Lu West is a London-based printmaker and illustrator, creating playful, limited edition fine art prints. Through the traditional process of silk screen printing, Lu experiments with combining patterns and scale, with bold colours, to give a result which is completely unique. With often a run of only 100 prints per design, you need to make sure you snap these beauties up when you can!
We sat down with the brains behind the brand, to find out a little bit more about what makes her tick.
When did you realise you wanted to start your own business?
I was working for a textile designer as a project manager and I realised how much I missed creating my own designs (I studied Jewellery Design at University). I decided to take the big leap, leave my job and go on my own adventure. I wasn't even sure what I was going to do, but after completing a short course of evening classes at East London Printmakers, I fell in love with screen printing and creating illustrated work.
How would you describe your work?
I love playing with the scale of patterned landscapes and the animals that inhabit them. My work is bold and colourful and I enjoy keeping up with new colour combinations and decor trends, so I always try to incorporate that.
How do you approach the design process; what is your starting point?
I start off in my sketch book with ideas and then scan the original drawings. I will then digitise them in Illustrator or Photoshop, where I have more freedom to play around with patterns and create the different layered templates that I need for exposing screens for multi-coloured silkscreen prints.
Do you have a particular design icon who inspires you?
I've always been inspired by Midcentury art and illustration and I'm a big fan of Charles and Ray Eames, Alexander Girard and Robin Day. Their designs are timeless, yet still feels contemporary. Marimekko always stays ahead of new trends, whilst still keeping their traditional pattern catalogue.
Who would be your dream collaboration?
I would love to collaborate with a cool UK based kids clothing brand or create surface pattern designs for Oliver Bonas or Anthropologie.
What should we look out for in A/W 17?
A new nautical style print, featuring a ship in an icy winter landscape to go with my "Polar Bear", "Whale" and "Bigger Boat" prints. New colour combinations of some of my bestsellers will also be added to the online store www.lu-west.com soon.
I'm having my first baby in just a couple of weeks (eeeek!), so I would like to do more surface pattern design, artwork licensing and digital freelance work from home. Translating my bold designs to unique, one off paintings on canvas is another area that I want to explore in the next year.
Hello and welcome to our little corner of the internet. We are a British Design Studio, based in Manchester. Established in 2017, we are passionate about understated design, high-quality products and simple interiors. The blog is our sketchbook and your resource to feel inspired. We hope you like it!
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