Featured Designer: Gauri Malhotra



Textures, details, and layers—these are all things we love as textile designers and no one uses them in a more exquisite way than designer Gauri Malhotra. We first featured Gauri back in 2014 and instantly fell in love with her process and her creative story. Since that time, she’s continued creating but has shifted her direction. Today, she chooses to focus on “experimentation and understanding of materials to create texture and surfaces”.

According to Gauri, “My inspiration comes from material itself, whether it be a fabric like denim or taffeta, or a copper wire or vinyl, or perhaps the combination of them all? It’s always the magical question, ‘what if?’.”

When asked about how she decided to shift her focus in this direction, Gauri said, “Working with and for designers with varied aesthetics has really helped me open up my mind and grow as a designer.” As designers, we all want this and watching somebody be so successful at it is a wonderful example we can all learn from.

With my career, working with clients with “varied aesthetics” is something that I love to do. However, this exercise can be applied to any designer’s creative process. If you normally design for womenswear, you might want to consider designing your next collection for the menswear industry. Or if you normally design for a more trendy customer, brainstorm ways to apply your style to a more conservative customer. Don’t be afraid to attempt the new and challenge your creativity, because you’ll likely surprise yourself in a most pleasant way.

I encourage you to check out more of Gauri Malhotra’s work on her Tumblr and Instagram accounts.

Be inspired, and be well.





Featured Designer: Richard Baker

first-blush Untitled-3 Today we are highlighting the amazing work of UK-based surface pattern designer Richard Baker. His bold and vibrant florals are such a breath of fresh air and we love his energizing use of color! Read on to learn more about this up-and-coming talent.


About Me

“I graduated from the Norwich University of the Arts with a 2:1 BA (Hons) in Textile Design and subsequently exhibited work at the New Designers show in London where I sold my first design collection.

Having worked as a graphic designer / photographic retoucher, I soon pursued my passion for surface pattern designing, creating womenswear prints for a New York agency. Wanting to obtain further experience and diversify into other commercial contexts, I contacted Holly Harman of ‘Wine Label Design’ based in California, USA where I was given the opportunity to assist with some design and publishing projects. I have recently done some work experience at the F&F Clothing head office in Hatfield, UK where I learnt so much about current and future trends, meetings with suppliers and so much more…

I am looking to explore commercial opportunities where I can design for various markets such as: ceramics, creative glass, fashion, stationery, interior design, canvas art, album artwork, packaging…”
Wandering Wallflower-001fLavender Grove-001b
My Technique
“It was when I was a student that ‘drawing’ was emphasised as being so important in the design process. At the time I was unaware just how much. It was only once I had graduated that I discovered my own style and method of working. Drawing is the most important part of the design process…and it is about having fun and letting your personality come out in your work.

I love using natural objects like flowers and leaves in my work….and I can often be seen collecting various things while out on walks. I find using the actual objects brings out an original feel to the overall finished design. I sometimes like to mix hand drawn wax pieces with actual objects – using the hand drawing or stitching as interesting background marks.

I also love how colours compliment each other in my work – the overall finished design has to feel right in every aspect. I have learnt so much about colour trends which has also made my work much more appealing commercially.

I also design my work in preparation for being a repeat pattern…I like showing my work as a repeat tile so if somebody likes what they see they can use it as an instant repeat if necessary.”


For further information visit http://www.richardbakerdesigns.co.uk or get in touch at richard@richardbakerdesigns.co.uk. You can also check out Richard’s portfolio, blog, or connect with him on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn.


Have a wonderful weekend!!


Found Patterns: Tropical Fish


Images via: (clockwise from top left)  Pesce Scropione” by Giorgio Minguzzi (cropped from original),  “Cal Academy of Sciences” by Anita Hart (cropped from original),  “Discus in Carmel” by David Dennis (cropped from original),  “Barry” by Qiou87 (cropped from original),  “IMG_4004.jpg” by kntrty (cropped from original) “Tropical fish” by David J “spotted” by Janine (cropped from original) “Titan Trigger fish”  by Shayne Thomas (cropped from original)

The Latest from Vivian Kvitka

It’s a pleasure to welcome Vivian Kvitka (a.k.a. The Good Viv) back to the blog–you may remember her from this feature last fall. Earlier this summer Vivian launched her first line of branded products and we are excited to share them with you today!

viv2Left: Dear Desert; Right: Desert Poppydesertseries_flatlayDesert Seriesstuddybuddy_flatlayStuddy BuddyvivLeft: Dear Desert Collection; Right: Study Buddy Collection   

“I dug deep for each of these designs. Study Buddy and Dear Desert are honest reflections of two of my strongest divisions of myself. Study Buddy feels younger, bolder in a comical and lightly satirical way. Dear Desert is a deeply earnest collection made from a place of honesty and vulnerability. These products are small, functional works of art. It gives me so much joy that my artwork becomes the home for the thoughts, notes, and doodles of someone else.

I found it nearly impossible to decide which of my designs to manufacture into these notebooks so I created a poll and asked the people within my network that are also in my target demographic for their opinions. The results were all over the place, except for one similarity. Every single person who voted included Desert Poppy in their selection. I had no idea it would be such a popular print.

Over the past year I’ve worked with a handful of new clients including Spoonflower Berlin, Hanna Lisa Haferkamp, and Roots Studio. I’ve learned a great deal working with different kinds of clients from private individuals to larger companies and startups. It’s been incredibly exciting to be able to make work that varies so strongly aesthetically and thematically.

My goals for the next year include licensing a collection of prints to a sneaker company, expanding my product range, and getting my designs sold within a major US retailer like Target, Anthropologie, or Macy’s. They feel like really big goals but this time last year, I wouldn’t have believed I could accomplish everything that I’ve done.”

See more at http://thegoodviv.com/ or on Instagram.

Vivian is offering Pattern Observer readers a 10% discount until Sept 30th on products in her online shop using the discount code: PATTERNOBSERVER 

Featured Designer: Esther Jongste

esther_jongste-patternobserver-2016-blogfeature-image-1 esther_jongste-patternobserver-2016-blogfeature-image-2 esther_jongste-patternobserver-2016-blogfeature-image-3

Esther Jongste is a long time member of Pattern Observer and the Textile Design Lab and we are honored to welcome her to the blog today. Her passion and enthusiasm are contagious and she is a true gem in our community. Read on to learn more about Esther’s surface design business and what inspires her!


About Esther

“Esther Jongste is an energizing textile designer and illustrator working from her home studio based in the Netherlands. She currently designs for home decor, as well as for the activewear and childrenswear markets.

After working for over twelve years as a photographer and graphic designer at a Dutch toy and leisure retail company, Esther went on to develop her graphic design work to the profession of surface design.

The professionalism of the motivated Pattern Observer team provided her with encouragement to explore her vision and expand her knowledge and experience in this particular part of the industry. This resulted in the Pattern Observer Award of Excellence.

In 2014 she founded her own studio, EM | Surface Design and so she brought her professionalism as a surface designer to the next level.

In 2015 Esther started to cooperate with a Dutch agent for home decor. Working with her agent has given her the time and space to experiment with several mediums. She loves to combine painting, hand drawing, photography and collage within her digital artwork.”


“Inspiration comes naturally when she is creating a mood board for a new project or experimenting with new techniques, materials or newly found ideas. Because she is naturally inspired by almost anything, she prefers to design with specific design directions. An indication could be a specific question from a client, a fixed season, customer or trend; to name a few. Daily life, Pinterest, movies, books and magazines are a terrific source for inspiration as well.

She is at her very best while cooperating with clients, studios or fellow designers. She likes to get other people involved in her design work. She has an attractive personal and professional style of interaction. Esther loves to brainstorm and she comes up with fresh ideas and solutions. She excels when she is allowed to imagine. She can bring fresh out-of-the-box perspective and seeks work that demands untraditional thinking.

In-depth research is her way to start new work. She likes to experiment with several options and ideas, exploring how to integrate ideas, style and trends. This results in artwork that is energetic, sophisticated, balanced, lighthearted and fresh.

She is currently working on her own line of products incorporating stylish bags, distinct cushion covers and whimsical illustrated postcards.

Esther’s artwork and illustrations are available for purchasing and she is also available for freelance and custom design work.”

Visit Esther at EM | Surface Design or check her out on LinkedIn, Pinterest, Instagram, or Facebook.


Esther recently shared a tutorial in the Textile Design Lab as part of our Summer of Creativity course. If you are familiar with the burn and dodge tool, it is a tool to darken or lighten up bits of your design. In this tutorial Esther shows you a way you can make your adjustments on a separate layer, so you can make changes afterwards, rather than being directly (and permanently) applied to the layer. Join us in the Lab to check it out, along with six other member-created tutorials, (and more on the way!)

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At Pattern Observer we strive to help you grow your textile design business through our informative articles, interviews, tutorials, workshops and private design community, The Textile Design Lab.