3 Tricks Every Artist on a Budget Should Know

With inflation, rent and interest rates rising, life is getting pretty expensive. Throw in Christmas and school holidays and your card is whipped from your purse so often, you think it might catch fire.

You have a little time to paint and create over the break and could really use some new art supplies but, for aforementioned reasons, it's a bit out of the question (unless you cleverly popped them on your Christmas wish list!)

Materials can dwindle quickly in our commercial studio of 15 designers. And, like you, we’re on a budget. If there’s anything we can do to get the absolute most out of a tube of paint, brush or pad of paper, we will!

So here's how we rein in our art supply spend, in hopes to get you through this holiday season with piles of beautiful, completed work and your credit card in one piece.

1. Reactivate dried paints

  • Unlike acrylic or oil based paints, when a blob of gouache or watercolour dries on your palette, you can use it again. Wet it...

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4 Best Flower Drawing Tips | Take Your Motifs From Meh to AMAZING

drawing how-tos Dec 01, 2022

Flowers. Fully understanding these botanical wonders is a non-negotiable for any great fabric designer. From ditsy daisies on intimates to intricate orchids for swimwear or big bold poppies on apparel - each species has its place in our design library.

 

Images of plants and flowers are so readily available that we tend to rely on them a lot. But, while using a picture of a flower as a reference is a time-saver, drawing from nature provides us with so much more information about the subject. 

So, it's time to head outdoors! Here's Kat's top four tips for flower gazing in RL.

Words by: Katrina. The Print School Instructor

1. Draw Instinctually

One of the greatest things about working ‘en plein air,’ is the opportunity to capture the essence of the flower or the gesture of the leaves without getting too caught up in the detail.

We tend to work more quickly as time is limited and, without the comfort and familiarity of the studio, our habits are...

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7 Surprisingly Effective Watercolor Tips Our Designers Needed to Hear

painting how-tos Nov 17, 2022

Recently the big boss, Lola, invited a watercolor artist to teach our professional watercolorists to err.. paint in watercolor. And for a very good reason. Keep reading to find out why!

"We should 'feed our creativity' constantly, no matter what stage of our career," she says.

"Watching someone else paint inspires our creativity. That 'someone else' may use a different technique, different tools, composition and materials and by watching we get that 'ah ha' moment that is so inspirational."

So she asked Sydney artist, Susie Murphie, to come to the studio and show the designers how she paints watercolour blooms in her loose and gestural style.

Here's what they took away from the workshop:  

1.  Stamp out the water
Stamp out the water on your brush before applying it to the paper or palette so you don’t drown your paints. - Phobe, Junior Designer
 

2. Create a “creamy” consistency
Create a creamy consistency with the paints on your...

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Fashion Trends SS23 | Top Runway Print Designs

print design trends Nov 03, 2022

Spring Summer '23 was a grand slam for turn-of-the-century trends. The Y2K-slash-90s vibe could be felt on every runway, every model, or just about.

Next year there'll be no escaping it. So fan or not a fan, as a print designer operating in the fashion world (and EVERY surface print pattern designer operates in the fashion world) you'll need to the key styles to focus on creating. 

Luckily Rebecca, our Creative Director, is here again to show you the way into 2003 err.. sorry, 2023.

1. Lace, crochet and ropes

Tactile fabrications are key, with lace, crochet and rope-type fabrications across a myriad of designers and cities.
We know this is not a print trend per se, but it's still a surface pattern and not to be ignored. When we see something across so many collections, we know it's going to be huge, and that we should incorporate it in some capacity in our collections.  It might be as a background texture, behind a floral or a stand-alone printable crochet. ...

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Fashion Trends SS23 | Make Boring Colors Shine in Your Surface Designs

print design trends Oct 20, 2022

The last model walked the Spring Summer 23 runway a few weeks ago but we are (and will be) pouring over the collections for many months to come. 

While there were lots of shareable moments, we noticed one overriding colour trend: wishy-washy, subdued hues. As print designers, we were more than mildly disappointed to see these shades, such as dishwater blue and dove grey, star in so many shows.

The season’s dull delivery might be especially shocking in contrast to the last lot of shows in Fall Winter 23, which saw Valentino light a fire of fuchsia down his runway.

But, to save us from designing every print in Pantone Pink PP by Valentino for the foreseeable future, our creative director, Bec is here. 

She’ll show you how to make those dreary hues look positively pretty, keeping your collection both on trend and full of commercial appeal. 

But before we get into it, we are dying to tell you about our new color course, Color Theory and Photoshop for...

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Insider Secrets: Sticking to Your Style, International Pricing & More!

Be a fly on the wall of this private VIP coaching call where our company leaders, Longina Phillips, Bec (Creative Director) and Sara (Head of Design) are asked about pricing designs internationally, working within a signature style and replicating successful designs. 

Read on and favourite this page for future reference!

If you're creating floral prints with a signature style, how can you use your signature style to create other designs such as abstracts or animal skin prints to include in your portfolio? 

Bec: Good question. If your style is naturally very detailed, you would just take that across into your skins where you might use more detail in the hair of the skin or the movement, you'd be more detailed in the way you draw a flower.

If you are very loose and abstract you would still take that same handwriting into paisleys or animal skins. I think it's just practice and finding the right methods for your handwriting. What do you think Lola? 

Lola:...

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Create an easy repeating pattern with Photoshop

What even is a repeating pattern? It’s a design that stretches seamlessly for infinity, just like the design on a roll of fabric. And if you’d like to become a surface print pattern designer, then it’s one of the most important skills to learn. 

Tutorial by Lyndsay, Senior Designer

 

  
 

Here we break it down for you in 5 easy steps.  

1. Place your hero

Start by creating a bunch layout in the centre of your art board. Make sure there’s some bare canvas around it.

2. Duplicate and place over-hanging motifs

You can see that this flower is hanging off our canvas at the bottom so to make this repeat work, it will need to reappear that the top of the canvas.

To do this, duplicate the motif then use the x and Y axis in the toolbar to move it north exactly the length of the canvas. This canvas is 64cm, so you’ll see me type -64 into the Y axis to move the motif 64cm exactly north.

TIP: Make sure that the triangle in...

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Has Your Design Career Stagnated?

Do you wish you could do more business or earn more money? If you’re spinning your wheels but getting nowhere, consider: could you be getting in your own way? Here’s five ordinary habits that can stall a design career, and the techniques to turn them around. 

Words by Erin, Digital Design Media Manager 

1. You design the same design over and over

When we stumble on a successful approach to well, anything, it’s natural to want to repeat it. Maybe there was a design style that sold really well for you last season and you’ve reinvented it few times since. You have the formula down and now it’s fast to produce. You’re moving at a rapid rate but your work is starting to feel too familiar. “There’s a lot of competition for textile sales out there and if you are not providing enough variety then your designs are not appearing new” says creative director, Rebecca. “Customers always want the ‘newest and...

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Watercolour 101: Don't Do This, Do This!

Written and produced by Morgan, Social Media Coordinator

 

In this video you’ll learn some incredible watercolor painting tips, the essential do’s and don’ts, from our talented artist and designer Bec. These skills are ideal for beginners and for anyone who needs a good refresher. 

You can also paint alongside Bec as you watch this video.

 

The tools you’ll need to use throughout the video include;

  • A watercolor palette
  • 1 Flat Brush
  • 1 Thick Round Brush
  • 1 Thin Round Brush
  • 2 Water Jars
  • Some paper Towels 
  • Standard Paper 80GSM
  • And Watercolour Paper preferable 220GSM

Have you got everything? You do, great! Now let’s get started!

 

Different paper stock. Which is the best for watercolor painting? 

There are so many different paper stock options available to purchase nowadays. However, with watercolor painting, your choice of paper can drastically change the outcome of your artwork. 

Here Bec is painting on the...

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My Design Journey: Emily Heath

my design journey Jul 21, 2022

Emily's path to becoming a pro painter happened in four short years. Taking one of our courses led to an internship with the Longina Phillips Designs studio, which evolved into a job offer.  Working in-house she was exposed to a painting style that would change her career and her life.

We love this story because it proves you can pivot a creative career while raising kids — AND find success pretty fast!

I started at Longina Phillips Designs as an intern in 2017 and ended up staying for four years! I had very young children when I began and was fortunate to find a workplace that was flexible and supportive of my role as a mum. Much to my delight, after finishing my internship I was offered a job. I think my most memorable moment would be selling my first design… pretty sure I cried! 

I owe my painting style to LPD.

The regular in-house workshops held at Longina Phillips Designs were a great way to learn new skills and when Tannya...

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