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Meet the Designer – Sophie Collom of Sophie Collom Textile Design


What are your greatest achievements so far , what are you particularly proud?

After leaving university I started working freelance, and have sold work to a number of different well known companies, including Gap, M&S, Boden, Calvin Klein, Tommy Hilfiger and Whistles.

How would you describe your work?

I would describe my work as a hand painted mishmash of different styles and themes. I mainly use watercolours and gouache, and sometimes watercolour pencils and fine line felt tips if I’m feeling adventurous. My colour pallets vary depending on what type of market I’m designing for but I like to use muted colours, pastels and grey tones a lot.


When do you work best, are you up with the lark or a night owl?

I definitely work much better at night. It takes my brain a good couple of hours to kick in, in the morning, and even then I still don’t really know what’s going on, but in the afternoon/evening I can sit down and paint for hours!

Describe your work space?

The walls surrounding my desk are covered in postcards from all around the world. Whenever I go abroad and visit museums I always spend an outrageous amount of money buying postcards in the gift shops. I also have a lot of drawings from the children I used to look after as an au pair in Belgium, as well as wristbands, cards, notes and coins I’ve collected/been given over the years. I have 2 huge pots, one full of paintbrushes and one full of pens, as well as a bunch of different magazines and sketchbooks. Its a bit of a mess a lot of the time, but its an organised mess.


What do you do to overcome designers block?

It depends on how bad the mental block is. Sometimes I’ll just have a look at some trend websites and I’ll be fine. But sometimes its a bit trickier, in which case I’ll catch the tube into central London and visit the V&A for a few hours which helps a lot. There’s so much there its impossible not to be inspired.

Where did your love for design originally develop from?

I’ve always loved design. As a kid I was never great at traditional school subjects or sport but I was always good at drawing and making things. My family would take me to galleries and museums as much as possible, and encouraged me to draw and paint constantly. When I finished my GCSE’s and I had to decide what to do next my mums advice was that if drawing, painting and being creative was my passion I should follow it, because doing something you hate for the rest of your life is incredibly depressing, so although my mum isn’t arty and creative she is definitely one of my biggest influences, and supporters. 


What is it that draws you to work with textiles design and what benefits to your process does Digital Printing bring?

I love the fact pattern and print design is constantly changing and its so versatile. One day I can be designing florals and animal prints for fashion and then the next day I’ll be drawing out geometrics and abstract painterly things for interiors. I think one of the main benefits that digitally printing my work brings is that it carries over every single detail, the paintbrush marks, the pencil lines, everything… it’s amazing!

Your home is on fire, assuming your family, pets & computer/phone are safe, what is the one thing you save from the blaze?

I think I’d have to save the Game of Thrones themed embroidery I made. It took me so long (its still not completely finished), if it burnt I don’t think I could face making another one!


In terms of procrastination, what are you doing, when you should be doing something else?

I get sidetracked on tumbler and Pinterest a lot. I will also start reading articles on the guardian and NPR and the next thing I know 4 hours have gone by and I’ve done nothing.

Food & drink: We like our food!

It’s been a long week, what’s in your glass (or mug) on a Friday night?

Depending on how terrible the week has been its either going to be a delicious home made smoothie or a glass of Stowford Press or Old Rosie cider.

You have clients coming round, do you bake or buy in the treats to go with your tea/coffee, what are they and why?

Id bake carrot cake because its delicious and super easy to make, or possibly make a cinnamon tea cake which is also super yummy.

Music: What’s on your Studio Playlist?

Physical Track: The track that gets you up dancing or tapping your feet without fail.

Ray Charles – Shake Your Tailfeather from the Blues Brothers soundtrack. It makes me so so happy.

Inheritance Track: A track that you inherited from your parents or significant person in your childhood and who did you inherit it from?

The Specials – Rat Race : My mum used to have ‘The best of The Specials’ playing in the car constantly.

Emotional Track: The track that calms you down or gets you through when you’re just having one of those days.

Joni Mitchell – Both Sides Now

Album: What’s your album of the moment, who’s on repeat for you right now?

Lady Lamb the Bee Keeper – Ripely Pine (We listened to this while driving around America and now the whole album just reminds me of camping and summer.)

Advice: A few pearls of wisdom here.

What is the best advice, you’ve ever been given?

Do what makes you happy, and always go with your gut feeling. Also if you want something keep going no matter what.

If you were starting out again now, what advice would you give your younger self?

BACK UP ALL YOUR WORK! One day your laptop is going to melt just before your final deadline at university, and you wont have backed any of your work up and you will cry yourself to sleep. INVEST IN A GOOD HARDDRIVE AND BACK IT UP. 

We like to hear about new and up and coming designer and artists, can you recommend someone new (or new to you) a ‘one to watch’ that you think is doing great, that we should know about, and why do you like their work?

I’m a huge fan of my friend that just graduated from Falmouth, Emily May, her work is beautifully drawn and painted and I’m forever amazed at what she creates.  Also a really great embroidery artist called Alaina Varrone, her embroideries are awesome and she has great taste in tv!

And lastly, whose words inspire you, a quote to live life by?

I don’t really have a quote that I live by or anything like that, but when I start to get a bit grumpy or feeling sorry for myself, I always make myself remember that I have a pretty easy ride in life and there are people that have it way worse.

If you want to find out more about Sophie you can find her in all these lovely places too:

Website : FacebookTwitter : Instagram : Pinterest 


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