Q&A with Sara Berrenson On Her New Textile & Wallcovering Print Collection

Following on from the success of the first collection created by Sara Berrenson we are excited to be launching the next range. This new collection includes 5 designs: LanaiHavanaFoliageLeaves and Chevron.

Sara hand paints her designs in watercolour, creating beautiful intricate tropical patterns. Complete with bright bold designs as well as more neutral tones - this collection has something for everyone!

All designs are available on all of our base cloths and our 3 wall vinyl substrates – Sandy Bank, Main Sail and Silk Road.    

We had the pleasure of a little Q&A with Sara about the new range…

Tell us a little about where you are from

I am from Los Angeles and currently live in Santa Monica.

How do you draw design inspiration from your local area in particular?

Los Angeles is a very colourful place to live - there are unexpected discoveries around every corner. I find most of my inspiration in nature... Some of my favourite spots are the botanical gardens and hiking trails here. I also love visiting the LA flower mart and the Rose Bowl Flea Market.

Tell us about your career path.

I started out as a graphic designer working in package design; specifically, for Trader Joe’s grocery store and Mattel, the toy company. I started to miss the tactility of painting, so I took a watercolour class on a whim and loved it. It was at this same time I learned about surface design, and it seemed like a perfect avenue to explore. I built up a small portfolio, started exhibiting at trade shows, and it grew from there.

How does your personality translate to your designs?

I am naturally a pretty quiet person, but my designs are vibrant and colourful. I have always embraced colour and prefer to wear and decorate my home with bright colours. I think that they are uplifting and optimistic, which I would like to think aligns with my outlook on life as well!

Describe a typical day for you.

A typical day for me starts with coffee, always! After that, I check emails and work on whichever projects I have going on at the moment. I could be painting, creating repeat patterns for textiles, laying out designs on product templates, or brainstorming new design ideas with clients. Since I work alone, I try to mix it up and work out of a coffee shop or take mini outings to gather inspiration.

What is your process for when you feel creatively blocked?

When I feel creatively blocked, I take a walk on the beach or in my neighbourhood. I think just getting outside and away from your desk is a helpful little mood boost. I also think new experiences and new places get me out of the rut. Going to art shows, meeting up with friends, or taking a day trip somewhere helps.

I think varying the routine does wonders. As much as I would love to take off and go to a different country every month, it's probably not too practical 🙂

Everyone experiences blunders during their career (we’re all human!) Describe something that you struggled with but learnt from.

I've learned something from every project I've worked on as a designer, and I am still learning. Transitioning from a corporate graphic design job to running my own business has had its challenges. I had to think about a lot of things that had never even occurred to me before and I had so many questions.

Some of the main concerns were how to find clients, how much to charge, whether I needed a licensing agent or not, what design style to focus on, and whether I could even make a living doing this. I would not say I've necessarily overcome all this, but I have definitely made progress. I would say the most important thing I have learned along the way is to always be open to new opportunities and connections; you never know where they can lead.

What is your all-time favourite design from your own collection

My favourite design from the new collection is Lanai. I love the combination of the different orchids; they are a really fun flower to paint with their unique shapes and colour variations.

From the previous collection, I would say my favourite is Sundial. It was loosely inspired by mosaic tiles shimmering in the sunlight, and I think painting it in watercolour helped achieve this effect. 

What’s the most exciting thing about the next thing you’re doing?

The project I'm currently working on is a line of baby and kid's clothing for a client. It gives me a chance to be very playful and whimsical with the designs. We have come up with some cute and quirky themes for the prints, and it is so exciting to see the collection come together.

It's also pretty adorable seeing the kids wearing all the prints that I painted! 

We hope you love the new collection as much as we do. Our brochure contains details of the whole collection including the new designs, which you can download here. Thanks so much to Sara for taking the time to chat with us. So inspiring!

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