Who I am and what I do
I’m a Londoner, born and bred with a passion for art and design. I work from my cozy little home studio in South London, which is where most of my design work comes alive.
You could say that I’m both an artist and a designer, but these days the designer side of me has taken over and is now more apparent in my work, although I do miss painting and try to get back to it when I can. I try to combine both art and design in my work at every opportunity.
My training in Textile Design and Surface Decoration at University taught me about the history of wallpapers and it’s techniques. I found it fascinating and fell in love with the concept of surface design. In 2006, one year after graduation, ATADesigns was born. ATADesigns is not only my initials (Annette Taylor-Anderson Designs) but also it means Artistic Tailored Approach to Designs, which is my design philosophy.
As well as working on my own wallpapers, I love to work on challenging projects and commissions. For Orlean in Brazil, I introduced my “Squiggle” design on wallpaper, fabrics, and tiles to decorate two high-end rest rooms for the prestigious CASA COR exhibition. More recently, for Servisair, I was commissioned to design a mural for their business lounge at Gatwick Airport, London, which opened in February 2012.
How I workMy working tools are a combination of hand-drawn sketches and computer generated designs using both Photoshop and Illustrator. I always carry a small sketchbook around with me, because I design almost everyday, it’s an old habit and a good one. For me, there is always time to draw even if it's only half an hour while in transit, or while taking a break in the coffee shop. It relaxes me.
When working on a project, or collection, depending on what it is, I don’t necessarily work on the design concept by sketching it out by hand first. Often I'll work backwards, using the computer screen as a blank canvas, and then from my inspirations and ideas, I start to design, mixing various techniques, seeing what works, and start building the design. A lot of the time, I already have the design in my head, it's just a matter of bringing it to life on wallpapers, fabrics, or lampshades.
All my wallpaper designs are digitally printed which, because of my design style and colourways, is the best way for me to work. Digital printing also gives me the freedom to work in a bespoke way with little restriction to colour and size of design. I would also like to work with the more traditional screen printing or flexo printing, using fewer colours and working in a slightly different way. There is definitely room for all the technologies, it's great that we have all of these choices of working.
What inspires me
I’m inspired by a lot of things, but what stands out the most is my love of bold industrial architecture (old and new), and building sites, especially at the skeleton stage where the steel and cables are visible before the finished product. Cranes and Pylons are another inspiration, I think of them as giant presences towering over us. Anything to do with huge metal and steel works, especially when in their decaying process of rusting. Urban environments with all their colours, graffiti and various street signs, and of course nature. It’s hard to describe sometimes, but I love that grungy feel.
I love to visit museums like the Victoria & Albert - my favorite. It's interesting takes on the history of design, and the ever-changing exhibitions and happenings is a constant inspiration.
I take photographs of anything that interests me, and store them for future inspiration. They can be anything from pictures of surfaces, architecture, food, objects seen and unseen, and colours. This comes in very handy especially when working on projects and commissions. I often go back and photograph the same subject more than once at various stages - it’s amazing how you can view a subject the second time around with fresh eyes.
My design philosophy
A good design in my opinion comes straight from the heart. It could be complicated or simple - it doesn’t matter. It is enjoyed by the designer, can touch people’s emotions through pure enjoyment, and can stand the test of time.
While there is absolutely nothing wrong with traditional wallpaper design, with contemporary designs there is a lot of scope and fresh new ways of working with and viewing wallpaper. So I look forward to surprising people with, and being pleasantly surprised by, innovative, new and as yet unthought of designs and applications for wallpaper.Is wallpaper an art form? The question sometimes confuses me especially because I am also an artist. I do however call myself an artist and a designer, even though I don’t like to separate the two. I have been told by some customers that some of my wallpaper designs are art, especially the murals.
My stylistic influences
The way I design my wallpapers is influenced by my feelings, and inspirations from my environment and everyday life: these include architecture, cities, and nature etc. I hope that people see my style as my stamp on design.
My design style usually leans towards the big and bold, and tends to portray a lot of these influences, not deliberately, but it just happens almost organically.
My future goals and ambitions
I would like to work on more commissions and projects for the hospitality and commercial market worldwide. The Servisair commission project was a great opportunity and I hope to work with them again.
I will continue to develop my wallpapers, murals and fabric collection, especially the concept of designing cities. I would also like to introduce other smaller products to the market.
My likes and dislikes
I love chocolate: there’s a sign on my door that says “Hand over the Chocolate and nobody gets hurt”
I love listening to music from different parts of the world. At the moment my favorite band is “Oi Va Voi” who produces a mixture of Eastern European rhythms and melodies and traditional Jewish music.
I hate blue cheese, and the fact that the blue bits are mouldy.
On a professional level, it’s a bit obvious, but I love to draw/design, and to discover new ways of working especially on challenging projects as it broadens my mind, and can introduce me to new techniques. Exciting!
I like working on a project from start to finish, and seeing the end result, and a happy client is of course very satisfying.I dislike how some companies will try to get a designer to work for nothing - postulating that exposure is better than getting paid.