Laura Slater

Bauhaus-inspired shapes and analogue printing techniques give this young illustrator’s textile products a timeless feel – we think she’ll go far.

What made you decide to start experimenting with textiles?

I have always had a love for surface design, pattern, colour, texture and tactile things and I’m completely drawn to prints. There is something about textiles that makes you respond to them, either through making them into something else or wearing them. Plus they are a huge part of our everyday lives.

Describe your process.

I use a lot of drawing and printmaking techniques to develop original artwork, often working around a concept or theme. Then I translate these marks as closely as I can on cloth through screen-printing. All my work is hand-printed. My previous collection Assemble/Configure was all about creating different configurations of the same pattern on each product. This kept the process of production engaging for us printing it, but also gave our customers bespoke one-offs.

Which other illustrator and designers have been a big influence on you?

The Bauhaus artists, László Moholy-Nagy, architecture (I’m into concrete and Brutalism), the landscape, and the St Ives artists are all inspirations. I love Scandinavian design too. I’m inspired by any designers keeping traditional printmaking part of their ethos.

How have you found the process of marketing and selling your work since graduating?

At first it is hard. You have to have an awareness of your work and brand and you can spend some time testing this out a bit, I know I did. It’s important to communicate this through everything you do. If you don’t get it quite right then it can really impact on your sales. You have to be consistent with your marketing – as a new designer it does take time for people to see you work and realise you’re worth investing in. 

Tell us about a project you have particularly enjoyed working on.

I’m lucky enough to have had some really great commissions, including window displays for Harvey Nichols and a bespoke print cushion collection for Heal’s. I would love to work with Marimekko, its ethos is very similar to mine. All my work is handmade so to learn about how it could translate to a larger scale production project would be amazing.

How are you planning to expand your brand in 2014?

As well as launching my bespoke cushion range for Heal’s, I am currently finalising my new collection Collagraph. It’s my first monochromatic print collection, and will launch in September at London Design Festival 2014. I am also developing ceramic hand-printed tiles and would like to expand some of my prints into rugs.