meet & greet: laurel howells
Everyone, meet Laurel Howells! I really like Laurel's style, what she makes and the pictures she curates. She has a sweet Christmas collection right now in her etsy, and a bunch of pretty things in her portfolio. We are lucky that she shared with us about her work and philosophy and showed us some pictures of her work space!
How would you describe your style?
I would describe my style as bold, linear, geometric, illustrative and intriguing.
Your portfolio displays a lot of different mediums: poetry, design, photography and graphic design. What is your favorite medium to work in/which one do you think you express yourself best in?
I love collage and low tech film photography, capturing shadows and geometric compositions. I love shapes, edges and geometry and capture this within all mediums including collage and illustration. I always have pushed the boundaries of what graphic design actually is and love expressing myself with the handmade elements of collage and illustration, which I think I express myself best with – however I feel most zoned out and relaxed when producing repeat pattern illustrations which have led to my Christmas card designs this year.
What has been your favorite project/thing you've done in your creative career so far?
My favourite and most exciting creative venture so far has been selling my own designed items and artwork online and at fairs. I only started this aspect in September so it is all very exciting. I feel so happy persuing something that I am passionate about as a career and selling things that I have wholly designed and made is really rewarding. I am really excited about developing the Laurel Howells brand even more so in the new year.
Love all your darling Christmas items in your Etsy! What are you most excited for about Christmas time?
Thank you! I really enjoyed producing some Christmas product lines in my style – I always look forward to wrapping presents and this year I'm extra excited about experimenting with jute string and fabric and I'm going to incorporate some neons into my wrapping, contrasting with the traditional Christmas colours, I have been finding a lot of cool Christmas wrapping ideas on pinterest this year and may even have a go at making some little knitted pom poms to add to my gifts. I have been looking at some vintage 50s wrapping paper on ebay as well which could contrast really well.
Tell us about your relationship with triangles.
I have always been fascinated with triangles and it all started with doodling triangles during idea generation at uni. I find the triangle wholesome and somewhat therapeutic. I love the patterns they create and the way the pen moves on the page when they are drawn. I guess the triangular shape has just followed me through my design life because of its comfortable qualities and visual strength. They are bold and unafraid when on their own, yet can create pretty and intricate patterns. I like to incorporate them with collage compositions as they draw the eye easily and help layout the collaged aspects onto a page. My other fascinations include neon colours and typewriters and I could write another paragraph each about them alone! (but I won't).
What are some of your favorite blogs to read?
You are a star on the rise. What are you plans for the future?
I aim to develop my brand further with regards to selling my homemade wares! I would also like to expand my collage artwork and collage illustration. I feel I can express myself quite well in this medium. My big life dream is to open a cool shop stocked full of products from my favourite designer makers and etsy-ians from all around the globe. It would be amazing and unlike any shop out there, it would have a really welcoming environment and it would even hold a screen printing club in the evenings.
Any advice for others interested in pursuing graphic design?
To enjoy everything you do and make sure you are pushing and squeezing every boundary of what graphic design is perceived to be. Even though I studied graphic design at uni, my work includes photography, illustration, collage and textiles and more! Do not be afraid to have fun and do not just go down the route that everyone else is. Don't be normal, normal gets you nowhere in life -- well it does, but it doesn't get your soul anywhere. I want to be old and look back on my creative path and think 'YES I'm glad I did what I did and inspired people'. When networking, the key is to “create conversations” not to just sell and market yourself – BE yourself, talk about what you have been doing and what you like, people are more likely to respond to a designer with a personality and interests.