Please join us in celebrating this month’s spotlight surface designer, Laura Bradford. We know you’ll find her story inspiring!
Please Introduce Yourself
I was born in Colombia, but grew up in New Jersey, and have spent most of my adult life in the Philadelphia area, which is where I live now with my husband and our two small children.
We also lived in Columbus, Ohio for 3 years, where I was an in-house print designer for an apparel company. I lost my job when the pandemic started, so now I’m a stay-at-home mom and I have been creating and designing patterns with my own artwork for about two years now.
Tell us a little bit about your design journey.
I majored in fashion design in college and fell in love with textile and computer-aided design. I then spent ten years working in a non-creative role in the fashion industry and didn’t pick up a paintbrush or a drawing tool that entire time.
When we moved to Ohio, I was lucky enough to land a job as a print and pattern designer for an apparel company. While there, I learned how to create repeat patterns and fell in love with the beautiful watercolor florals I had to put into repeat. So when I got laid off shortly after the pandemic, I decided to learn watercolor painting and became obsessed with making patterns from my own artwork.
Do you have a favorite portfolio design or client collaboration?
My client collaboration with Ben Yehuda Press and Marion Haberman on illustrating the cover of her book, Expecting Jewish. A friend of mine follows her on YouTube, and when she asked for recommendations for artists to do her book cover, my friend suggested me.
She loved my artwork and reached out to me. It was such an incredible learning experience, especially in regards to pricing, contracts, and dealing with clients. It was terrifying and exhilarating at the same time.
When you look back at your design journey so far, what are you most proud of?
I am most proud of the work I did for the book cover. I nearly said no because I didn’t think I had the skill to do it but my husband encouraged me to try, and I am so happy I did.
If you could offer advice to other designers who are struggling, what would that be?
This advice is as much for me as for anyone else: Stamp out that voice in your head that tells you that you suck and that you shouldn’t be bothering. Stamp it out by drawing, painting, or creating every single day. And put yourself out there anyway!