I first came across Claudia Owen’s work about this time last year (I featured her here), and was attracted to her elegant geometrics with their vivid, clashy colours. Just recently she contacted me again because she has just launched a new shop selling accessories and stationery featuring her new designs.

And what a change! Dense, painterly textures, layered abstracts in jewel colours. The geometrics still aren’t very far away, but they’re bolder and simpler, and their crispness makes a great contrast. But that’s not all – there’s another direction too – feminine, drawn florals over soft textures in pastel brights.


claudia owen - gemstone silk scarf

claudia owen – gemstone silk scarf


claudia owen - alchemy - document folders

claudia owen – alchemy – document folders


AND! Not content just with the patterns, Claudia has been busy getting them onto a range of accessories – silk scarves, leggings, phone cases, stationery and more, that she’s now selling in her brand new Etsy shop. A very busy girl indeed! She told me that the product line started with scarves, but it just kind of grew. “Once my scarf designs were done I thought that many of these designs could also quite easily translate into other products and so I turned them into journals, throw pillows, pencil cases, clipboards and other products. So this is how my brand new Claudia Owen Etsy shop came about.”

I asked Claudia about the new directions in pattern, and asked her if there had been something in particular that had been a gamechanger for her. “I’ve actually been doing this type of abstract/layered work for a while now but I haven’t openly shown this type of work very much. Last year when I started working on my silk scarf collection I felt that this layered style would suit that medium quite well. I still included some geometric elements to the designs (I guess I can’t help myself) as I think that the layered style can get quite visually heavy and it needed to be broken into sections so that is why I felt it needed those elements.”


claudia owen - floral bloom

claudia owen – floral bloom


claudia owen - fruity dreams

claudia owen – fruity dreams


“The tray designs are also a completely different style to what you’ve seen from me before. I see emerging three different styles – the purely geometric, the layered style with some hints of geometric elements and the more feminine/hand drawn look. I’ve heard many times how is important to find your style and it appears that I might have found three styles so far!

“I think this is because my background is in graphic design so I’m used to seeing projects from the customer’s point of view; I’m used to looking at a style guide and doing work for the client that fits their look. So when I started working on the tray designs I felt that a feminine look would suit this medium best so that is how this work emerged.”


claudia owen - baby flowers

claudia owen – baby flowers


Opening up a new shop is fresh avenue and certainly has lots of possibilities; but I was interested to hear what she thought about the benefits of being on Etsy when the competition is so fierce, and what strategies she had for getting her work in front of people’s faces?

“What I like about Etsy is that there is an existing customer base. And yes, I agree competition is fierce on Etsy (but competition is fierce everywhere else too) and it is increasingly hard to be seen on Etsy as well. Despite all this, I thought opening an Etsy shop was the easiest, fastest and most cost effective way to get an online shop up and running. If it all goes well I can always look into a major upgrade and move the online shop elsewhere…but until then, I’m staying here on Etsy.

One of the other reasons I was reluctant to set up my own online shop elsewhere, is because if you don’t have a large following or you don’t have a significant amount of traffic to your website, NO ONE will see your work. I still haven’t quite worked out how I’m going to get my work seen in an endless sea of product listings on Etsy, but I guess featuring on tractorgirl is a great starting point!” * { 😀 }

Presentation is especially important in Etsy, as it’s another way to stand out from the crowd. For Claudia with her new shop, it’s a work in progress. “I do feel that at the moment my Etsy shop lacks the human touch. I think that at the moment in my shop I have a collection of product photos that show what the product looks like which is very useful, but they are not inspiring. They don’t show you what it feels like when you use them or wear those products. I need photos that are styled nicely so that products are shown in context and also show a beautiful lifestyle that people can aspire to live. For instance, she recently styled up the floral trays. “I styled them very simply but I think the shots ended up looking much better than if I had just simply taken product photos of the trays on their own.

I also feel like I must have done a good enough job that these trays were also featured on the Print and Pattern blog last week, which as you probably know, every designer wants to be featured there!


claudia owen - crystalline - phone cover

claudia owen – crystalline – phone cover


* And while I think being featured on tractorgirl is great of course, it pales in comparison to Surtex , where Claudia will be showing her work for the first time this year. “Right now I’m focusing on preparing work for my first Surtex show in May which is one of the largest art licensing shows in the world. I’ll be represented by Cultivate Art Agency and I have tons of work to complete before then. This is a show that I’ve always dreamt of having my work at and this year I will finally be able to achieve this goal!”

You can find more of Claudia’s latest work in her Etsy shop, claudiaowen, and on her own website, claudiaowen.com.