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Print, Pattern and Philosophy!

On 10, Jun 2013 | No Comments | In career, inspiration, my work, Print & Pattern, thank you | By Tina

Hi everyone. Last week my work was featured on  the esteemed Print & Pattern blog – the world’s no. 1 blog for surface pattern design. I was so honoured to be featured alongside all the amazing artists. I have dreamt about this moment for years and being featured made me take a little walk through memory lane!

Print & Pattern

As you may know I graduated with a degree in Interior Architecture – a creative but tough design discipline.  I loved it, but as the years progressed I realised designing an entire building from structure down to fixtures & fittings was a massive undertaking. Your concept amounted to about 10% of the design, the other 90% was trying to make your concept work. Spatial planning, ergonomics, restrictive planning regulations, feasibility studies, construction, etc all needed to fit in with your concept. There seemed to be very little creativity at the end of the day.

I had a bit of a crisis after graduation. Not only was it the start of the Recession but the building industry in Ireland had collapsed. I lost my confidence as a designer after a disastrous final year.  (I had also planned on studying Production Design for TV & Film after my degree but this course was discontinued.)

I wanted to get my design mojo back and I wanted to figure out what exactly I wanted to do.

I had always had a dream of seeing my designs on wallpaper or stationery. But it remained a dream. Surface Pattern Design was unheard of in Ireland. I had travelled and lived in other countries but I never came across the actual name for it before.

I had never thought that there was a dedicated profession for this type of design. I thought perhaps wallpaper was designed by an interior designer, stationery by a graphic designer and textiles by a fashion designer.

And then one day I heard of the Print & Pattern book, bought it and then followed the amazing Print & Pattern blog. It was a revelation to me. This is it! Surface Pattern Design. There’s a name for it!

Print & Pattern Book 1 and 2

Print & Pattern Book 1 and 2

Around this time I had started an Art & Design course. I couldn’t get full time work in Interior Architecture and my part-time work wasn’t particularly creative. I also needed to build up my confidence. My illustration tutor Eva Byrne was an amazing mentor. She encouraged and supported me, and inspired me to reach for the stars.

So I finished the course, did the Art & Business of Surface Pattern Design course (seen the ad for it on the Print & Pattern blog!) and worked away on my designs. All the while dreaming that one day I would be featured on the Print & Pattern Blog! 

Print & Pattern Blog Feature

Print & Pattern Blog Feature

I was over the moon to be featured! I was excited and honoured. Incidentally the Buzzy Bees pattern you can see above came from a papercut design I did for Eva a few years ago.

Dreaming on a Star Papercut


I finally feel like I am on the right course! Maybe I am being overly philosophical (or pompous – forgive me, if it sounds that way), but it feels like a rite of passage.

I would like to dedicate this blogpost to all my tutors and mentors that believed in me, that gave me encouragement and support, that never thought a dream was too big or too outrageous! (I’m thinking of my woodwork tutor, Danny McGeever who didn’t bat an eyelid when I wanted to make a full size throne from a kids TV programme!)

Thank you all ♡

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