Surface Designer Spotlight: Cecilia Battaini

I love celebrating designers who have a unique point of view, whether that’s their outlook on life or their art. Our Designer Spotlight for June, Cecilia Battaini, has BOTH! Her delicate florals and the way she describes them really is a feast for the eyes and the soul. And I know you’ll enjoy reading her story…

Please Introduce Yourself

My name is Cecilia Battaini and I’m an artist, illustrator and surface designer, based in Milan, Italy. I call myself a flower in the midst of flowers because they are my favorite subject to draw. I enjoy seeing my art as the expression of my inner garden, of all my feelings, thoughts, memories, dreams and emotions.

I draw everything by hand with colored pencils, then scan my sketches on my laptop and through Photoshop I polish them and create unique patterns. I make and sell paintings made with fabrics featuring my flowers, as well as calendars, t-shirts and art prints, create illustrations for books, Instagram pages, and many others.

I work on commissions for brands and private clients creating original prints and patterns for textiles, clothing, home decor, stationery, magazines, and wallpapers, but also I hold exhibitions of my artworks for museums, art galleries and street markets, and even workshops. You can also find many products featuring my designs on sale on many print-on-demand websites.

Surface design art by Cecilia Battaini
Tell us a little bit about your design journey.

Drawing flowers started as a therapy. Years ago I spent several months in hospital, recovering from mental and eating disorders. Bad thoughts haunted me. Drawing was the only thing able to keep them at bay. The only safe place I knew. Because flowers may seem delicate and vulnerable, yet they are incredibly strong and resistant. They can grow and bloom everywhere.

Since then I never stopped. My gardens have grown with me, becoming something more than just a safe place. Sharing them with others, I hope that they can find in them the same peacefulness and positivity I find while I drawing them and, why not, that they can be able to grow their own inner gardens as well.

My first approach with surface design was during fashion school. During those years I specialized in pattern and surface design because I really enjoyed creating artworks that could be reproduced on every kind of surface. I’ve worked as a print and pattern designer for a fashion brand since I graduated, yet I’m pursuing a career as a full-time artist, illustrator and surface designer — that’s my dream actually!

Surface design art by Cecilia Battaini
What advice about the surface design industry has been most helpful to you in your career so far?

The best thing about surface design is that every artwork could be applied to every kind of surface. This means that a surface designer can work with many different kind of markets, not only one. I am constantly bursting with ideas, my mind is like a garden where flowers grow one after the other.

There are so many things I would like to do, so many goals I would like to reach. I don’t wanna be defined by one single craft. And surface design is one of the best ways to achieve that.

When you look back at your design journey so far, what are you most proud of?

During all those years I had to learn to put myself out there. First of all, I am incredibly shy and introverted, and sharing my gardens, which are fragments of myself, with the world, wasn’t an easy task.

Second, I lacked much knowledge which I had to learn. Working on my website and social media, marketing my art, reaching out for clients… I had no preparation in any of these. I took courses, reached out other creatives to ask them about their experiences, learnt and learnt again. And I haven’t finished yet. Probably I never will.

Looking back, I feel always incredibly impressed by what I have achieved. I have grown not only as an artist but also as a person.

Surface design art by Cecilia Battaini
Where do you see yourself in your career three years from now?

Three years from now I would like to finally be a full-time artist, illustrator and surface designer from a very long time!

What advice would you give to surface designers who are struggling?

Never give up. I know it isn’t easy. You are gonna hear so many no’s, many doors are going to be shut in front of you. But keep on.

Believing in your dream is already
a huge part of the journey.

If you don’t believe in it first, no one else will. Be sure to surround yourself with other creatives, who believe in your art and whom you can ask advice from. It will take a very long time, but every garden needs its own time to grow.

Where can we find you?

Instagram: @ceciliabattaini

P.S. If you’d like to be featured on the SDR blog, you can always submit your story right here!

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