We are thrilled to introduce you to Surface Pattern Designer, Amanda Corcoran of Amanda Grace Designs! Amanda is the brilliant artist behind our custom print created for the Summer 2022 Jilly Box.
Amanda is a self-taught artist who is constantly inspired by the natural beauty of her rural home in Loudoun County, Virginia. She had always loved design, but her drawing skills came into their own after she was inspired by her 5 year old daughter’s dedication to drawing every day.
Amanda followed her daughter's lead and made the commitment to draw every day as well. As a result, her skills blossomed like the gorgeous floral patterns she loves to create. Her portfolio is compiled of unique patterns, soft muted palettes, and sophisticated motifs, making her the perfect fit for this collaboration!
Read on below to see our interview with Amanda, learn how this collection came to be, get a glimpse at previous iterations, and get a sneak peek into the creative process.
This is the first launch of an Amanda Grace Design with Goldilocks, and what a big one indeed!
You can check out the three new patterns that are featured in the Goldilocks x Jillian Harris Collection here.
What was the inspiration behind these prints?The inspiration for these prints initially was "garden" since these designs were for the "Summer" edition of the 2022 Jilly Box. I wanted to keep true to my more muted colours and pinks and teals but have it also be fun and inspiring. So for the three design collection, I was going for a large-scale floral/vegetable/garden themed design, with two coordinating designs that could take the theme in a simpler direction.
What was your design process with this collaboration? Were the first iterations different from the final design?My design process usually begins one of two ways. I either brainstorm a theme and pencil sketch in my notepad, or I am immediately inspired, and I go straight to my iPad and apple pencil and sketch digitally. In this collection, I used a little bit of both. As you can tell by the collection's final version, my initial sketches and ideas were not what ultimately came to life in this collaboration. I have learned through the years that sometimes your first designs/ideas aren't what the client wants, but those same designs are always helpful in guiding me to a successful end product.Do you hand draw all of your designs?
I always sketch my designs either with a sketchbook and pencil or digitally with a digital pencil brush and my iPad. These designs are usually rough to start with and slowly take shape as I work through the design. I use this initial phase to get an idea of pattern layout, motif design, coordinate ideas, colours, etc.…
How did you get started in surface design?I have always been interested in art and spent years freelancing while raising my kids. However, it wasn't until about three years ago that I felt it was time to finally make my dream of pursuing art full-time from a hobby to a small business. I had never heard of surface pattern design before, and I joined Skillshare to help guide me on what path in art to follow. There, I learned about pattern design, and my love of creating patterns instantly became my new obsession.
When you are in creative brain fog, how do you get out of it?The main thing I do when I get creative brain fog is I stop drawing, stop worrying about it, focus on my kids, and take a break. I used to force it, would go down rabbit holes of drawing and forcing myself to be creative. That way of moving creativity never works. Another thing I do is browse Pinterest, looking for inspiration, color trends, and themes. Finally, one thing that I love to do is find a drawing challenge on Instagram. A few monthly ones like on @ElloLovey's page are great. Sometimes all I need to do is draw for fun, and the pressure lifts. So many of my patterns never see the light of day, but I needed to create them to get to the final (and usually better) end product. So I don't worry about art ruts. My new favorite designs are usually what come after a creative brain fog episode!
Any exciting projects coming up for Amanda Grace Design?Yes!!! I always release new pattern collections through Hawthorne Supply Company, Little Cocalico, and Spoonflower. But I am also working on a new Skillshare class where I will go through my pattern process from initial sketches to final patterns and how to upload them onto POD sites. I am also working on a line of tea towels and table linens that I will sell through my website.
You can get your hands on these beautiful prints here!