Wittering on and on and on

We had a few days camping last week near East and West Wittering, close to Chichester. The beach at the Witterings is huge, and one of the few sandy beaches along that stretch of the coast.

We walked round East Head, a sand dune spit on the western end of West Wittering beach. Lots of people braving the wind, and lots of nature to enjoy, including ringed plover (I think!) and the very rare Silver Spiny Digger Wasp, which we didn’t see but we did spot their burrows.

It’s a lovely area, with loads of sailing, wildlife and pretty villages, including Bosham  – picture below. There is a big area of mudflats which are exposed at low tide, and completely covered at high tide. Cars have been known to get submerged apparently! Many of the houses near the water have raised doorsteps and flood barriers in case of extra high tides.

Lots of inspiration for drawings and patterns.

The beach at East Wittering, early evening

Beautiful flower, on the walk from our campsite to the beach.

Ringed Plover, at East Head

Plover in flight

You have been warned…

Flood defences at Bosham

On the quay at Bosham


On a blog and in a mag

Fellow ABSPD student, designer and blogger Jennie-Louise Witham has featured a designer-a-day this week on her blog JLW Illustrations. Wednesday was my turn! Visit Jennie’s blog for a bit of blurb from me on my work.

Here’s a piece from Jennie’s recent collection Pretty Paradise:

Jennie-Louise Witham, Pretty Paradise

On Thursday I got a very exciting email to say that my work has been included in the first edition of brand new surface pattern magazine Moyo! I submitted some designs in July and kept my fingers crossed, so I was really chuffed that they picked my work for the launch issue.

Moyo Magazine – launched this week

Moyo was launched this week by Rachael Taylor and Beth Nicholls, who run the ABSPD course, and every quarter it will showcase new designers, offer tips and trend insights.

Here’s my page:

Moyo Magazine featuring my work

Finally for today, you can now vote for my pens & pencils design in the Spoonflower Back to School contest – see all the entries here and if you like mine the best please give me a vote!

Back to school entry for the Spoonflower competition. Now open for voting

In it to win it

When you’re starting out as a new designer, entering competitions can be a great way to get your work noticed.

Here are a few that are open right now.

Spoonflower, the US company that produce fabric to your own design, have a regular competition for their design community. Currently they are looking for back to school patterns (closing very soon) and after that it’s cheater quilts and typewriter inspired designs. Here’s my back to school design.

My Back to School entry for the Spoonflower comp.

OhhDeer.com is an online retailer of quirky gifts. Their competition is to design a cushion cover – the winners will be produced and sold in Tate Modern amongst other top quality locations! It’s open until 8 September, details online here. Here is my entry:


Supa Sofas, my entry to the OhhDeer competition.

Tigerprint, the designers of greetings cards for M&S, have a regular competition with fun briefs. This month’s is to design a pattern for 5-8 year old children that tells a story or evokes an exciting journey. Check it out on their website.

And finally, Betafashion.com produce silk scarves with designs by emerging new designers. Their current competition is to produce a design influenced by the current fashion trend of oriental motifs. Find out more here. One of my coursemates Mary Tanana won their last competition!

Decent Exposure

I’ve got my work featured in a few places online this week.

Firstly there is another showcase of work from the Art & Business of Surface Pattern Design on course creator Rachael Taylor’s blog. I am chuffed to have my work up there for the second time – the Retro Jugs & Mugs Collection.

Retro Jugs & Mugs collection (c) Anna Dent

Tigerprint, designers of greetings cards for M&S, have been accepting submissions to design a banner for their homepage. Here’s a screengrab of mine:

My Tigerprint banner as featured on their homepage (c) Anna Dent

And check out all the others here – there are quite a lot designed by my coursemates!

Finally, OhhDeer, online retailer of quirky gifts, is running a competition to design a new cushion for their range, and here’s my entry:

OhhDeer competition entry – Supa Sofas (c) Anna Dent

You can boost my chances by visiting the website and tweeting my entry.

Pattern innovation – digital printing

Digital fabric printing is taking the fashion world by storm at the moment. It gives designers the chance to produce intricate fabric designs quickly, and it can be cheaper than labour-intensive screen printing.

Designers such as Basso & Brooke, Preen and Mary Katrantzou are showing pieces with prints created by digital methods, rather like your inkjet printer at home.

Basso & Brooke and Katrantzou in particular use photographic images which are manipulated into complex, layered and rich patterns.

The Style PA flickr.com

Basso & Brooke SS12. Image: The Style PA, flickr.com. Creative Commons licence.

Image: The Style PA, flickr.com

Basso & Brooke SS12. Image The Style PA, flickr.com. Creative Commons licence

Mary Katrantzou, image Christopher Macsurak, flickr.com

Anna Dello Russo in Mary Katrantzou. Image Christopher Macsurak, flickr.com. Creative Commons licence

Mary Katrantzou, image Cyril Attias

Bag by Mary Katrantzou. Image Cyril Attias, flickr.com. Creative Commons licence

Some view this as an innovation that is helping to reinvigorate fashion – after all, how many times can military chic go in and out of style?

But for others, it’s a step too far in mechanising the fabric design process, as the skills of the artist and print-maker risk being overshadowed.

I think there’s room for both. There will always be an intrinsic value in something made by hand, by highly skilled craftspeople. And the beauty of the new digital work can’t be denied either.

Read more about Mary Katrantzou in this Daily Telegraph article. There are gorgeous pictures of Basso & Brooke patterns on their website here.

Going for Gold – Olympic day out

Had a great trip to the Olympic Park last week, on the opening weekend.

We arrived early on Sunday morning, which was great timing as it was quiet and we had time and space to enjoy the architecture, landscaping and beautiful flowers before getting into the spirit of the games with everyone else later on.

There’s some great, and some rather odd, examples of design associated with the Olympics – this page on colourlovers.com has a run down of Olympic posters from 1896 to the present day. My favourites are 1964 to 1980 – they are all really evocative of their era, and really striking pieces of design.

Here’s a few pictures from my trip to Stratford…

The swimming arena, and some of the beautiful flowers

The planting really mellows the feel of the park

The wood-clad velodrome, my favourite venue.

The velodrome and the blue sky, which didn’t last!

Ultra-modern venue in contrast with the amazing floral display

A view from the top of the Orbit – a bit vertigo-inducing but amazing views of London

You can spot patterns everywhere can’t you!

A final floral display