Hello Friends, visitors, passers-by and even greetings to those who never come here; we think of you all, often.
The Spring/Summer season of 2018 will see the emergence of our trend Urban Planet, which has perhaps my favorite color palette for the year. It doesn’t contain my favorite color, but as a collection of colors it’s hard to beat.
The Urban Planet palette has a real pick-me-up look to it, a happy feel. This maybe because it’s essentially a story of metallics and they are always a favorite. Metallics have been are ever present and it seems fitting that they should now have their own trend for this summer season.
This month I have been chatting to YanYan Evan-Jones, a surface pattern illustrator currently based in Sussex, England. At the moment YanYan designs and illustrates adult colouring books, which are becoming increasingly popular world wide. I love that YanYan has such a daring approach to design in that she works directly in ink on to blank paper, being confident and fully committed to her creative vision. I hope you will be able to appreciate and enjoy her work as much as I do.
Tell us a little bit about yourself…
My name is YanYan Evan-Jones. I’m originally from Guangzhou, China but emigrated to England to live with my husband in September 2014. I’m fluent in English, Cantonese and Mandarin and have primarily spent my professional career working as a language teacher for over 5 years in China.
- Where do you gather inspiration for your designs?
Most of my inspiration comes from nature, so I would describe my style as a simple but highly abstract interpretation of the natural beauty that surrounds me, and indeed all of us, on a daily basis.
- What is your creative process?
When I first started to draw in April 2015, I would draft my work in pencil before going over it with a pen. At this time I didn’t really have my own style and doodling was just an enjoyable way to kill time. The first time I worked directly on paper with pen was in July, after returning from trip to France – I remember picking up a black pen and casually drawing on a piece of paper. There wasn’t a specific object in my mind at that moment, I just followed my heart, an overall idea forming bit by bit with each additional line. Eventually, my first featured work was born, an intricate black and white drawing of some flowers. I shared this piece with my friends in various social media circles, and to my delight, it seemed as though many people loved it! The positive way my work was received was a great source of inspiration, and since then, I primarily let my heart take the lead and work directly with pen and paper. I love the fact that working this way means that there are no second chances; for better or worse you have to be confident and fully commit to your creative vision!
- What is your favourite piece of work that you have created?
My favorite piece has no specific name, it is a thought from an English phrase “the apple of one’s eyes”, but I changed the last word into “heart” , so it is “the apple of one’s heart”. If you could try to look into the details of it, it is an abstract object mixed with an apple and a heart within, the leaves surrounding, which represents nature.
- What are you working on at the moment?
I am currently designing a number of commissioned black and white illustrations for an adult colouring book-Mindful Colour and teaching Chinese (Mandarin).
- What are you doing when you are not creating?
Apart from my newfound love for, and potentially blossoming career in design, I also have real passion for healthy living and fitness – working out every day keeps me sane, energetic and positive!
- Do you have any tips or inspiring words for others?
“In the darkness, only ambition will guide you.”
Keep doing what you love, and never shy away from showing your work to others – so long as we’re prepared to listen, all feedback is good feedback and you never know what might result from meeting the right person at the right time!
8. Where can we find you?
YanYan welcomes commissions and is perfectly able to adapt her style to any particular subject matter. Please feel free to contact her on the above.
I would like to say a huge thank you to YanYan for allowing us a sneak peek into her creative world. Make sure you check out her wonderfully inspiring instagram and expect to see a lot more of Yanyans beautiful surface pattern designs!
This week we have been at The International Surface Event in Vegas hanging out in our luxury chalet…
Lots of hard work went into the design and curation of the trend hub, first we had to come up with the creative ideas and inspiration mood boards before beginning to draw and design the specifics of the hub. We worked with a very talented team of builders to bring the whole idea to life!
Welcome to the Trend Hub… A space to be inspired, gather information on colour, textures and materials. Be interactive with our wool colour palette and play around creating your very own surface mood board, designing your own style and theme with our interesting and unusual surface textures and materials, a source of inspiration and design style trends. We have wallpaper, fabric, wood, tiles, leather and resin samples from Alex Turco, ARTO Brick, Campioni, KAZA Concrete, Carina Sohl, Bedrosians, Townsend Leathers as well as fish skin leathers from Decorum Est along with many more interesting samples.
The chalet is a beautiful mix of natural elements; drift wood, shells, agate, faux fur and antlers alongside details of style and glamour, gold and glitter. It allows time and space to appreciate both the rawness and the refinement. With key interior features from Michael Aram and fantastic moose and deer heads from WallCharmers. Thank you to Quickstep for supplying our Dark Tudor Oak Brown floor from their Reclaime Collection.
The tree table of surface samples attracted lots of people, inviting people to be tactile and hands on with the products added an interactive element, you could also create your own wool colour palette to take home with you for your own reference, one from each of our 4 key trends. Thank you to Camira for supplying the wool it was a fantastic feature that everyone enjoyed.
Our international knitting project went down well with many people, mostly women, adding more and more rows. The special opal yarn creates a self stripe pattern, it’s fantastic!
Oh and here’s me giving one of many trend talks on the Hub…
Next week we will take you on our Trend Tour with images and information about the top ten exhibitors we spotted at the show.
Being in business often involves the need for someone to take on the role of salesperson, at some stage. This often falls on a person who didn’t sign up for it, doesn’t want to do it and possibly has all sorts of misconceptions about what it is and who can do it.
This post WILL HELP YOU. A lot of complete ‘rubbish’ is spoken about the subject and some (not all by any means) people are actually in business to make it seem like a complex, difficult task and one that needs lots of training, perfecting, processes, procedures, etc etc. And, there is a place for all of this; but this place in not in a small business full of creatives, technologists, engineers.
You are building up contacts, making appointments and getting close to the point of having to carry out that most frightening of all steps – Selling. It’s easy for those of us with the ‘gift of the gab’ and even simpler for those of us referred to as ‘natural salespeople.’
Sit down & pin back your ears for some really great news – there is no such thing as a natural salesperson and neither is being thought of as having ‘ the gift of the gab’ a good thing. It’s better expressed in my view as being ‘gobby, full of yourself and generally being an idiot!’
Each one of us can win new business from new customers, or from existing customers in other words – SELL. How so I hear you ask? Absolute gem coming up so pay attention. This is why:
‘People do business with people they like’
Now, unfortunately, I am able to claim to have been a ‘salesperson’ for more than 30 years – which does not necessarily make me good at it but, it means that for 30 years I have been reading books about how to sell, attending seminars being told how to sell, being put on training courses to be shown how to sell and I’ve spent thousands of hours with ‘professional’ salespeople. After an extraordinary amount of money has been spent on me do you know what I have learnt?
‘People do business with people they like’
Learn how to be liked (yes this is something you can learn) and you will never look back. Don’t switch off now, stick with me and you will see that it is not about being the centre of attention, nor is it about being the life and soul of anything, or being in the limelight. Here is the second absolute gem:
‘Be genuinely interested in the people you meet’
However we were created, the end result was that we have two ears and a single, solitary mouth; you must practise to make sure that you always, without fail and never forget, to use this equipment proportionally to the numbers in which you own each then you will have taken a huge step toward being a very successful winner of business.
I mean, speak for no more than 1/3rd of the time and listen for the rest – in fact if you can get this to an 80 / 20 split you will be flying! However, when you are doing this it is essential that you use your ears to LISTEN and not to hear. It is just as important that in your early client meetings you use your mouth to ask questions about the person, their business and their problems. Do not use your mouth (until much later in the process) for speaking too much about yourself, your business and your product or, service. This is because in very simple terms – no one is interested.
The key to being liked is very simply:
‘Be genuinely interested in the people you meet’
Altogether there are 6 basic principles that if you put into action you will be liked by most people who meet you and you will therefore become hugely successful at winning business. It might surprise you to know that – again my personal opinion – a huge proportion of ‘salespeople’ are actually not very good at it. They’ve read too many poor books, been got at by too many people making a living out of training salespeople or, have had the dubious benefit of learning from experienced salespeople who weren’t very good to begin with. Imagine that, a whole bunch of salespeople who think they Can, but actually Can’t. This leaves the field wide open for any of you reading this and willing to put the preparation and effort in. Selling is all about preparation and hard work – along with being liked.
So back to those 6 points for you to put into action – I should say that they are not my words of wisdom because if they were I would have no need to be sat here this morning writing this for you. The cool fact about these wise, wise words is that they were written in 1935 by a guy called Dale Carnegie – and I can confidently tell you, despite many attempts to find one, nothing better has been written since. I attend colleges, universities and seminars to listen to how selling is taught. In modern, fancy language, supported by theories for this and that; they all basically say what Dale said more than 70 years ago!
P1: Become genuinely interested in other people.
P3: Remember that a person’s name is to that person the sweetest & most important sound in any language.
P4: Be a good listener and encourage others to talk about themselves.
P5: Talk in terms of the other person’s interests.
P6: Make the other person feel important – but do it with sincerity.
Now is that simple or what!
As I mentioned earlier, many thousands of pounds have been spent on building me into the salesperson I am today and I can with all honesty say to you; the best money ever spent on making me into anything was the £3 my then boss, Graham Petty, spent in 1983 when he made a present of Dale Carnegie’s ‘How to Win Friends and Influence People’ book to me. Sadly, I can’t make a present of the actual book to each of you lovely readers, but I can make a gift of the knowledge and suggest that you rush out as soon as possible to get yourself a copy and read it cover to cover – to read it will take you less than a day and yet the knowledge will last you a lifetime.
To buy the book for under £7 or $10 visit: http://www.amazon.co.uk/How-Win-Friends-Influence-People/dp/0091906814/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1254819555&sr=1-1
Let me know how it goes for you and what successes you gain from it, or feel free to ask me any questions that still remain about ‘Selling’ email@example.com