On this sunny Monday we are getting to know Deborah Ballinger. Deborah creates beautifully dark illustrations inspired by history, culture, flora and fauna. These illustrations are then used as prints for textiles, stationery, giftware
How would you describe your style?
Traditional and timeless, with a twist
Where do you work and does your location influence your work?
I work from my spare room at home – Having been brought up and living in the historic Nottinghamshire countryside, I take a lot of inspiration from the folk tales and scenery.
How did you get started as an artist/designer?
I graduated in 2010 from Norwich University of the Arts with a degree in Illustration – I was always producing more tactile work then 2D, and I knew I wanted to expand my illustrations to be used on surfaces, rather than just in print. With the help of the Prince’s Trust, it aided me to be not only just a designer with a product, but a designer who could run a business.
Can you give us an idea of some of your creative processes?
It all begins with the illustration – these begin life as paper collages, which I draw from in 0.3 pencil. I like a lot of detail, and I try to translate this into my products whether that be the colour of the thread of the finish of the fabric. Sometimes I create illustrations that then inspire a product, i.e I have just finished a coral reef inspired print which is spurring me to try out making beachwear
What is inspiring you or your work just now?
The seasons! Now that spring/summer is coming all I want to do is work with colour which isn’t something I work a lot in. I want to illustrate exotic things, mysterious things, things that make you want to go on a adventure.
Do you have any new designs you can give us a sneak preview of?
Certainly! You can see my new Coral Diamond pattern – I have a lot of ideas for where to use this one.
What is your favourite thing about Nottingham?
The history – Everywhere you look in Nottingham there are beautiful old buildings, places of historic interest and always a story to be told. Having lived in 3 different cities in 3 different parts of the UK over the span of 6 years Nottingham will always have a place in my heart for that sole reason.
The best piece of makers advice you have been given or can give to others?
Always trust your initial gut reaction – it’s never let me down.