Want to know more about our INCREDIBLE new printed valentines fabrics and who we collaborated with to create this amazing fabric?! In this post is an interview with print designer Jessica Lois Bailey who we have worked with behind the scenes to bring these fabrics to life and how she started working as a print designer.
For our brand new Love Story Valentines collection we teamed up with the fabulous Jessica who previously interned at Isolated Heroes in 2013!! to create our FIRST EVER digital print.
We wanted to focus on inclusivity and sustainability in this project and we crushed this goal!
This digital print fabric has been created using pigment dyes which is a sustainable method of producing fabric using only 1 litre of water to create one metre of material!! The fabric was also made in Dundee so right on our doorstep!! Great for reducing any shipping emissions.
Here we have a chat with Jessica about life as a print designer.
- Tell us a bit about yourself and your background. How did you get into printed textiles?
My name is Jess and I live in Newcastle Upon Tyne. I studied Fashion Design at Northumbria University and as soon as I stepped into a screen printing studio I knew this is what I wanted to do. It has so much unpredictability and experimentation in the process, which only adds to the excitement of the art form.
I have been lucky enough to work with some amazingly talented costume designers who have invested in custom print for their burlesque and performer clients, offering bespoke tailored designs unique to their acts and projects.
- What's it like being a freelance print designer?
Being a freelance print designer is a dream come true. After graduating I had no idea what I wanted to progress into but finding a home in theatre and costume design really struck a creative chord with me. All the glitter glam and rhinestones, I was a magpie! It gave me the platform to perfect my design identity and aesthetic, and to really understand the direction I wanted to pursue. I still work in this field and love the diversity that each project provides!
I have always been drawn to the bold, bright and graphic, it brings me the most joy and excitement which I also express through my own personal style as a form of self expression!
- What has been your most exciting project so far?
The most exciting project I have worked on has to be in pantomime, a production of Snow White before the pandemic where I worked with a fabulous costume design house called Fox and Shriek. My contribution spanned across a section of the printed cloth for the costumes as well as making elaborate head dresses and accessories! After working on the production for eight months, seeing the production on stage was a rush! Pantomime is such a wonderful tradition in the UK and it needs to be kept alive.
- Tell us a bit about the inspiration behind the Isolated Heroes print?
The inspiration behind the digital print is based around neon signs of American Motels across the country. Sam and the team had such a strong vision which is always such a great thing when working with a new client. Something I am completely obsessed with is the aesthetic in the Romeo and Juliet movie from 1996 directed by Baz Luhrmann and this was the most perfect excuse to use this as an influence in the design.
- Can you tell us a bit about the print process?
I always seek primary research to start the process of designing. For this project I made a pilgrimage to Oklahoma’s interior store in Manchester who specialise in traditionally crafted Mexicana and Americana homeware. I photographed EVERYTHING and bought a few Milagros to draw inspiration from and went from there! I always hand draw all imaginary before it is digitally rendered. I think it is important to do so as it highlights your unique handwriting as an illustrator. You learn how to use the programs you work with and identify which techniques are best for your style and the clients requirements, it’s full of experimentation and a process which I love.
Our final Cupid Motel Print
- What's your favourite item designed from the print?
100% hands down the neon digital! I am so happy with the way it turned out and the translation of the neon sign effect really comes through.
- What's your dream project / dream client to work with?
I have always adored Tara Christiane, a Berlin based design house who have been a huge inspiration to me for years. Jaded London, The Hippy Shake, Sassy World all have such amazing brand identities and bold graphic designs it would be a dream to work with them!
I would love to work with more performers and costume for stage. Whether it is music or drag or burlesque as long as it is authentic and unapologetic then I’m down!
- What's next? Any exciting plans?
I am currently working as a junior technician at Northumbria University and have the encouragement and freedom to learn lots of new and exciting skills. I am looking forward to expanding my portfolio and experimenting with woven fabric samples with bold graphic imagery and exploring other broader avenues in surface design.
I also working with local illustrators and a tattoo artist to produce limited edition runs of merchandise which I’m so excited to do!
The pandemic hit a lot of freelance creatives incredibly hard I am just taking every project as it comes and loving every minute of collaborating again with amazing people!
Below Jessica is wearing our Red Neon Heart Sweater inspired by the neon print🔽, doesn't she look stunning!
We loved working with Jessica on this project and the final fabrics look absolutely incredible.
If you want to shop the brand new digital prints click here to be taken to our website to shop✨✨.