Jessie G is an abstract form and colour loving surface pattern designer, living and working in London.
To view Jessie’s Designer Profile and complete Patternmash portfolio, click here.
Who or what has been the biggest influence in your design career so far?
I cannot pin point just one thing as having the most major influence on my design work. Growing up, it was the different cultures of various nations that inspired interest in me, and how the architecture and design of each country is influenced by their customs. Since studying at art college and working as an interior designer, I find inspiration from a wide range of people: Le Corbusier, Henri Matisse, Barbara Hepworth, Robin & Lucienne Day, David Hockney, Tadao Ando, Alvar Aalto, Dan Pearson, the Bloomsbury Set, Anish Kapoor, Constantin Brancusi, Bauhaus – just to name a few!
In retrospect, I would say that my pattern designs are mostly inspired by my everyday surroundings. I enjoy observing different ‘views’ and breaking them down to simple forms, colours, tones and markings; on paper, screen (computer and silk screen) and tapestry.
Top right: Lucienne Day. All other images by Jessie G.
What are you currently fascinated by and how is it influencing your designs?
Last year I saw for the first time the woven textile work of Anni Albers (at Camden Arts Centre) and Ethel Mairet (at Ditchling Museum of Art & Design). It was great to get up close and personal with the patterns and colours. I would really like to incorporate the textural qualities of woven fabric into my 2D pattern designs.
Anni Albers | Jessie G observational drawing | Anni Albers | Jessie G sketchbook | Anni Albers | Patternmash Prairie Lands by Jessie G
What are your favourite kind of briefs or design concepts to work on?
If I am left to my own devices without a specific brief, then design inspiration can come from anywhere, anything. I love the process of seeing the potential for a new pattern in something, taking photos of it and sketching through the design ideas. I especially like it when you start off with a particular idea in mind, but then through sketching and experimenting, the design evolves into something completely different.
All images by Jessie G.
What has been your favourite Patternmash Project and why?
Oh, it’s too difficult for me to pick a favourite Patternmash project, they are all great! On a personal level, I would have to choose East Meets West, for which I developed a collection called “Shoji” (doors, window and room divider screen in traditional Japanese architecture). For as long as I can remember, I have always been fascinated by Japan. At home as a kid, I was intrigued by the Hokusai and Hiroshige prints my parents had on their walls. As an adult, I have travelled to Japan and seen how every little detail has been thoughtfully considered and designed to combine beauty with efficiency.
I would say though, that I have enjoyed all of the Patternmash projects. I love receiving the weekly newsletters with their impressive moodboards and unique perspectives that inform my designs. Being involved with Patternmash exposes me to a range of concepts that I might not otherwise consider when designing.
Jessie G Instagram | Cole and Son| Hokusai | Shoji by Jessie G for Patternmash
How do you fit your design work around your day to day life? Do you have particular rhythms and routines that work for you?
I find I am most creative first thing in the morning. I love to leave the house early to avoid the rush into work and walk through London to one of my favourite cafes. There, I will hook up to the wifi and sit over a cup of coffee with my sketchbook and pen. This is where I am in my element, with time to just ponder and go through the design process without any disruption. My thoughts then have time to filter through my mind over the course of the day at work, so that by the evening I might have a clearer idea of the direction I want to take the design.
I then start to play around with the sketches on the computer and indulge in my favourite part of the process: adding the colour palette, which to me, is just as important as the forms of the pattern. I don’t think you can switch off the creative process; it is ticking over all the time and drives me to spend most of my life considering, processing, designing and making. Pure enjoyment.
All images by Jessie G.
What do you do to get inspired when it’s really not happening?
I don’t really have any problem in getting inspired when designing, but I do sometimes hit a wall when I am trying to finish a design and I can’t decide when enough is enough. I try not to overcrowd and make things too messy, as the simpler the design the better for me. When I get to this point, I step away from my computer and take a break. I then come back to it later with fresh eyes and hopefully see what I originally saw in the design, that’s when I can complete it satisfactorily.
All images by Jessie G. Follow her on Instagram.
What are your future plans for Jessie G Designs? Who would you love to work with?
My plans for the coming year are to design some new pattern collections, including the production of a collection of fabrics. It would be great to make a fabric sample folder; which could include my silk screen prints and tapestries. I would love to experiment with combining my silk screen prints with woven wools, tapestry and embroidery; a mixture of 2D and 3D textile designs.
My dream is to see my designs made into upholstery fabrics and sold worldwide; under an iconic brand like Liberty of London or Svenskt Tenn. The ultimate collaboration for me would be with Marimekko’s head designer, Patricia Urquiola. In the meantime, I will keep on sketching!
Designs from Jessie G’s Patternmash portfolio