Surface Designer Spotlight: Geneva Richards

I’m often asked by aspiring artists who have jobs outside of surface design whether it’s actually possible to become a full-time artist. And of course, my answer is a resounding YES, but I know saying that isn’t often enough. That’s why I’m elated to introduce this month’s spotlight surface designer, Geneva, because she actually made the switch back in 2020. I hope you enjoy her story!

Please Introduce Yourself

Hello! My name is Geneva and I’m a surface designer from New Zealand, currently based in sunny Sydney, Australia. I’m a lover of all things pink, cute, and weird. I’ve only been working in design for about a year thanks to everything that went down in 2020, but I’ve been interested in design and illustration for as long as I can remember.

Surface Designer Geneva Richards
Tell us a little bit about your design journey.

I needed a change after realizing life was too short to be stuck in my public relations job and 2020 was the kick in the pants that motivated me to change my life — no regrets! I discovered surface design purely by chance. I was learning the ropes of digital illustration when I was contacted by someone wanting textile designs for her children and tweens clothing brand and I jumped at the opportunity. I’m a big believer in learning as you go and never saying no, and I’m still really proud of how that collection turned out.

Surface design by Geneva Richards
What has been your favorite client collaboration to date and how did you find them?

My collaboration with Erin K Jewellery has just been released and I’m so happy with how it turned out! Erin used my Buzzy Bee design to make beautiful, delicate earrings and they are absolutely stunning! I’m wearing a pair right now and they’re so comfortable and high quality.

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

Erm, everything! Selling my designs, collaborating with awesome clients, my cute community, it’s all been so amazing! I would never have believed you if you told me at the start of 2020 that I’d be where I am today!

Surface design by Geneva Richards
Surface design by Geneva Richards
What advice would you give to surface designers who are struggling?

It’s so easy to become disheartened and I think the only solution is to keep showing up for yourself day after day, and give yourself what you need. Whether that’s a break from social media, or exploring a new medium with the pressure off, or finding ways to organise and streamline the process to make things easier for yourself (I’m a Capricorn hehe), it’s important to honour your needs to help get your mojo back!

Surface design by Geneva Richards
Where can we find you?

Instagram: @studio.geneva

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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