Behind every design on Spoonflower is an independent artist—in fact, there are over 25,000 designers in the Marketplace and more joining every day. From recent up-and-comers to fan favorites, these are six designers who are making a name for themselves and are drawing us in with their talent.
Describe your design style in one sentence:
Daniela: A simple, bold graphic style often with a sense of fun.
Mia: Inspired by nature.
Uta: I love playful and whimsical icons that tell stories as much as elegant and sophisticated flowers
Rosalind: Playful and happy!
Merritt: My design style is loose, impetuous and free-flowing.
Yuan: My design style is hand-drawn, colorful, detailed, elegant with a dash of whimsy.
What is a surprising fact about yourself?
Daniela: I’m a self-taught surface designer and use a 13-year-old version of the Adobe creative suite to produce my designs. I delved into the world of surface and textile design about four years ago and happily found with my background in architecture, I had the complementary and necessary skills that it takes to produce patterns for textiles.
Mia: I’m a natural health lover, I have been reading books and incorporating a natural health routine into my life since I was a teenager. I am also a yoga instructor by the International Yoga Federation.
Uta: It’s long ago now, but altogether I spent 2 years in India. Already as a child, I was enchanted by the rich colors and the many-armed goddesses.
Rosalind: I can pick things up with my shoulder blades much to the amusement of the kids who sat behind me in class when I was at school!
Merritt: I went to live in France for a year to heal from a bad break-up in my early 20’s. I didn’t know anyone, nor did I know the language, but I ended up having the time of my life, meeting some incredible people along the way, and picking up a new language.
Yuan: I have a line of handmade greeting cards and stationery products featuring tiny envelopes about an inch wide that I hand fold and glue together. I have probably folded thousands of them over the years. Lots of paper cuts. And love.
Where do you find your design inspiration?
Daniela: I love creating nostalgic designs that pay homage to the children in my family and my own childhood; architecture and design heroes; my Italian/South African/Australian heritage, and because I live in sunny Western Australia, images of summer feature strongly in my body of work. It’s a varied source pool as you can see and it’s hard for me to stick to just one subject! Once I’d figured out how to technically create a repeating pattern, I realized that the design opportunities are endless and really, nothing is off-limits.
Mia: In nature, in meditation, in ancient wisdom…In everything that makes me connect with BEAUTY.
Uta: What I love to do most is to travel and go for walks! I am inspired by folk art, the everyday life in countries I visit—it’s so amazing to be somewhere else and just absorb all the details from faces to clothing to food and sounds, and of course nature.
Rosalind: My mind is always full of ideas, it’s having the time to implement them all! The Spoonflower design challenges work well for me as they give me direction and accountability with a deadline. I live next to the sea and we also have great parks and woodland around us so nature is always a strong force for my creativity. Also wordplay and idioms, and funny conversations with my little humans.
Merritt: My first profession was in landscape architecture. I find that experience influences my work a lot. I still remember the very first day of my very first design class. My design professor crumpled up a piece of paper and threw it on the floor and then told us we would be discussing the architecture of the piece of paper he had just thrown on the floor. If I were given the same task today, I don’t think you could shut me up. We could discuss texture, proportion, pliability, how things might adhere to the paper, translucence or a million other things.
Yuan: I get inspired by insects, birds, flowers and leaves from nature, as well as buildings and houses from urban living.
Which color best expresses your personality?
Daniela: I couldn’t possibly pick just one colour as it changes from day to day (just like my mood) but I have been on a journey to embrace colour in all its unexpected combinations. I think that’s why my designs are so bold and varied.
Mia: I think the color I prefer right now is turquoise green, but it depends on the day. Preferences for color may vary depending on a lot of issues. It’s like flavour, sometimes you need sweet and other times you prefer salty.
Uta: I am a spring person and for some reason, I have painted most of my furniture in sky blue and light mint, it just makes me happy to be surrounded by joyful colours.
Rosalind: Even as an introvert, being a naturally cheery and positive person I would choose yellow! It’s also a colour that I’ve always been drawn to for interiors (you can’t miss our acid yellow front door) and since making a conscious effort to wear more colour for my kids, mustard yellow has been a staple in my wardrobe.
Merritt: I would say green best expresses my personality. I’m really into the natural world and all life’s natural wonders. I’m endlessly curious and rarely bored. There is too much to explore and know.
Yuan: All shades of blue and green because they are calming, down to earth and work well with others.
I love to see when makers turn my designs into…
Daniela: Well, anything! It never ceases to amaze me just what clever makers create with designs from the Spoonflower marketplace (not just my own). It’s really quite humbling to know that someone, somewhere in the world is creating a very thoughtful and deliberate handmade item and it’s an honour to have a design be handpicked for these special makes.
I always like to try to engage with my customers and find out what’s in store for Booboo Collective designs. Recently I’ve loved seeing my designs turned into swimsuits and activewear out of Spoonflower’s Sport Lycra.
Mia: Creations that make them feel happy.
Uta: I admire all those people who can turn fabric into something that can be used or worn! I love to see everything from home decor to clothing for women and kids.
Rosalind: Absolutely anything and everything! In my day job, I create designs for retailers around the world and when I receive my brief I know exactly which products my patterns will appear on within the shops. The joy for me with my Spoonflower patterns is that out of all of the designs available the customer has seen something in my artwork that has sparked inspiration. So much so that they are willing to spend time making something completely unique. I’m bowled over by the talents of the maker community and hope to count myself among them one day!
Merritt: Gosh, what don’t I want to see?! I love it all, but if I absolutely had to choose, I really love seeing my designs on baby gear. Bonus points if they are modeled by real-life cutie pies!
Yuan: I love to see when makers turn my designs into apparel! I love seeing my designs on anything handmade but especially on clothing.
What advice would you give to new designers?
Daniela: Engage with the wonderful worldwide Spoonflower community—designers and makers alike. Also, take part in the Weekly Design Challenges if you have the time. In making the decision to submit to as many design challenges as possible, it made me develop an artistic voice and a quick way of working. And although my designs don’t often feature in the top voted entries, certain designs have gotten more exposure with the maker community. If you’re at all thinking of creating your own designs, the Spoonflower challenges prompts are a good place to start.
Mia: Keep trying, keep feeling love when you create and never surrender.
Uta: I have participated in many of the weekly challenges, it’s fun and a great inspiration to work on subjects one wouldn’t have come across if not for the challenges. It’s always good to try something new and to experiment.
Rosalind: If your motivation is to sell, I would try to think about the end user during your design process, who might that person be and what would they use the design for. It will help to influence your colour choices and scale. Also, think about your interests—it’s a good way to find a niche in the market, and it will always be fun for you to design for that theme and be a good seller in that area! With a few designs available in your shop, you can start to look at the sweet spot between the patterns you like to design and the ones that buyers respond to the most.
Merritt: It is hard to put yourself out there, but do it. Don’t look back. Keep exploring. Be patient. Do yo’ thang!
Yuan: Don’t overthink about concepts and just do it! Sometimes I spend so much time thinking about what to draw and end up not creating anything at all. Just put your pencil to paper, styluses to screens, and draw! Getting started is the first step, a lot of times my ideas flow better when I’ve actually got something down on paper.
Get to know even more Spoonflower artists in our Designer Spotlight series!