New Designers is always a highlight of my year, a chance to discover and meet some of Britain’s most innovative talent entering the design industry. I’ve thoroughly enjoyed visiting year on year since my own graduation, getting to know illustrators, textile designers, graphic artists and even the occasional interior product designer. Many of the students I’ve met have been featured on the site and have fast become associates within the design world. From the likes of lighting designer Samuel Bellamy to the interior accessories of John Hollington and the tactile work of Katie Alderson, there’s always been a bunch of talent to obsess over.
This year, I’m pleased to announce my media partnership with New Designers, celebrating the emerging talent and getting back to the basics of how and why this blog started. I’ll, of course, be covering the events over on social and selecting my own favourites, but in the meantime, I’ve also chosen some of the designers to watch in New Designers prolific One Year On showcase. There’s going to be four more shared over the coming weeks and you can find a handy discount code at the bottom of this post should you wish to attend. Don’t say that I don’t love ya.
First up on my New Designer selection is the lovely Katy Welsh, a print designer based in Bristol, with an interest in pattern and an appreciation for anything handmade. Having graduated from Leeds College of Art with a degree in Printed Textiles, Welsh has already worked with the likes of U Studio on a range as well as opening her own shop selling screen prints.
Inspired by the colour, shape and pattern of her surrounding environment, Welsh creates bold and bright designs with organic compositions. We all know I have a love for mark making and Welsh thrives in this area. Her abstract forms paired with experimental drawings of plants and pottery create a mesmerising visual experience, one that will surely attract a lot of interest at ONO Part Two. I spoke to Katy a little more about her process, dreams and picked her brain for the advice she has for others.
Can you describe what you do in one sentence?
I create art that people can fill their homes with.
Lots of new things! Some home textile products as well as some great big wall hangings.
Each project normally stems from a fleeting obsession with one particular topic, whether that be fruits of the Caribbean or the English coastline. Right now it’s all things Greco-Roman. However everything I do is temped by a few enduring influences, Matisse (obviously), the Bloomsbury group and heroes of mid century design, among others.
I have a long list, but I would have to say Marni – their clothes are amazing and their print is always flawless.
I think the best piece of advice I have been given is to push myself. It’s so easy to get complacent and that’s when things can get boring. I have found that through continuing to challenge myself, I am able to keep developing myself as a designer, especially outside the support network of university.
Don’t get upset by rejection, you never know whats around the corner.
Well they say dream big… I would LOVE to work on a collaboration with Heal’s, so if anyone with the power to make that happen and wants to get in touch, pleeeeeeease do!
To see more of Katy Welsh, pay a visit to New Designers 2017. Katy will be showcasing her work during Part Two of the exhibition, taking place at the Business Design Centre, between 5th and the 8th July. Entering its 32nd edition, the New Designers exhibition brings together design education, design consumers and the design industry to celebrate and recognise and the next generation of graduate designers.
AND NOW FOR THE DISCOUNT! With code ND508, purchase day tickets to New Designers 2017 in advance for just £10.50* instead of £16 on the door, or a VIP Tickets for unlimited access across both weeks of the show for £21* instead of £30 on the door. Book online now at https://goo.gl/FJ8S5d
*£1.50 booking fee applies per advance ticket purchase, offer expires midday 18 June 2017
For more information on Katy Welsh, visit her website: http://cargocollective.com/katywelsh