About Me

My photo
Delicate designs with an illustrative edge - highly detailed surface pattern and illustration, inspired by life and created with love. Sarah Fleming is a graduate of Cleveland College of Art & Design, where she studied Textiles and Surface Design, specialising in design for the home furnishings and greetings market. Inspired by the detail and beautiful patterns found in nature and her surroundings, Sarah is motivated to achieve beautiful, highly informative observational drawings. She showed an interest in Art from a very early age and has developed a great passion for Textiles and Surface Design. This huge passion spurs her on to work extremely hard, full of enthusiasm to create new and exciting design ideas. Sarah has developed a detailed, tight drawing style which helps her to achieve her beautiful observational drawings. However, she is also able to work in a very sketchy, illustrative style too - showing her as a very versatile designer, capable of adapting where relevant to confidently produce designs for both the commercial and more niche markets. For work enquiries please contact Sarah at sarahfleming11@hotmail.com

Monday, 30 January 2012

30/01/12 ideas

I have come back home this week and in between helping mum and being distracted by almost anything and everything, I have been playing around with some colour ideas for the designs I created last week...

Design 1 - sketchy floral overlaid pattern with overlapping circles behind

Design 1 - Same design as above but flat blackground with sketchy floral pattern in different colours

Design 2 - Hand drawn flower stems with abstract geometric coloured background

I have loved experimenting with my Derwent pencils; they have helped me to create some really lovely design ideas. I am excited to be introducing brighter colours into my work to make them more eye-catching and interesting, however I am not happy with some of the colours above. These will be changed as more development is carried out with screen print as I mix up the pigments/dyes, but I just wanted to get down onto paper what is in my head and the design ideas I was going for!

Thursday, 26 January 2012

Wacky for Wallpaper

Today has been another productive one; I am always happiest when designing wallpaper layouts and it is definitely showing in how well things are going. I love seeing designs develop - from a single motif into a repeat and then into coloured patterns. It is a long process and tests focus and patience, but it is definitely worth it when you see the final painted outcomes!
I feel really inspired at the moment and I am eager to continue working hard.

This is my fourth design idea - the floral motifs create an interesting pattern but the design will come alive once I start to experiment with colour, media and different backgrounds.
I intend to start playing around with colour ways and techniques over the next few days so watch this space!!

Above - a little bit of experimentation with my pencils and waterbrush from Derwent. There are some lovely colours; I am especially looking forward to using the beautiful metallic pencils!

Tuesday, 24 January 2012

Advanced Print Workshop

I am looking to produce a few lengths of wallpaper as part of my Final Major project so last friday I took part in an advanced print workshop to get an insight into the process of printing a design in repeat. I had previous experience with printing a one-colour way 3metre length but this workshop showed us how to print with 5 colour ways.
The group of 9 were split up and given specific tasks to prepare for printing - mixing up dyes and pigments, putting new backing cloth on print table and coating and exposing screens.
I have included a variety of photos to show what we did, step by step:

Koda trace designs, lined them up to make sure they repeated correctly before exposing them onto the screens

Large furnishing silk-screens, coated and exposed with our designs on

Crisp, clean backing cloth ready to print onto

Mixing up printing pigments in the dye lab - we used 3 illuminated discharge pastes (magenta, orange and turqouise) and a pigment discharge paste (lime). I was part of the group responsible for this. We started off by mixing up the discharge paste and once it had settled for half an hour we added in the dye mixes and pigments to create the pastes we would be printing with.

Very messy dye mixing cupboard - this was due to lots of experimentation buy my group and I to make sure we got a really lovely violet coloured dye for our base fabric

Our 3m length of Spun Silk was left in the boiler unit to soak up the dye. We put it in the boiler as fabrics take on more intense colours if the dye and fabric is hot. This was continually stirred to ensure the piece of fabric was blotch free

3m length of fabric stretched and pinned out on print table ready to print onto once it had been rinsed and dried. We were really pleased with the outcome; although the colour turned out more blue that violet after being washed, it was still a beautiful colour and perfectly flat!

Screen printing the first layer with lime discharge pigment

Length after first layer of print was completed. The lime and blue work really well together and I am excited to see it once the other layers are added and it has been steamed and washed!
Will try to post a picture of the finished piece in all of its glory asap :)

Photos courtesy of Rebecca Wilson

Sponsorship Items

Here's a photo of all of the lovely stuff sent to me by Derwent pencils to help me with my final major project. The pencils look fab and I am eager to start my design development sheets to experiment with them. I have already used the waterbrush and think it is great!! Such a quirky invention, and saves me risking spilling water all over my work.. :) definitely recommend!

Thanks again to Kirsty and everyone at Derwent pencils!

Thursday, 19 January 2012

Productive days are happy ones!

Today has been really good, I feel like I have accomplished quite a lot. I started some design development and I am so excited to be designing again; this is where I feel comfortable and can really show off my skills. I love playing around with different motifs, scale and repeats to put my designs together and I feel like I really shine when it comes to development sheets playing around with colour combinations and different media. I am really passionate about wallpaper design and I feel that it shows in my dedication and the work I produce.

Starting points in my sketchbook- showing colour, inspiration and market research:

Inspirational designers include Louise Tiler, Jo Pierce, James Francis Millar, Longina Phillips Designs and Johanna Basford.

Development Sheets

26.5cm x 26.5cm block repeat
3layered floral design - 1x observational, 1x textured silhouette, 1x linear outline

26.5cm x 26.5cm block repeat
geometric patterned background with detailed observational florals on top

I have tried to bring in an abstract feel to my designs, with geometric patterns in the backgrounds, but still allow my detailed drawing style to stand out to create beautiful, innovative wallpaper designs.
These are the two that I started today and I have many more ideas to play around with; lots of different motifs, trying out 53cm x 53cm layouts, half drop repeats. I will then experiment with colour ways, different media (including the materials given by Derwent!!) and screen print techniques.

Busy, busy bee!

Wednesday, 18 January 2012

Online Portfolio

Although I post a lot of my work on here to show the different stages of my projects, I have decided to create an online portfolio to show a selection of drawings, designs and digital Photoshop work.
Carbon made is a create website for this; easy to use and looks really slick and professional!
Here's the link to my portfolio, hope you like it!

Derwent Pencils Sponsorship

I am so so happy to report that I have gained sponsorship from Derwent Pencils.
They have sent me a variety of drawing pencils in the post today and I cannot wait to receive them and start getting creative! I have had a collection of their drawing pencils for atleast 5years now and I absolutely love them so I am really looking forward to experimenting with the others they have so very kindly provided me with.
Their pencils are of fantastic quality, last forever and give brilliant results - I would definitely recommend!!
Here's to producing some fabulous, hand-drawn designs for my FMP!

Tuesday, 17 January 2012


So today I decided to jump on the bandwaggon and get a twitter account! I think it will be great to advertise my work and my blog, and network with other people and businesses.
Follow me @s_fleming12

Friday, 13 January 2012

Working progress

Below are a few images of my drawing sheets so far.

I have really embraced the detailed, figurative drawing style that I have developed over the past few years, to achieve highly informative observational drawings. This, combined with the geometric line and shape that I have introduced in areas is producing some really interesting patterns and motifs for me to experiment with during the design development stages.
The drawings that I have kept quite literal will be developed in different ways when I start to design to bring in the abstract side of my theme, perhaps by cutting them up and putting them back together or layering them up to create distorted imagery.

I am really happy with how these have turned out and I am excited to be starting design development soon, to play around with all the ideas floating around in my head!
What do you think?

Thursday, 5 January 2012


I cannot believe that it is already 2012, and I am already 5weeks into my Final Major project!
Drawing is going very slowly but now I am back at CCAD after a lovely Christmas break I am feeling inspired and excited to work really hard!
I have felt a little confused with my theme and how I would go about combining my tight, detailed drawing style with bold, geometric
shapes so I have been carrying out some more market research.

I came across the work of Heather Bareham.
Like me, Heather studied a Textiles and Surface Design degree, specialising in wallpaper during her final year. Her blog is a lovely read; full of really interesting ideas and information.
Her FMP work has really helped me, filling my head full with ideas!
She created a range of wallpaper designs using images of ceramics she had drawn; cutting them up, mixing them up and putting them back together again. This collage style of working with mosaic shaped pieces is such a quirky, creative idea and I love the designs she produced!

Here are some images of her work below, taken from http://heatherbareham.blogspot.com/