Artist Interview: Charlotte Jade

Charlotte Jade

When we first spotted Charlotte Jade's beautiful work on Instagram, we were hooked. This London based pattern designer specializes in beautifully detailed, hand drawn patterns inspired from the beauty in nature; plants, foliage, flowers and animals. Her first wallpaper and cushion collection focuses predominantly on exotic birds and leaves, combined to create an array of unique patterns. 

We love this collection and are thrilled to feature her this month in our designer spotlight. Hopefully, you enjoy her patterns as much as we do! 

Can you tell us a little about yourself? My name is Charlotte, I’m 23 and I live just outside London. I graduated from Camberwell College of Arts (UAL) in July 2014, and at the beginning of 2015 I started my own business called ‘Charlotte Jade’ and it has grown from there.

How did you get started in Textiles and Surface Design? I studied illustration at university but my final year was particularly focused on making digital patterns. I had always loved print design, particularly for wallpapers and interiors, so I decided to specialize in this area. I took a short course in pattern design and my passion developed from there. For my end of year show, I created an array of patterns across a variety of products, such as silk tops, shorts, scarves cushions, wallpaper and other interiors. I thoroughly enjoyed creating these digital patterns, and seeing them be used for actual products really pushed me to want to pursue a career in print design.

What's on your agenda at the moment? I am currently working on a new collection, which I am hoping to launch early next year. (how exciting!)

What is your workspace like? I’ve got a big desk, which is normally quite organised, but it’s currently very messy! The wallpaper and fabric samples from this collection seem to have taken over, along with piles of sketches and drawings for my new set of pattern designs. My workspace is positioned with a beautiful view of the countryside, which is a great inspiration for my designs.

Charlotte Jade Pillow CollectionHow did you come up with your business name? Sadly, that’s not very exciting, it’s just my first and second name.

You have a very distinctive style of design. Can you tell us about your approach? When I have been inspired to create a pattern, I begin by studying the subject that has inspired me; be it a leaf shape, flowers, the detail in an animal’s coat… I then map out the idea for the pattern and begin to hand draw its structure. From there I scan the drawing to my computer and edit it digitally, playing around with colours and so on, before finally making it a repeating pattern. I primarily focus on creating pencil drawings, though I do also enjoy painting, which is evident in the ‘Tropical Flora’ design. I think combining the two mediums adds variety to my designs.

What inspires or influences your designs? I’m predominantly inspired by the beauty in nature; plants, foliage, flowers, animals… the wealth of variety in the natural world is endless and ever changing. In January I returned from travelling around South East Asia, where I gained a lot of inspiration for my patterns from the bright and vibrant culture I experienced. Fashion is another inspiration to me, I love keeping up to date with styles from the runway and current fashion trends.

Can you tell us about your wallpaper/fabric collection? As I mentioned earlier, I am very inspired by nature, which has heavily influenced these designs. Birds, feathers and foliage mostly inspire this collection. When it came to drawing the birds and tropical leaves, I was heavily influenced by my trip around South East Asia.

What are your top tips for incorporating bold & colorful patterns into your home? I would say it works well accompanied with subtle, plain walls. For example, having one bold and bright feature wall accompanied with plain painted walls works very well.

So… do you have any exciting plans for the future? I want to expand my business and move into a wider range of homeware products such as bedspreads, curtains and crockery.  

What items are your best sellers? ‘Wild garden’ and ‘Tropical Flora’ have been very popular wallpaper choices, along with all 4 patterns selling very well on cushions covers.

What advice would you give to an aspiring surface pattern designer? There are so many amazingly talented surface designers out there, which can be a daunting thought if you’re an aspiring designer, but I think if you’re passionate about it, you’ve got to do whatever you can to fulfil your dreams and not be put off by anything. Aim to stand out by incorporating your own personal style into your designs!

Charlotte Jade The Pattern Collective

What is your current color obsession? I really love black and white illustrations/patterns combined with really bright background colours.

What does your dream room look like? I love patterns, so it would definitely include a lot of them! However, I think minimalistic subtle walls with a striking animal or floral wallpaper on one wall, accompanied by one or two matching patterned soft furnishings would be my dream room.

What’s the most memorable place you’ve visited? The Angkor Wat temples in Cambodia! The stone carvings on the temple walls are incredible!

What social media platform do you use the most? I love Instagram! I think its brilliant for promoting your own work but also discovering so many other talented designers out there.

If you weren't a surface pattern designer, what would you have been? I think I would have gone into make-up art for film and theatre or I’d have been a weather girl, I used to be obsessed with the weather when I was younger!