Featured Member – October 2016
Meet our new featured member, Elena Ballam.
Elena is a talented surface pattern designer from British Columbia, Canada. We are so happy to have her as a member and to be able to showcase her modern take on vintage patterns.
What is your background as an artist and what led you to surface pattern design?
Since childhood, I've loved playing and moving colours, shapes and textures around. I've always painted in my spare time, and have fond memories of sewing with my mum and grandma, both of who were quilters.
After high school, I worked as a makeup artist for film, television and bridal, then decided to go back to school to get my B.A. in graphic design. This allowed me to take the inspiration I had from my grandma's vintage fabrics and use it to create my own repeat patterns.
How would you define your style?
Definitely inspired by the vintage florals of the mid-century.
What was your first job doing surface pattern design and how did you get it?
I designed a custom wallpaper for a client. It was a friend of the family who had just come back from Poland and wanted a Polish Folk-Art style wallpaper.
It was a great project, and lots of fun!
Where do you look for inspiration?
I really enjoy browsing through old books and fabrics in thrift stores.
Old gardening books with hand-drawn illustrations are always a great find, and even just getting out exploring the local flora and fauna can trigger inspiration.
You can see more of Elena's work on her website: www.elenaballam.com.