I love how Claudia Owen plays with colour. Starting with classic, elegant geometrics, she breathes new life into them with details in clashing, vibrant hues of hot pink, yellow, green and orange.
Based in Canberra, Claudia first studied graphic design (part of which was at uni in my home town of Wagga! – JG) and worked as a graphic designer for a few years. Then about 6 years ago, she sat down and put a list together of all the things she enjoyed doing. “The list was very long but every single thing I had on it revolved around the world of surface pattern design. However, at that time I had no idea that there was actually a name for what I was doing! All I knew is that I loved creating patterns and designs that could have a wide range of applications and it gave me great joy to be doing that type of work.” She says that having a background in graphic design has been helpful, as both fields complement each other.
She firmly believes in the transformative power of a good pattern; how it can change an ordinary thing into a striking work of art. “I always enjoy seeing the final product with my design on it. It doesn’t matter how many times that has happened over the years, it’s always very exciting! I like to think that my designs have put a smile on someone’s face or that it has helped someone improve the look of a room by using one of my throw pillows, fabrics or wallpapers.”
“There are many artists and designers that I admire and look up to: Jessica Swift, Daniel Moraes, Rachael Taylor, Amy Butler, Khristian A Howell, Mark Llewelyn-Bowen and many more. I love it that each one of them has been able to make a living from something that they are passionate about.”
While her formal training has been in graphic design, Claudia’s surface design skills have mostly been self taught.
“I think my whole journey has been full of challenges given that I was getting into a field of work that I knew nothing about. But thanks to the internet I have been able to do lots of research and I have bought books, e-books, I have done online courses and tutorials and I have also found Facebook groups of like minded people and all of these things have helped me move forward.”
“Probably the best piece of advice would have to be that hard work pays off and that you should never give up! Just the other day I read a quote by Vince Lombardi that I thought reflected this sentiment quite well: “The man on top of the mountain didn’t just fall there”.”
You can find more of Claudia’s work on her website, claudiaowen.com (with links to her work on Society6, Kekacase and many others), and her Spoonflower shop. You should also check out her cute and witty cards in her Etsy shop, venerate.