I have the privilege of being used to seeing my designs on apparel and activewear (even though that great feeling never gets old), but seeing a design on stationary was a first-timer for me. The Planner Society licensed my banana leaves print for their ‘Palm Springs Kit’. I love this whole tropical-plants-on-green-vibe!
And isn’t cute seeing your own design on wash tape?
And then there is a little pouch, page flags, stickers and more. Just scroll through:
Real eye candy, the whole kit is stunningly put together. I hope scapbookers are having a whole lot of fun with it.
It’s the third year in row I am taking part in the worldwide #100dayproject. After last year’s digital explorations on the iPad I went back to paper and handmade. I chose a topic I wanted to further practice and that are an eternal classic – flowers. And I even though I love them and thought I was a flower-kind-designer, my portfolio really lacked in that category. It was also the perfect topic for spring as I could watch nature unfold and blossom during this time (April 3 – July 11).
I wanted to give myself full creative freedom – drawing, painting, photography, printing, loose, detailed, sketchy, abstracted, minimal, stylised, digital, exuberant, exotic … whatever!
I have a strong tendency towards watercolour, bur also worked with markers and pen/ink. There is some tropical days, but mostly you can see the progression of nature in spring: from magnolia to lilac to poppies and roses.
What I learned last year and learning again – one idea a day is enough and then just to sit down and work on it. I give myself half an hour – most days are faster, some are more elaborate. It is always to surprise how my daily moods affect my pages, some days are harder, but is always worth it. And another surprise – seeing them all together, it is not possible to say which were the hard days. You can follow my daily flowers over on my Instagram account @cathringressieker.
I am very honoured to be a featured designer on the Patternobserver blog in cooperation with SURTEX New York. I am utterly proud to be showing a couple of my designs with Pattern Observer Studio at Surtex in New York this May. For those of my friends and followers who would like to know a bit more about my way into textile design and why I am excited to go to Georgia in the former Soviet Union this summer, please find the link to the feature here https://patternobserver.com/blog/
As you might have guessed from my artwork, there is nothing I like designing more then tropical prints. Let me tell you a little story from my designer’s life. One day in mid-November 2016 (like Nothern Germany grey rainy cold November, actually we had had the first snow that week) I came across an e-mail that had landed in my spam folder (that I nearly deleted) titled ‘Interested in a tropical print collaboration?’ That was not a spam mail. It came from Isy Obi from Isy B. Design, a fashion designer from the Cayman Islands – could it get more tropical? Isy B. designs luxury Caribbean fashion and resortwear and Isy Obi won the title of Lifestyle Designer of the Year at Phoenix Fashion Week 2016. Can I say that I was more then interested!
Thanks to our modern world of e-mail, Skype and WeTransfer (and some good old post service to send a spool of thread in just the right colour we needed for the designs from the Cayman Islands over the pond to Germany) we communicated about the print collection, style, customer, revisions, testprints, production and, and and … (hello, steep learning curve!).
Isy B. asked me to design a ‘Mermaid Collection’ for summer 2018, consisting of 4 placement prints for kaftans and T-shirt dresses and one more abstract allover print for dresses and other garments. We agreed on seahorse, coral, seaweed and mermaid tail prints.
These are the kaftans:
And the T-shirt dresses:
The allover print is an abstracted mermaid tail with more underwater elements in a tropical colour palette:
The graphic turquoise/white seaweed print also made it unto a couple of garments for a relaxed and luxurious look:
You can see more of Isy B. Design’s fashion on their website and here is the link to her 2018 Lookbook. And I am more then happy to announce that we have officially started working on Isy B. Design’s new fashion collection for 2019.
And wow! Tennis champion Caroline Wozniacki is wearing one of our creations!
Happycloth is a recently launched Greek company producing top-quality handmade silk scarves. I coudn’t be more proud when I found out that they chose 12 designs out of 45,000 textile patterns, and two of them were mine, ‘Leopink’ and ‘Ditsy’.
What makes them furthermore special is that the company decided to sell each scarf with the story of the inspiration and process of the design and asked the artists to contribute their background stories.
The scarves are produced in the northern Greek town of Soufli and come in two sizes, 30cm square and 45cm square.
If you are looking for a Christmas present, Happycloth was so generous as to give my blog readers a 15% discount on their scarves, just use the coupon code CGBLOG upon checkout.
Here is an interesting article about the two cool Greek guys (both named Konstantinos) that started the company and sell their products on markets like London Portobello Road worldwide.
After taking a summer pause due to travelling and summer holidays I loved coming back to my #the100dayproject and creating the last patterns.
You can still see the tropical influence from my trip to Cuba and then the change of seasons from summer to early autumn (falling colourful leaves, spider webs, grey rainy days). I love how life influences art.
And here is the whole thing:
I really enjoyed this project and have achieved exactly what I wanted to learn when I started out – learn my way around on the iPad Pro which has now has become part of my design process. And I keep learning and designing and learning and evolving.
I am excited that two fresh activewear designs of mine were licenced and released on FLEO shorts in June and July.
That makes four this year and I think there is even more to come.
I like how diverse my designs are, they started out as textures painted with watercolour, photographs or even doodling on my iPad Pro. One of the most rewarding parts (except for the creative process itself) is seeing your designs come to live on real products and real people wearing them – I admit to sometimes searching #fleoshorts on Instagram to see them in action in real life. Very motivating!
It’s been already three weeks since we came back from our three weeks of travelling in Cuba. And now that everything is unpacked, the photos are downloaded, the stories have been told dozens of times and the whole travel experience has become categorized in my brain and body it is time to show some impressions on my blog too.
I wanted tropical and Caribbean and I got tropical and Caribbean 😉 and so much more, living history of communism and colonisation, extremely nice people, perfect beaches, as much delicous mango as my heart wanted, colour and fumes overload and I came back with a full sketchbook of my daily watercolour travel moods and sketches of tropical flora.
We travelled independently (my husband and our two daughters aged 5 and 10), our route was Havana-Cienfuegos-Trinidad-Santa Clara-Varadero-Matanzas-Havana. We stayed at private accomodation called ‘casas particulares’ with local families, artists, musicians and doctors.
I could write a whole book about our trip, but I will let the pictures and my husband’s photos speak.
While my husband was taking these amazing photos of Cuban life, I was more busy with photographing tropical foliage for future designs and sketches, especially I was on a mission for the perfect banana leaf.
Right after coming back home I had an outpouring of tropical designs, yes, you can take the girl out of the jungle, but you cannot take the jungle out of the girl 😉
These and more are now available for licensing via my Patternbank account.
That’s another 45 new patterns. all created on the iPad Pro:
The muse does show up, every single day! That’s what one the things I have learned during this time. I have to be dedicated also and make the time and effort to sit down and start creating. And usually one idea (sometimes just a little flicker of the mind) a day is enough to start the creative juices flowing. I have had floral explosions and quiet days. And more often then not I found myself opening one of the Adobe apps – Draw, Sketch, Capture and PhotoshopMix, which made it easy to transfer them into Photoshop and Illustrator. 26 patterns have already ben put into repeat and are now available for licensing via my Patternbank account.
These last nine designs show an increase in tropical activity I see now that I have put them together. Not intentional at all, but very forward-looking indeed, as I will be sitting on a plane tomorrow heading towards the Caribbean. Three weeks of travelling with my family and that also means digital detoxing and no iPad Pro, but a real paper sketchbook, pens and watercolours. My #the100dayproject will be pausing for a while, but I will be back with fresh energy, fuelled by new adventures, experiences, people, food, flowers, flora, colours, smells and inspiration – and a full sketchbook, camera roll and traveller’s heart.