Read on for a look inside the life of a local woman who designs and sells one-of-a-kind patterns for a world of fascinating uses.
Eileen Fleming lives a creative and colorful life. Every where she turns, she says she finds inspiration for her next pattern design.
That’s why she launched Eileen Fleming Pattern Design LLC, a business that focuses on primarily selling surface/pattern designs.
What makes surface/pattern design so unique, according to Fleming, is that it is artwork created by a designer that is applied to a variety of products such as packaging, textiles, apparel, table top, gift ware, stationery, etc. The designer enhances the visual appeal, communicates messages, and drives sales of consumer products, Fleming adds.
“Eileen Fleming Pattern Design, LLC is my long-time dream and I’m 100% dedicated to seeing it succeed,” she says.
Fleming recalls few available resources when researching the intricacies of pattern design, so she decided to go back to college to take a deep dive into her passions. In 2004, she applied to UC DAAP, was accepted, and began her journey in graphic design.
“It wasn’t exactly pattern design, but it got me a great design background, taught me to use Adobe Creative Suite, which was huge, and got me thinking as a designer,” Flemming explains, adding that she finished her degree in 2009.
Even with the college degree, Fleming says she still didn’t learn how to design patterns, so she began looking to books and the internet where she eventually found Michelle Fifis and the Textile Design Lab. Over the next two years, she took every course offered until she had felt confident in her new abilities. From there, she kicked off her business with the first generation of her website.
Her business, as a B2B model, sells and/or licenses her designs to manufacturers, fashion houses, and other consumer product companies. She offers a full service design package from concept through production. That package includes: trend research, trend boards, custom designs to the client’s creative brief, technical repeats, color-way development, advising clients on best printing methods, communicating with factories to assure the finished artwork meets the factory’s production specifications, ordering samples or proofs, creating and sending the finalized artwork files to production upon final approval.
Fleming also offers each of those services individually on an hourly contract basis. “For example, if a client has purchased artwork from another designer and needs technical help to put it into repeat, and prepare files for production I can do that for them as well,” Fleming says. “I actually love the challenges of the technical side of the work so I welcome these types of jobs.”
Fleming adds that when she’s not designing for work, you can find her designing for herself. “If I’m not designing to a client’s creative brief, I design from my heart. Meaning I design what I love, what strikes me in the moment, from inspiration around me, etc.,” she explains. “It sounds corny but I strive to design colors, textures and motifs that — when the elements come together — make my heart sing.”
Fleming loves vibrant colors, rich textures, and geometric themes. Her work entails many different styles, mediums and techniques. She says her designs range from fully graphic and digital, hand painted watercolor or monotype printed. “My favorite technique is traditional Turkish Ebru,” Fleming explains. “A pattern design may start with an original photograph, or it may be good old fashioned gouache or chalk pastels.”
Fleming says her goal is to use all of her education and skills to do what she loves and to contribute to the world. “I would love nothing more then to be able to train and employ people that need jobs and want to do great work,” says Fleming, adding that she has hopes of being able to sponsor more children through World Vision and to be able to help the local homeless community more than she does currently.
Right now she is working on bringing her designs direct-to-consumer under the name GoMIngo. She is working with print-on-demand companies, as well as sourcing other products herself to put her art in front of consumers. “I will roll out some new products in time for the Christmas shopping season,” says Fleming.
She says she will be out in the community at various art fairs and vendor expos across town, “as well as finding my expanded product line on a dedicated e-commerce site” she adds.
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