It is important to me that the designs created in my studio are not only harmonious, thoughtful and refined in details, but also timeless. I believe that such projects can bring out something interesting from the material they are designed for, and enrich the product in an interesting narrative.
At the design stage, I always focus on a careful process. My pattern designs are hand-painted with watercolor or gouache. They are made in real scale on sheets of cotton paper. The traditional pattern design technique allows me to create interesting structures that only need to be scanned and prepared for printing.
I like when pattern designs do not overwhelm and dominate, especially when they are intended for interior decoration items. I appreciate when the items I choose not only come to me with beautiful stories, but can also collect them, making ordinary things irreplaceable elements of my everyday life.
With this in mind, I try to make my designs not only visually attractive, but also be carriers of beautiful stories woven into their structure. Instead of following the trends, I prefer to focus on creating a harmonious composition that will delight the recipient as much today as in a few years.
“Form must have a content, and that content must be linked with nature. We should work for simple, good, undecorated things, but things which are in harmony with the human being and organically suited to the little man in the street.” – Alvar Aalto
My favorite pattern compositions are those that consist of tiny flower and plant motifs. You can say that they fit the modern vintage or retro style, but I prefer to think that the desire to paint nature comes from the fact that it is very close to my heart and will always be associated with warm memories from my life.
Forms and colors rooted in nature are present in all my projects. However, I am aware that my work is significantly influenced by the activities of the 19th century artistic movement – Arts and Craft and William Morris’s pattern designs, and these simple and more elegant patterns are rooted in the aesthetics of Scandinavian design.
I like modernist architecture and a philosophy close to my heart was held by the Finnish designer Alvar Aalto. I find many interesting motifs in the photos of historical interiors decorated in the Gustavian style. I am inspired by the designs of contemporary interiors of Swedish houses, which follow this style all the time.
In the work of a pattern designer, I like the most this quiet time when I’m in the creative process – sketching, combining colors and painting, and then designing – building an interesting structure and enriching it with details that will be visible only to attentive recipients.
On the one hand, I can say that it is a calm and well-thought-out process, because I start collecting inspiration systematically a few days or weeks before starting work on a new project. On the other hand, I start the process when all inspirations are in the right place, and you just feel it.
I love the view of ready-made materials with the imprint of my projects – a moment of excitement before I know if the project turned out as planned and enthusiasm when it turns out that everything turned out as it should be, and I can share what I created with others.
A great passion for the practice of designing patterns meant that I have been involved in it continuously since 2015. It resulted in its own brand Merely Susan, numerous collaborations with clients and its own shop with fabrics and textiles with the imprint of my original projects.
I end the year 2021 with a collection of patterns for linen decorative fabrics. I want to share with you the result of a process that I started in late summer. Although its first effects are visible in late autumn, and the idea of creating textiles will be developed in winter, I feel that although it is a very long process, it will result in a beautiful development of my brand in the coming years.
Appreciate what cannot be obtained in mass production – imperfections resulting from handcrafted workmanship and high-quality craftsmanship. Celebrate what gives designs unique character, as well as the sincerity of the material and the simple and timeless design that will allow items to stand the test of time. – Merely Susan.
I am glad that I could take you to my studio and the world of my patterns for a while. I invite you to discover the stories that I have hidden in my projects. The new collection of linen fabrics and home textiles will be available at the turn of 2021 and 2022 at the Merely Susan Store.