Her portfolio mainly demonstrates designs which are aimed for both the interiors and greetings industry, and she has built up a strong technical knowledge of using Adobe softwares such as Photoshop, Illustrator and In-Design. 
Brittany also has a good knowledge of other printing techniques such as screen printing, mono printing, lino cutting/printing and etching. 
Other skills she possesses are embellishment, embroidery, sewing, flocking and foiling by both hand and machine.

Recently, she has launched her first website and she is working on creating products to be sold on her etsy account where she will soon be selling bespoke and personalised greeting cards, art prints and interior goods. 

Brittany works from her home based studio in Leeds where she spends most of her days playing around with collaging, lino cutting and drawing. 
She loves the use of pastels and brights in combination with each other in her colour palette. 
She is hugely inspired by bold, simplistic and graphic shapes like that seen in traditional Scandinavian design.

In her spare time Brittany loves keeping fit, cooking, baking, reading and day trips out visiting quaint villages. 

She would love the opportunity to collaborate with others and also take on any freelance opportunities. 

To get in touch with her you can email her direct at or you can find her on instagram: @brittanyprints 

- - - - - - - - - - - - 

I hope you've enjoyed reading a little about Brittany,
and seeing a selection of her work.

To get in touch with her, please visit her website for details or click the email address above.

If you missed the last Creative Quarters post featuring Hannah Rampley, you can read it here.

And don't forget, if you'd like to be featured, 
please send examples of your work with links to website portfolios, 
and some info about you and your background, etc... 
to Louise at 
Look forward to hearing from you!

x x x


Friday, 7 July 2017

Inspired by... Cathy Nordstrom

Cathy Nordstrom is a surface pattern designer based in Stockholm.
I'm sure anyone interested in beautiful florals, wonderful colour palettes and just gorgeous prints will already follow her on social media.
If not, be sure to do so here...

Inspired by the natural world around her, as well as vintage wallpaper and fabric, Cathy creates wonderful modern florals, patterns and conversational that have been used by clients such as Ikea, Dashwood Studio, Andover Fabrics, and she also has a collection with Lilipinso.

'Provence', her third collection with Andover Fabrics can be seen here.

On her instagram, Cathy shares examples of her prints, but also her processes, so you get an insight into her working sketchbooks and some of the techniques she uses, which is lovely to see.

Below are some examples from her posts...

(all above images © Cathy Nordstrom)

x x x


Thursday, 6 July 2017

Colour crush...

Colour crush time today!

(image credits clockwise from top left)

1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 

x x x


Tuesday, 4 July 2017

Paperdolls Handmade Market...

I'm a little late to the party sharing just how wonderful the recent Paperdolls Handmade Market was.
Better late than never though right?

Held a couple of weeks ago at the Custard Factory in Digbeth, Birmingham, it was home to some pretty special designer/makers and general creative folk for the day.

The concept for The Paperdolls Market was collaboratively dreamt up by Jo Dowsett and Carolyn Carter back in 2013, with the idea of reimagining craft fairs, providing people with an alternative to mass produced high street products. 
A fantastic recipe for success in my books... a hand picked, unique selection of makers and designers all under one roof with live music and activities throughout the day...
I'm in!

Click here to see the full listing of exhibitors.

Bloom Collective had a stunning display of succulents, plants and flowers for sale, and were also running workshops to create your very own terrarium. 
Be sure to check out their instagram and look out for future workshops and 'flower drops' near you!

A new discovery for me was Copper & Solder.
I absolutely loved their homeware items; candleholders, vases, plates, letters... 
Perfectly minimal and clean for modern living, and all cleverly created with just copper and concrete.
Look out for a new collaboration coming soon with &hobbs.
Click here for a little preview.

Rosie Moss was also there with her gorgeous selection of homeware, accessories and gifts.
A printed textile designer, all of her pieces are lovingly designed, printed, sewn and finished by hand so no two pieces are the same.
FYI, I'm in love with that bunny print!

Another textile designer exhibiting was Sarah Fennell.
Hand printing bespoke fabric for interior objects, with such a distinctive look, her collection of cushions, prints and lampshades really caught your attention when you entered the market, for all the right reasons.

Essentially, I could go on... there were so many talented folk in one room; jewellery designers, ceramicists, textile designers, florists, homewares... I'm already looking forward to the next market!

Here are some more photos from the day...

(all photographs above © louise/ loveprintstudio)

x x x
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