Interview with designer and entrepreneur, Rachael Taylor

Rachael Taylor is ‘one of a kind’ working and following her career has been an education and a joy. Optimism, risk taking and passion are some of the ingredients that has given Rachael fuel in her career so far; and even through the hard times she has strived, delivered and met any challenge that has come her way. I am extremely proud to know and have worked with such a talent as Rachael Taylor. Here is a little insight into her creative life so far…

What is your background and where did you study?

I am originally from the Wirral, Merseyside (UK) and graduated from the University of Leeds in 2005, with a BA (Hons) in Textile & Fashion Design. After graduating, my first job was as a print & design technician whilst also working as a part time freelancer in the textile industry. I then then went on to progress my textile & stitched screen printed pieces & held my first solo exhibition called ‘Stitched’ in 2006 at the Brahm Gallery, Leeds. Later that year I was awarded 1st prize in the ‘Janome Creative Competition’ for a layered paper skirt design.

Do you feel university prepared you for work?

University was where I originally developed my signature style of layering, textures & quirky hand drawn linework and was a great time of experimentation for my work. This style is still present in all of my work from my illustrations to my product line. Though university was a valuable experience to me it was my work placements and concurrent jobs after university that really enhanced my knowledge of the industry.

What are the key elements you have learnt from graduating, to going freelance, to eventually running your own business?

I have always worked in the design industry; I was lucky enough to secure full-time employment straight after graduation. I initially worked for a year as a print and design technician for a small textile company. I then went to work for Hallmark, UK for a further two years; my role was a ‘mac designer’ and specialism was surface pattern design.

The experience of working in house was invaluable and the people were fantastic; however, I always felt more of a number than an individual designer. It was also very competitive, and I never felt I was being true to me. (I was never really allowed to draw from scratch or inject my own ideas; we generally received quite restrictive design briefs.) Early on in my career, I was happy to plod along and soak it all up, but after a while I really began to not enjoy my work at all. I always had a niggling uneasy feeling. It sounds odd but I always knew I was meant to do something else. I just needed to figure out what that was. I always say my ‘inner doodle’ was set free once I decided to go it alone.

Just over six years ago I left a secure job to pursue my dreams and take control of my own design path. It really was the best decision ever and has really opened my eyes to what’s out there in the world. I suddenly felt free, it was like a huge weight had been lifted and it really allowed my personality to shine through. I gained confidence as a person and taking that leap encouraged me to push myself both professionally and in my personal life.
Ever since, my life really has been one exciting roller coaster; there have been ups and downs and lots of sacrifices. I really wouldn’t change a thing! I have been on such an exciting life-changing journey. I have really had to learn on the job, and I’ve made some mistakes along the way. I believe things can happen for reason, and every little thing (good or bad) has played a part in my career and shaped my creative journey.

One of the main things I want to convey in my online e-courses is to be ‘you’. Of course we have to learn commerciality but the design industry is a competitive one and injecting your own personality and stamp on things will always help you to stay passionate and create fantastic design.

The attitude I encourage is to just go for it - life is too short. We all get no’s from time to time but it’s good to at least try and I think the online support had just given a lot of the students the encouragement and reassurance they need.

How do you start licensing your work? What is the route you took and what do you recommend others to do?

I initially licensed a small amount of pieces via an agent (these were mainly unnamed ranges) after a while I decided to launch a small product line of my own, as I wanted to become a recognised brand. Soon after I was approached about further licensing deals as a branded range using the ‘Rachael Taylor’ trademark.

You have started a business on ‘How to Make it in Design’ which includes the groundbreaking e-course ‘The Art and Business of Surface Pattern Design’ with Beth Kempton from Do What You Love. Is the teaching side something you would like to do more of?

It’s hard to explain the buzz you get from teaching, it was quite nerve-wracking in the beginning as you worry that people may find you boring, not like you or not enjoy your teaching. Luckily I’ve found it to be a completely rewarding experience. To be able to help and inspire others is mind blowing. I’ve been lucky to be able to teach across the UK and even in the US and I really look forward to doing more in the future.

At an early business age, you have achieved a lot - what keeps you driving forward?

I’m someone who is really inspired by motivational quotes.
I especially love this quote…
“Entrepreneurship – is living a few years of your life like most people won’t, so that you can spend the rest of your life like most people can’t.”
(Unknown)

You really do have to believe in yourself and take that leap! I always think if you want something so much you really can make it happen. I made a promise to myself to stay truly dedicated to my goal (and never, EVER give up!) I tried not to worry and think too much about the big picture and that way you are not so overwhelmed. Daily, weekly and monthly goals are realistic and manageable. I think if you don’t try something it will always niggle away at you so you might as well as just go for it! I always remember to celebrate my achievements along the way no matter how big or small. When you’re having a bad day and things are not going to plan it’s important to reflect and remind yourself how far you have come. Life really is short so I make the most of every opportunity and chances I am given.

You have recently published a book called 20 ways to draw a Doodle - how did this come about?

I was approached by Quarry Books through my US agent Lilla Rogers and was asked to illustrate for one of their ’20 Ways to Draw…’ series. They had seen examples my work and thought the doodle version would go well with my hand drawn, quirky style. It was a lot of fun and I got to draw so many different things that I would never have thought to draw before! It is a dream come true to be the author and illustrator of my very own book!

20 Ways to Draw a Doodle: http://www.rachaeltaylordesigns.co.uk/shop/paper/books/20-ways-to-draw-a-doodle-book#.U9pPP1Zr57Y

What is next for Rachael Taylor Designs?

I hope to continue doing what I love. I really hope to have longevity as a designer. I really would love for my design brand to keep growing, be able to teach around the world and possibly create some children’s’ clothing designs and books. I enjoy the not knowing sometimes, as long as I continue to do my best, be happy, work hard and remain dedicated, I’m quite happy to see where the journey takes me.

Links to Rachael Taylor Designs World:

Website: http://www.rachaeltaylordesigns.co.uk

Visit the online store at:
http://www.rachaeltaylordesigns.co.uk/shop/

Follow the blog at:
http://www.rachaeltaylordesigns.co.uk/blog/

Twitter: @rachael_taylor_ @RTShopOffcial

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Rachael-Taylor/167179349298

Read MOYO magazine at:
http://makeitindesign.com/moyo-magazine/

Join the e-course:

http://makeitindesign.com/design-school/

Visit our sister site at:
http://makeitindesign.com/

Check out the MOYO Directory at:
http://www.moyodirectory.com/

Enjoy this amazing film with artist, Kate Lycett talking about her love of colour, landscape and the wonderful architecture that surrounds her.... http://www.katelycett.co.uk

Creative Mentoring with Happy 4 pr

Screenshot 2014-05-12 23.23.25

Happy 4 pr provides support and guidance to creatives on achieving their potential and vision.
Skype and one to one sessions are available. Book in for a creative mentoring session with Fiona@happy4pr.com

Testimonials are available here: http://www.happy4pr.com/business-mentoring-2/

interiordesignmagazine:

Mad Men, which just began its seventh and final season, is a time capsule from the world of 1960’s advertising in New York. Matthew Weiner’s dense story line is propelled through protagonist Don Draper, the former creative director at Sterling Cooper & Partners. Handsome, debonair, and talented, Draper is also a louche and a tortured soul. Weiner invited Interior Design’s Cindy Allen, the only magazine editor ever granted full access, to tour Draper’s Park Avenue apartment, the agency’s Time & Life Building office, and more on four sound stages in Los Angeles. interiordesignmagazine:

Mad Men, which just began its seventh and final season, is a time capsule from the world of 1960’s advertising in New York. Matthew Weiner’s dense story line is propelled through protagonist Don Draper, the former creative director at Sterling Cooper & Partners. Handsome, debonair, and talented, Draper is also a louche and a tortured soul. Weiner invited Interior Design’s Cindy Allen, the only magazine editor ever granted full access, to tour Draper’s Park Avenue apartment, the agency’s Time & Life Building office, and more on four sound stages in Los Angeles. interiordesignmagazine:

Mad Men, which just began its seventh and final season, is a time capsule from the world of 1960’s advertising in New York. Matthew Weiner’s dense story line is propelled through protagonist Don Draper, the former creative director at Sterling Cooper & Partners. Handsome, debonair, and talented, Draper is also a louche and a tortured soul. Weiner invited Interior Design’s Cindy Allen, the only magazine editor ever granted full access, to tour Draper’s Park Avenue apartment, the agency’s Time & Life Building office, and more on four sound stages in Los Angeles. interiordesignmagazine:

Mad Men, which just began its seventh and final season, is a time capsule from the world of 1960’s advertising in New York. Matthew Weiner’s dense story line is propelled through protagonist Don Draper, the former creative director at Sterling Cooper & Partners. Handsome, debonair, and talented, Draper is also a louche and a tortured soul. Weiner invited Interior Design’s Cindy Allen, the only magazine editor ever granted full access, to tour Draper’s Park Avenue apartment, the agency’s Time & Life Building office, and more on four sound stages in Los Angeles.
“Don’t be afraid to start over. It’s a brand new opportunity to rebuild what you truly want.”

Kate Lycett - The changing seasons

In my work, I am fortunate to meet a lot of creative and talented people. The creative mind brings with it lots of joy and challenges; it is always fascinating to see how people’s worlds unfold and new work is born.

Working with the artist, Kate Lycett is one of those joyous moments… it is like turing the page of a really exciting book, hoping there is something equally exciting on the other side. Kate never disappoints. She always has something on the back burner brewing.

Seeing Kate’s work develop and grow is one of my life’s pleasures and I am happy to be a part of her journey. Kate will be revealing something very exciting soon but I am sworn to secrecy…

Here is a little look in to Kate’s beautiful world…

Bridge Lanes
May
Stoodley Pike

For more information on the artist, Kate Lycett go to http://www.katelycett.co.uk

hitrecord:

CALLING ALL MUSICIANS & AUDIO CURATORS!

We’re going to be making a Music Video for the song “You Got All You Need” - come & play along with the song in the great outdoors! To support this collaboration, we’re really excited to announce that SONY is going to be sending out FIFTY new Music Video Recorders (SONY HDR-MV1) to some of the more prominent and established musicians in our community!

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MUSICIANS: Play along to THIS SONG & RECord video yourself in Nature performing your part. You can download THIS ZIP containing all of the material you’ll need to contribute.

AUDIO CURATORS: Make an Album of the Audio RECords on the site that you’re inspired by and contribute it the collab. Please contribute Albums no later than TUESDAY, April 22nd at 12pm PST.

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Contribute to the “YOU GOT ALL YOU NEED” collab HERE!

milkstudios:

HYPNOTIZED BY COACHELLA
Photo by: Andrew Boyle
goldenvoicela
MilkMade.com

milkstudios:

HYPNOTIZED BY COACHELLA

Photo by: Andrew Boyle

goldenvoicela

MilkMade.com

Lightbulb Session - bringing your ideas to life.

Welcome to your Lightbulb moment!

Starting something new can be scary and exciting at the same time, what you need to remember in the early stages is to let your ideas formulate, to be grounded and rooted in a vision plan first, before taking action.

So how can a Lightbulb Session help you?

An Lightbulb session is useful when needing help with the beginnings of a project, wanting inspiration or new ideas on an existing project. A lot of good ideas come from nothing. So take a leap of faith and begin your adventure, it is okay to ask for help and support. Starting your own business is all about communication and relating to others, breaking boundaries and being heard. Through this session we will have new ideas on the table, a clear vision plan and you will feel empowered to move on to the next step…

How can I book in a Lightbulb Session?

For your first  lightbulb session I will send you over questions, to guide the meeting on what you want to focus on and then we will work on these areas and strategy from there. Book your first session here with me, fiona@happy4pr.com and you can have you session online via skype or face to face at Happy 4 pr HQ.

Lightbulb Top up Sessions – to have continued support and lightbulb ideas throughout the year, or help with the existing project.
After you first Lightbulb session you may want a Top Up throughout the year, which has worked well in the past for previous clients.

To Book your Lightbulb Session, email me fiona@happy4pr.com.

Payments for Skype connections are paid before the session via Paypal fiona@happy4pr.com or at the session in person. For the first session I recommend 2 hours. If you are unsure, always email and I will get right back to you.

Look forward to meeting you soon.

womensweardaily:

Céline RTW Fall 2014

Photo by Giovanni Giannoni

The fall collection was as wide-ranging a lineup as Phoebe Philo has ever shown.  For More

For all WWD.com’s RTW Fall 2014 coverage

A preview to jewellery designer, Judith Brown’s Wedding Collection

JudithBrown-HollyBooth-94 You have recently done a shoot for your bridal collection, what colours and styles will you be featuring?  

The style of my bridal collections is elegant, pretty and delicate, and I use vintage mother of pearl buttons, antique lace and even lace I have made myself with the traditional technique of tatting in the designs. A subtle range of delicate shades from snow white, through to ivory and vanilla cream feature in the collections. Some designs are hand embroidered with tiny glass beads, embellished with lace like silver wire stitching and finished with freshwater pearl and glass bead drops. Pretty flowers feature in both the vintage and handmade lace designs.

JudithBrown-HollyBooth-170Vintage is a major influence in your work, what else is inspiring you in 2014? 

I often take inspiration from antique dress and textiles, and am working on a collection of designs inspired by Tudor portraits following a research trip to London at the end of last year, so this collection will include semi precious gemstones such as garnets, amazonite,aventurine and pearls, I’m looking into using some some gold in these designs too. Looking further forward I have ideas for next years collections which will bring more colour into my work, so I have been collecting pictures to create a mood board for that, so far there are images of delicate plants and flowers such as spring blossom, delicate seed heads and embroidered fabrics and dresses which reflect the same ideas, colours like vintage peach, duck egg, warm cream, gold sea green and silvery white.

Have you any workshops lined up this year, and where will they be held and what is your theme? 

For the spring I have 3 workshops lined up

March 22nd 2014 ~ Wire Jewellery with haberdashery. Full day workshop at Hope and Elvis, The Welbeck Estate, Nottinghamshire. www.hopeandelvis.com

March 23rd 2014~ Wire Jewellery with vintage lace. Full day workshop. The Beetroot Tree, Derbyshire. www.beetroottree.com

April 26th 2014 – Two half day workshops. One with Vintage haberdashery, one with Vintage Lace. Debbie Bryan Studio and Shop, the Lace Market, Nottingham www.debbiebryan.co.uk

The workshops are all inspired by my collections and there’s a chance to experiment with my techniques and make at least one piece of jewellery.

JudithBrown-HollyBooth-17Recently you have been exploring new techniques and processes…. please tell us about this? 

I have been learning the traditional lace making of tatting, so that I can make my own lace to transform into jewellery. This is a technique which involves creating series of knots to form stitches and these stitches then can be formed into rings, and then abstract or often floral motifs. Traditionally it’s used to make lace doilies or edgings for fabrics, but I am using it to create small motifs that I can use for jewellery and stitch into with my wire stitching technique. I’m also going on a natural dye workshop so that I can dye my own threads for this technique and hope to achieve subtle shades which are not commercially available.

Vintage Blanc and Noir  - are both stunning collections, do you find it difficult to create new styles of jewellery or does it come naturally to you? 

I am generally inspired by exploring a technique and how I can give new life to the unusual materials, vintage hooks and eyes, antique mother of pearl buttons, that I use in these collections. I particularly like making something so plain and functional like the hooks and eyes seem really elegant and feminine in my designs. I look to vintage and antique jewellery to get ideads for shapes and styles of the finished pieces. As long as I give myself the time to get inspired, collect ideas, then I just love making new things!

JudithBrown-HollyBooth-187

Holly Booth Photography @hollyphotobooth http://www.hollybooth.com

Fig Tree Road @fizzybunting http://www.figtreeroad.com

Sian Revill @SianRev_MUA (make up and hair)

Heavenly Vintage Brides @heavenlybrides http://www.heavenlyvintagebrides.co.uk

Dunwood Hall @dunwoodhall (venue) http://www.dunwoodhall.co.uk

http://www.judithbrownjewellery.co.uk/