Designer Diaries: Nicole Vertina

Can you tell us a little about yourself and what you do?

Hiya, my name is Nicole Vertina! I am 22 years old and I live in London, Uk. I graduated from London Met Uni last July and am currently setting up my own print studio. Because I’m new to the industry I am dividing my time between working from home in my studio and also for Lush. I’ve been selling my designs through Patternbank for the last few months and have had quite a lot of success so far. Last August I was announced as the Winner of the Filofax Cover Story competition for 2015, my Filofax is now available in the shops which I’m super excited about. I also have an Etsy shop.

When did you discover your passion?

I found my love for textiles when I was at college, I was part of the Visual Arts & Design course at the Brit School and they had some amazing facilities. It was there that I began to experiment with silk screen printing and also art instillations. At that time my work was very much print and embroidery led although now I mostly focus on prints.

What made you turn your passion into a career choice versus just a hobby?

To be honest I’ve never considered my creative work as being a hobby it’s more of a necessity for me, I have to create. The easy option is to just get an office job but life would be boring, I physically can’t do a standard job, I’ve tried and it just didn’t work for me, I really do have to create on a regular basis. It’s not easy to work a “normal” job and try and set up your own business on the side, but it’s so rewarding when you see your work being sold. I think that I’m a very driven person and once I set my mind to something I don’t stop until I’ve given it 110%. 

How do you stay motivated?

I’ve never really lost motivation yet, but sometimes it’s hard to stay on task or find inspiration when you feel that might have reached a dead end with something. I find that going to see an art exhibition is really inspiring or even going back to basics and doing 30 second studies of things in different mediums loosens me up and gets me back into the flow. Sitting on the grass without socks on surrounded by flowers really grounds me and reminds me of how beautiful life is. Taking half an hour out of your day to appreciate the smalls things is all it can take to get the creative juices flowing. 

Can you share a little about your design process?

Most of my design work starts as a little doodle in my sketchbook, normally in Promarkers. Up until very recently I had been designing what I wanted based on whatever theme I felt a need to design for, however now I’m paying more attention to trends and predicted colour palettes, I think this is because I have worked in a couple of studios and got used to the way that they work. I would say that 99% of my work starts off as a drawing or painting; I then put the design into Photoshop, manipulate the artwork and then create a repeat.  

What is your favourite part about having a creative business?

The thing that I love the most is having the validation that my work, my passion, is viable, that people want to buy my work and use it in fashion or interiors. Sitting at home and painting and drawing is amazing but knowing that people actually want what I produce, well there’s no other feeling like it for me.

What are some of the biggest challenges you have faced in your career and how have you overcome them?

The biggest challenge for me so far came when I first left University. It was this strange time when I’d never been out of education, and suddenly the safety net of grades and deadlines had been pulled away from under my feet. My final year was crazy I’d gone straight from Uni into exhibiting at New Designers and from that the next day I started interning for Marks & Spencer in their Home Design department in head office, then all of a sudden… nothing. I knew that I wanted to sell print designs on a freelance basis and so I just started following the same routine that I would have done when I was at Uni, finding a theme, drawing and then designing. Each day was a struggle, but my breakthrough came when I was approved as a designer on the Patternbank website. I guess I just didn’t lose faith in what I was doing. 

What advice would you give to aspiring designers looking to build a successful creative business?

Be patient! Things aren’t going happen overnight, be persistent and don’t give up. Don’t just look to the end point, enjoy the journey. 

What’s next for your career?

I’m working towards designing full time, my end goal is to have my own print studio and showcase at fairs all over the world, but like I said earlier, I’m being patient and enjoying where I am at the moment. 

Where can we find you on the web?




Instagram: @nicole_vertina 

Etsy: HandmadeByVertyB

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