#ForTheLoveOfPrints Hazel Carruthers

I am a designer based in Manchester UK, I moved here after graduating from University in Scotland, which is where I am originally from.  I create printed patterns using watercolours and inks and then apply to a select range of products using digital methods. I have worked in industry for over 10 years and I have just launched my first collection under my brand Avalana – offering bespoke printed products for the Home and Gift.

Tell us about you or your company.

Newly launched in the summer of 2018, Avalana is for those looking for something truly special, & for those with an eye for design. The mission – to create truly stunning designs for the home and gift, that each tell a unique story; prints & patterns that draw inspiration from travels, folklore & nature.  The brand is founded upon an a accumulation of my experiences in home textiles, Wallpaper & the greetings industries. I reached a point in my career that I felt the time was right to take the reigns and start a creative journey of my own. It has been the ultimate passion project. I love what I do & have so much energy for learning new things, & being able to create designs to my own briefs has been a real unclipping of the wings for me.

Where does your inspiration for your print/fashion/embroidery design come from and which processes do you use to achieve the outcome?

Nature & mythology have always been a massive influence of mine. I always start with a simple sketch or drawing. I love inks and watercolour, they are my go to medium and it allows me to give a unique style to my work. But I also have a keen eye for trends and headed up the trends in my last job. I think it does keep your work fresh, keeping an eye out on the latest catwalk shows and combining that with what you are being inspired by; it could be the colours, it could be the style of artwork, it could be a particular era of time. Keeping things fresh is all about new combinations, and thats what makes it exciting!

All my prints are created digitally which allows me to have absolute control over the amount of detail & tones of colour in my work. Because they are hand illustrated and painted this is paramount to making them look their best when printed onto textiles.

Have you gone on to studied or gone on to study further?

I gained an honours degree in printed textiles at University, and immediately got a job after presenting my degree show collection at the New Designers exhibition in London. From there I changed within the creative industries over the years, which helped me gain a broad insight into a variety of products. This really helped get me to where I am now, without having to go back into studying further.

Do you have a very popular print or product, which everyone loves?

It really interests me to find out what print is everyone favourite. There are lost of different tastes out there, but I think from the comments I have from my social media platforms & my stand at top drawer the top 3 prints have to be: Sunset Jaguar Wall Mural, Inky Leo Wallpaper, and my Velvet Orange Blossom Cushion.

As we have recently entered the New Year, what should we expect to see from you or your company?

As Top Drawer London was my first event, where I debuted my first collection, you can expect to see my products gain a bit of traction. I am finalising my marketing plan for this year and have a few things up my sleeve. I also will be launching a second collection for Autumn/Winter – so watch this space!

What’s been your greatest achievement?

Greatest achievement has to have been taking that leap to start this journey. Having a dream is one thing, but leaving your career to start your own brand take courage, and I am proud of myself for doing that.

What are your 3 tips for succeeding in the creative industry?

Always go with your gut. Make sure you are learning all the time. Don’t ever forget to draw/paint/ make a mood board, just be creative in a way that makes you feel happy and reminds you of why you started your journey. It can get stressful and sometimes all you need is to just enjoy it again.

And finally what is your favourite quote?

A favourite word with a great meaning. It’s the Greek word Meraki – meaning to do something with soul, creativity, or to love; to put something of yourself into your work.

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