Hey, Abby! Thanks so much for taking the time to have a chat with us! Could you introduce yourself to our readers and dive into how you got involved in graphic design and art?
Hey there, thank you so much for the opportunity! My name is Abby, I’m 23 years of age and live in South Devon, UK. I run my own graphic design company and clothing brand Flowers & Bones, which I started up in January 2019. I’ve always been a very creative person. I studied photography and design in college but nothing really came of it until last year. I’d been out of the loop for a while so I started making designs for fun and posting them on social media to try and generate some interest.
This paid off, and before I knew it I had dm’s full of bands looking to work with me! Things got crazy so quickly. My retail job started to get in the way of design deadlines and so with that, I quit in November of the same year and became self-employed – doing design full time. I’m very humbled that enough artists put their trust in me and allow me to live out my dream, especially this soon into my career!
What is your main motivation for working primarily with bands and within the alternative scene?
I’ve always felt very involved with the alternative music scene. From nagging my parents at a young age to drive me across the country to catch a show (or sometimes a whole tour). I knew that one day I wanted to be part of it in some way. Merchandise is a huge way for bands to generate extra income. Especially in challenging times like these where live events are put on hold. I understand as a fan what I would love to see from each band in terms of merch and put those thoughts into the designs that I make for them.
During my time as a designer, I’ve learned that the whole of the music industry is linked in some way. One thing leads to another and you never know which opportunities could be heading your way next.
Could you give us a little peek into the design process you go through to create a design for your clients?
When a new client reaches out to me, I will always take time to talk to them and grasp an understanding of what they are trying to achieve with the designs. If the client is an artist, it’s important that I listen to their music to gain an even deeper understanding of what will suit them in terms of style, and how they put themselves out there. I will usually fire a few initial design ideas over to see what they think and work on from there. I like to work closely with clients, keeping them updated each step of the way as this speeds up the process. And it helps me to really nail the designs without having to make too many adjustments.
What software do you use primarily to create your art?
The software I use most often is Photoshop, alongside other programs such as Illustrator, InDesign, or Procreate (on iPad). Sometimes just good old pen and paper. It depends on the design!
Where do you seek inspiration when creative block comes knocking at your door? Do you have any tips for other designers/creative out there that seem to work for you?
Creative block is something that definitely happens a lot more than most creatives will let on. I’ve learned to take it one day at a time. The more you stress about it, the harder it will be to get the ideas flowing again. Pinterest is a great tool to use when you feel like you’re stuck in a rut, and one of my go to’s. Another way I try to break through the block is to go outside and get some air, take my dog for a walk, and come back to my screen with a fresh mind.
Scrolling through your Instagram, your designs are super recognizable and you definitely have your own style going for you. Would you say you’ve found your style or is this an ongoing process for you?
Thank you! Finding my style is definitely an ongoing process for me. One day I can create a piece that is SO different from anything I’ve ever made before. I guess that’s the beauty of art in general though, nobody can tell you what’s right or wrong. My free time is spent watching design tutorials to enhance my skillset or sometimes just opening photoshop and letting my mind wander. That’s always fun!
Which creatives have inspired you throughout the years?
My main inspirations come from creatives such as one of my closest friends Rui Carneiro. He started his design career at pretty much the exact same time that I did. We have been through the hoops together and I owe a lot of my confidence in what I do to him. Another artist really taking graphic design and art direction to the next level is Dan Barkle (best known for his incredible work for Bring Me The Horizon). Other honorable mentions would include Garrett Hilliker and Travis Brothers for their insane approach to design for artists such as Halsey and Ariana Grande.
Now, we can’t say goodbye without talking about the new Architects long sleeves you designed. First off, congrats, they look sick! How did this opportunity arise?
Thank you so much! If you know me, you know that working with Architects was my #1 bucket list goal of all time. Honestly, I still can’t believe it happened so soon. I had been out shopping with my girlfriend and picked up my phone to see that Sam Carter had sent me a message to see if I’d be interested in working with them. At this point, I was just staring at my phone and found myself lost for words haha! Working with Sam was such an easy and chilled out process. I’ll always be grateful that they trusted me with this insane opportunity.