Exclusive Interview With Designer Erica Wakerly

If you’re a regular reader of the Lime Lace blog or you’re connected to us on social media, you’ll know that we love wallpaper!

That’s why we’re so excited to have had a chance to chat with wallpaper designer Erica Wakerly who we featured on the blog recently. We wanted to find out more about Erica’s work and what goes into creating such great wallpaper designs.

How did you get into the design world? Did you always know you wanted to be a designer?

I always wanted to pursue a visually creative path and from a young school age I knew that I would like to go to art college. I originally did a degree in illustration at Brighton University, and then I worked as a graphic designer before embarking on an MA at the Royal College of Art in Printed Textile design. It was there I really developed my own language as a designer which has followed through to my design label.

How hard was it to set up a design label shortly after completing your Masters? How long did it actually take and do you have any tips for budding designers?

Following my Masters I was quite determined to set up my own label, rather than work for one of the larger design houses. Once I had found a manufacturer to work with, I also had to learn about how to manage a business which was a big learning curve. Running and growing the day to day business whilst maintaining the development of new designs is the biggest challenge. My advice to new designers is, be true to themselves and be original in their designs. Try to do something new that hasn't been seen before, find a gap in the market, and don't be scared to push and play with ideas.

Talk us through a typical design process...

I work from drawing, making models and keeping an ongoing record of ideas - most of which get discarded! It is the ones that linger in my thoughts, or I keep coming back to that make it to an edit and I then take forward to production. For my wallpapers, it is when we go to run the first colour samples that the designs come to life and is the most exciting part for me.

What inspires you?

I am inspired by space and light and how these can enhanced, or be harnessed most affectively, in an interior. Good architecture or a successful interior can make a person feel great and that is the aim when creating a new design. Pattern and colour can transform the mood of a room and I design using metallic in many of my designs to work with ambient or natural light.

How do you decide on a final wallpaper design?

A final wallpaper design is decided in a great part by a process of elimination. There are so many creative and practical production issues along the way, the best design survives these. If I haven't seen it before and it makes me feel good then often that is a reason to go with it.

Do you have a favourite design? What is it and why?

Angles has to be the design I owe the greatest debt to and the design that feels fresh every time I see it up on the wall.

Who do you admire in the design world?

Two very different designers who I admire hugely are Zaha Hadid and the late Lucienne Day. I went to meet Lucienne and Robin Day at their home back in 2004, which I feel very privileged to have done. Although her designs are regarded as classics and the mid century aesthetic she spearheaded is fashionable again, I admire that she did something completely new and without nostalgic reference. Zaha Hadid I respect as a true visionary and I hope we will see more of her work built in the UK in the future.

What’s a typical day in the life of Erica Wakerly?

I'd say there is no typical day and that is the attractive nature of self employment. I enjoy not having a fixed routine. The downside is that it can be difficult to close the door on work at the end of the day, but the positives out way the negatives for me. Usually I make time to do some design work or visual research every day and there is usually also some business administration to do. I also have a young family now which dictates much of my time!
So there you have it – an exclusive interview with Erica Wakerly! Don’t forget we sell a wide range of Erica’s designs, so if you’re after a new look for your home why not check out some of Erica’s fabulous work.

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