Tell us a little about yourself and how you became a surface pattern designer.
Greetings! I’m Julianne of J Marie Creates. I’ve spent my life creating artwork as a hobby, but I fell in love with pattern design a few years ago when quarantine forced everyone to find a new hobby. I spent a year studying techniques and practicing my designs before embarking into a freelance career. I enjoy creating busy, maximalist patterns that are a bit pretty but can also be a bit weird. The goal is to create something every day so you can regularly find me in the early morning hours drawing away on my iPad, next to my trusty cup of coffee, while my family sleeps in. My kids are my greatest inspiration so you can thank them for the excessive insect and bird designs.
Who or what influences your art? I really love scrolling through Instagram to find inspiration or to just find talented artists to follow and cheer on in their journey. The best part about connecting on Instagram, is you're not just finding the super successful, you're finding amazing talent at the beginning and middle of their journeys. I've developed some great relationships with some other designers and feel like we have our own little cheer squad at this point!
Tell us a little about your first experience with licensing your artwork. I first started working with Town Shirt in the summer of 2021. I found their info on Upwork and pitched my ideas. We facetimed and immediately knew it was a great fit to work with each other. They commision their designs through me and purchase outright at a flat rate. I've created a half a dozen designs for their company and anticipate many more to come.
How long of a timeframe was it from the time you submitted your artwork to the time you had a signed contract with Geometry House?
I've been working with Geometry House for 9 months and have had such a wonderful experience. Geometry House initially reached out to me after finding my work on Instagram. It took just 3 weeks from initial contact to launching my first collection in November 2021. Luckily they had already selected several designs they had in mind for my first collection (through artwork I had posted on Instagram) so there was very little designing required on my end once I agreed to partner with them. The entire onboarding experience was seamless and very straightforward, and to be honest, I was shocked at how quickly the collection went from concept to available via their website. For my second collection, I reached out to them with the initial concept of a mid-century inspired collection. They loved the idea and allowed me to design the collection based on the concept and an initial design. This process took much longer than the first go round because it required much more design time from me. Once I finished the collection and got their approval, the launch of the collection was again about 3 weeks. Once a collection is launched, they promote all new collections through their social media accounts. Ultimately, I have felt extremely supported by Geometry House and would highly recommend working with them.
Are there any other sustainable product/eco-friendly companies you'd like to work with? Sustainability is such an important value in my life. I spent my pre-design career in the waste hauling industry as a community outreach specialist. This means I designed all recycling outreach and even presented recycling practices at school assemblies, senior centers, town hall meetings and on public access TV. A few months ago, WM reached out to me with a concept for Organic Waste Recycling design. The design is so fresh and cute and was printed on kitchen towels that WM gave away at local sustainable events.
Do you have any advice about licensing or building a career in surface pattern design that you would like to share with our readers? Don't ignore social media. It's easy to neglect your social media accounts, because-- let's face it-- most algorithms do not favor artists, but it's so important to have an active presence in social media. Not only are you putting your work out there to be discovered by companies, but some companies also take into account how active your presence is and your follower count when deciding which artists to partner with.
What is next for you and your business?
Probably not the answer you expected, but I'll be taking a step back in the next few months to rest and bond with my baby boy, due Mid-August. He's my third, so I'm hoping this round will be smooth sailing with all the experience my first two have gifted me, but you never know. Don't get me wrong, I definitely plan to squeeze in some drawing sessions when I can!
Town Shirt: https://www.Townshirt.co
WM Collaboration: https://www.jmariecreates.com/blog/wm-collab