another cover!!...

eek!!  I am on another Eddie Bauer cover!!  That's my handkerchief print on the top!  They wound up doing it in a few colors! Exciting!


new work for starblu beachwear...

Happy Friday Friends!  Exciting news!  My latest print for Starblu Beachwear is available just in time for vacation season!  I love that they are doing this bold floral for men and boys - fun!


artist interview - jessica swift (the artist formerly known as jessica gonacha)...

Today we are checking in with the fab Jessica Swift (the artist formerly known as Jessica Gonacha)! She let's us in on her colorful, quirky, and sometimes morbid imagination.  And imagination is something that is never in short supply for Jess!  Her illustrations and fun patterns are sure to brighten your day!  On top of all her talent, I am lucky enough to call her friend!  :D

what three to five words would you use to describe your work?

playful, colorful, youthful, quirky, fun

what inspires you?

Nature mostly. And fashion! I get really inspired when I'm out walking through my neighborhood-- I get my best ideas when I'm walking. I can find inspiration all over the place, really: a color combination on a sign, the shape of a leaf, something I read in a book.... I'm always on the lookout!

what was your first job?  when/how did you know you wanted a career in art?

Ha ha, I was a piano duster. I'm not kidding! I worked at Swalley's Music in Boulder, CO when I was 15, and my only duty was to dust the pianos. It was excellent. Luckily I eventually acquired other duties. :) I first knew that I wanted a career in art when I was about 4 years old and I told my parents I wanted to be an artist. The next time I knew was when I was 23, I got into my first juried art show, quit my waitressing job, did smashingly well at the show, and didn't look back. From that moment forward I was making my living as a working artist.

finish this sentence.  I could eat ___ all day.


design books/blogs you can't live without

Blogs: Print & PatternDesign Seeds (my new fave!), Geninne's Art Blog

Design books: Olle Eksell, Japanese/Indian/Islamic pattern books, 4000 Flower & Plant Motifs: A SourcebookLike I Give a Frock,20th Century Pattern Design

what do you do when you are not doing art?

Sleep! And spend time with my husband, read books, cook, go to the gym, walk around my neighborhood, watch movies, play with my 2 cats....

name one thing about you that would shock the outside world.

I never learned to read. (Ha ha- TOTALLY kidding-- that's a Wayne's World reference! I can read. Really. I'm actually quite smart.) So, one shocking thing: I have an intensely morbid imagination. Like, I always picture bad things happening. For example, I'll be cutting some vegetables, and I imagine slicing my fingers off by accident. Or I'll be walking up a flight of stairs and imagine tripping on a step, falling on my face, and knocking my front teeth out. Things like this pop into my head all the time! It's very weird. It happens to my sister, too. But I'm a happy person, I swear!

finish this sentence.  If I could time travel, I would arrive...

In Impressionist France to hang out with Claude Monet, Mary Cassatt, Paul Gauguin, and all the other brilliant artists of the time. The first place I'd go would be Monet's garden, straight to the bridge in this painting:http://uofugeron.files.wordpress.com/2009/03/monet-japanese-bridge.jpg

what's next?

Surtex!! I'll be exhibiting at Surtex (just like Khristian!) from May 16-18, 2010, so hopefully after that I'll be working on some cool projects with some cool companies and people. Other than that, I have some products in the works that I can't share yet, but rest assured that they are going to be awesome. They'll be available on my website in the next few months. Stay tuned!
Jessica Swift (formerly Jessica Gonacha) is a full-time artist, illustrator, and pattern designer in Atlanta, GA. She is addicted to unusual color combinations and is inspired by rainy days. Jessica went to Ithaca College in upstate New York, where she earned a BFA in painting, and she dreams of one day owning a houseboat in Amsterdam. Growing up in Boulder, CO, Jessica's passion for color and pattern was kindled when she was just a wee girl, and she nurtured that love by decorating every surface she could find. She does the same thing today, just a more grown up version!

Where to find Jess...


graphic goodness - topshop

i admit it.  i'm a sucker for black+white plus a pop of color, and all sorts of graphic goodies.  so i was daydreaming over on the topshop site and came across these goodies (and the white one is denim!  eek!)...top shop dressesi'd wear them with (i'd do it, i swear!)...bloomindales, anthropologie, topshop shoes and handbags(anthro, topshop, bloomies)

hello!! I'm back!

Hi!  I got so much done last week for SURTEX!  It is all starting to come together!  Exciting!  That means more time for inspiration right here! :)  Let's start with a salute to the sunshine shall we?!  This is a piece I did awhile back (like when I first started this blog way back when), and I still love it the same!  Hope it makes your Monday happy!sunshine hellow khristian a. howell


Spring Break...well sorta...

springHi!!  Hooray for spring!  I wish I could report that I was really taking a much needed break, but no rest for the weary around here!  I am taking this week off from the blog while I put it in overdrive prepping for SURTEX.  I'll be back next week with lots of goodies to share.  In the meantime, rest assured that I am sitting outside drawing away in this wonderful sunny weather!

à bientôt mes amis!

spring flowersspring flowers


artist interview - abigail borg!...

Today we are having a chat with wildly talented designer Abigail Borgkhristian1. Since winning the new designer of the year award over in the UK las year, her intricate gorgeous florals have their way onto wallpaper, cushions (soon), and even into the famed Liberty of London.  Let's find out what inspires her, and what's coming up next.

I am a surface pattern designer / illustrator based in England, currently shifting between Birmingham and Manchester. I set up on my own at the beginning of 2009 and haven’t looked back since. I have a great interest in producing intricate, hand drawn illustrations which I then combine with my love for interior decoration, pattern, archival designs, etc. My debut collection of wallpapers, ‘Peonies, Lilies and Other Pretties’ was launched in summer 2009, winning me the ‘New Designer of the Year’ award, as well as one of the designs being shortlisted by Elle Decoration for ‘Best Surface Design 2009’ at the British Design Awards. Liberty of London became my first stockist, and I now have various distributors around the world.

I’m currently working on new designs (being sampled as we speak!) for wallpapers, as well as cushions which will be launched this summer. I also work as a freelance illustrator with recent clients including Johnson & Johnson and Laura Ashley Home.

what three to five words would you use to describe your work?

Hand-drawn. Colour. Pattern.

what inspires you?

Anything colourful, hand drawn, fun, not generic looking and someone who is prepared to take risks in their work. Anyone who is told they can’t do something a certain way and do it, well, I also like. Abigail Borg

what was your first job?  when/how did you know you wanted a career in art?

My very first job was working in a sweet shop aged 15 for £2.50 an hour. Luckily I liked art and making things from a very early age, so knew I wouldn’t be weighing bags of sweets all my life. I used to paint my family and friends pictures, decorate flower pots – that sort of thing when I was about 8. I then took art and graphic design at school, and never looked back from there really.

finish this sentence.  I could eat ____all day.

Jaffa Cakes

design books/blogs you can't live without

No books in particular, just anything to do with botanical/organic prints and illustrations - especially archival ones, and anything to do with vintage textile design. The V&A always have good books, as well as some of the books from the British Transport Museum. Blogs I like looking at recently are Katy Elliott – nice documentation of an old house restoration plus lots of posts on textiles/wallpapers. Also The Snail and The Cyclops – Lots of vintage prints and illustrations blogged about, really nice.abigail borg wallpaperAbigail BorgAbigail Borg

what do you do when you are not doing art?

Oh lots of things – Cooking (mostly cakes and puddings, mind), drinking tea, lots of different tea – I am English after all, nothing a nice brew can’t fix. Going to vintage/craft fairs, museums/galleries, seeing friends – dancing, chattering, swimming, gym-ing it (not so much). I am also in a constant battle of growing out / cutting back in a fringe, it’s a vicious cycle that I see no end to.

name one thing about you that would shock the outside world.

I’m working on new designs that don’t have a single flower in them.Abigail Borg

finish this sentence.  If I could time travel, I would arrive...

On the 28th October 2009, just before I dropped my external hard drive on the floor and lost quite a bit of work.

what's next?

New designs, new products this summer. More commission pieces, new stockists and a move into a larger studio space.Abigail Borg