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“As far back as I can remember I’ve been interested in design and creating things. I started out being interested in spaces. I would draw floor plans for fun and envision my dream house. As I’ve gotten older it’s taken different forms, but I’ve always been interested in different aspects of design whether it’s architectural, graphic, interior or product – it’s in me. I’m happiest doing it.” — Christine Llewellyn, Christine Joy Design
I discovered Christine Llewellyn exhibiting at SURTEX, the marketplace for original art and design at the Jacob Javitz Center in New York City. At this national trade show — artists, designers and agents come together to sell and license original designs for a multitude of product end-uses including fabrics, wall and floor coverings, apparel textiles, stationery, gift wrap, toys, packaging and publishing.
I appreciate walking this aisles on the look out for new trends as well as creative reinventions of classic designs and imagery. I was specifically attracted to Llewellyn’s Caribbean influenced use of color and patterns and discovered the former marketing manager was determined to positively impact consumers lives with products featuring her unique designs…
Christine Llewellyn: My background is business. I got my MBA at the University of Michigan and was doing marketing for a large financial services company. I’ve always been really passionate about design and ultimately decided to make the switch and leave financial services and go back to school. I got my Masters of Industrial Design from Pratt Institute as well as completed The Art and Business of Surface Pattern Design course. I always wanted to marry my two interests of business and design and start my own design company and [licensing my art] is the perfect marriage of the two.
CL: My style is simple and pretty minimalist. There’s a large global influence that’s playful. I’m influenced by patterns that represent different cultures, but I try to infuse different colors, like bright colors that you might not expect in those patterns. I would say my style is clean, minimalist, modern and globally influenced.
CL: My preparation started over a year ago. Once I learned what surface pattern design was, I learned about SURTEX. In my research a lot of people who’ve exhibited before said it’s a good idea to walk the show a year before you exhibit. A lot of this show is about making connections so I spent time talking to other artists who’ve exhibited before as well as reaching out to product manufacturers beforehand. Building my portfolio was really important as well as planning what my booth would look like on the floor [to prospective licensors].
CL: I like to organize things by collections; five prints that I think work well together. I use motifs. So it could be a motif you find in nature or a geometric pattern. I kind of just mix it up so you’ll find a bunch of different collections in my portfolio that I’ve been inspired by in some way.
bndd: What are your goals?
CL: My goal would be to have my own home goods company. I’d love to see my patterns on a wide range of things from wallpaper to cushions to stationery to tabletop. I’d like to be a recognized brand. –
DISCOVER: Christine Joy Design