Pavilion Cushion

Profiles: Joanna Corney

Joanna CorneyHomegirl London pays homage to Joanna Corney.  Maker of graphic and fresh architecturally inspired patterns for wallpapers, cushions, lamp shades, prints, greeting cards and tote bags.  Her early work was very much inspired by her home town of Brighton; the Royal Pavilion, beach huts, band stands and piers adorn her wares.  More recently she’s focussing on art deco patterns and buildings.

She favours silk screen printing as the process to show off her illustrations and uses water based inks.  Her products are quality – cushions are handmade from 100% organic cotton, tote bags use 100% natural unbleached, un-dyed cotton and the lampshades are printed on perga parchment paper.  For her art prints she uses 220 gsm paper and the cards are digitally printed in the UK on 350gsm, FSC credited paper stock.  I caught up with Joanna to find out more …

Q: Tell me about your design background.

A: I studied Textile Design at Nottingham Trent University and specialised in Print.

Q: Why set up your business?

A: I think I kind of always knew that I wanted to set up my own business.  At University I always designed prints for particular products rather than just designing the fabric or pattern.  So after leaving University, it felt like a natural progression to carry on designing and making my own products to sell.

Q: Where are you based and why?

A: I grew up in Brighton and moved to Nottingham for University, but being there made me realise how much I love the culture and style in Brighton, so I moved back after I finished University.

Q: How many people work at your company?

A: It’s just me at the moment, but I do have lovely friends and family who help me out when I need it.

Q: Describe your design style.

A: Graphic and fresh, architecturally inspired patterns.

Pavilion Print

Pavilion Print, from £12

Q: Where do you draw your creative inspiration from?

A: Architecture has always been a big inspiration for me, and I’m fascinated by all the different architectural styles there are.  I have always been drawn to the detail and beauty that you find within buildings and how certain lines and shapes start to create their own patterns.

Q: Tell me about your collections.

A: Living in Brighton, there are so many interesting buildings and my first collection concentrated on this.

Pavilion Lampshade

 Pavilion Lampshade, from £50

My new collection has focused more on Art Deco architecture – the patterns and motifs that are found within those buildings.

Deco Wave Cushion

Deco Wave Cushion, £30

Deco Fan Lampshade

Deco Fan Lampshade, from £50

Deco Fan Wallpaper

Deco Fan Wallpaper, £85

Deco Building Wallpaper

Deco Building Wallpaper, £85

Q: What’s your fascination with screen printing?

A: At university, I had the opportunity to learn the traditional method of silk screen printing and found that it was the best and most effective way to show my illustrations off.  The method of screen printing is very satisfying and you never quite know what will come out until you lift the screen up.  Due to the nature of this traditional method, no 2 prints are ever quite the same as the technique can create slight imperfections, adding a unique beauty to each print.  Whenever I’m creating new designs, I can’t wait to get them on to the screen, as once they have been printed the collection really starts to take shape.

Lamp Post Tote

Lamp Post Tote Bag, £12

People Tote Bag

People Tote Bag, £12

Q: What’s the best thing about owning your own business?

A: I don’t have any creative restraints, I’m able to design what I want and have complete creative freedom.

Q: What one piece of advice would you pass on to someone wanting to set up their own business?

A: Take as much advice as you can and do your research.  Try to talk to other designers who have set up their own business, as they will be able to tell you about their own experiences.  Always carry a notebook and a business card with you, as you never know what is going to spring to mind or who you are going to meet when you are out and about.

Q: What’s coming up for the rest of 2013?

A: Within the next few months I will be concentrating on creating new products for my most recent range, which will be shown at Best Of Britannia in October, Made Brighton in November and also The Mid-Century Modern show in December.

To give you an idea about prices; Cushions start at £35, Lampshades at £50 and Bags are £12. You can buy these products from Joanna Corney. Credits: text by Homegirl London, images courtesy of Joanna Corney, special thanks to Joanna.