Spotlight on design: Anna Hayman

I love patterns, textiles and creative people who are making fabulous home accessories. I recently came across British designer maker Anna Hayman on Instagram (Instagram is great for discovering new artists!) and her posts always make me smile. Anyone who has followed Nina’s Apartment knows that I am a sucker for colour and bold Scandinavian-style patterns so it comes to no surprise that this creative lady’s work caught my eye. Such vibrant prints, beautiful florals and bold colours – her images just make me happy each time they come across on the timeline. I decided to get in touch with Anna and find out more about her work and what inspires her. With her collections appearing in more shops and exciting collaborations on the horizon it sounds like she really is one to watch! I hope you will agree with me that Anna’s designs are gorgeous and worth featuring on the blog today.

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Anna, can you tell us a bit about your background?

I’m from an artistic and musical background, with a bit of retail management and window dressing thrown in. Although I’ve been piano teaching most recently, I had a shoe brand for six years (2006-2012) before having children, so ANNA HAYMAN DESIGNS is my ‘round 2’ business-wise. I’m an unstoppable creative person and most of what I do is completely self-taught.

How long have you had the business for?

The business has been a gradual build up over the last year or so, I keep saying ‘I’m launching all the time’, as the brand, message and signature style of my designs takes shape, and the use of them changes and develops. I’m not one for beginnings and endings and things being pinned down, as then the work has freedom to evolve. As I do more and more designs they develop a look and feel which is exclusively mine, so I’m planning to keep the branding solid then the designs can vary from season to season. It helps if I use the same methods, i.e. lino-cutting to create them, then it makes a ‘family’ of work.

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When you travel, what kind of things do you photograph / take home that may inspire your work?

Flowers, flowers and more flowers! I’m on an Art Nouveau tip currently and completely obsessed with arts and crafts, and Art Deco patterns. It will always be florals for me, with some geometrics thrown in. Colours are important too, darker gemstones are my fling right now so I’m looking at Lapis Lazuli and Mystic Topaz. Mid tones are trending out so I’m looking more at dirty metals, dark greens and pastel shades.

What or who else inspires you in your work?

I re-read a lot of the same source books, Celia Birtwell, Biba, William Morris, Rennie Mackintosh, and Sixties patterns. Pinterest is a massive influence, the richness, variation and ease at which you can consume images, and feed your mind, is a daily essential for me. In terms of contemporaries, Iris Apfel, Cressida Bell, and Abigail Borg are people I look up to in terms of their colour use, style and finesse.

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How would you describe your home and interior style?

I’m on a knife edge this week as we are waiting to exchange on the most beautiful 1920’s house, with original windows and fireplace, in rural East Sussex. I’m planning to go to town on decking it out in vintage patterns, it’s going to be a serious print frenzy, I love the idea at the moment of matching wallpaper and upholstered furniture, with matching crockery. And clothes! It has a huge garden which I would like to set up a heavily glazed office in to work from so that I’m surrounded by nature. A massive hammock is on my shopping list.

What does an average workday look like for you?

Mid-week days are my work days, my children are small so it’s a juggling act, but I have a lovely studio in Lewes where I can work quietly from 9.30am-3pm. My husband and I are both work-mad, so we do a lot in the evenings and weekends where sociable! It’s never hard to be ‘disciplined’, I can’t wait to arrive at work in the morning and get creative. I do a bit of everything in a typical day; design work, discussing forthcoming projects with factories, sales, admin, website updates, marketing, making prototypes, finding new leads – there’s a lot to do. Having said that I’m taking the summer to produce a new body of work really in readiness for next year so it’s in a more creative phase right now, the bit I most enjoy.

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What are your plans for the next 12 months? Any exciting events/collaborations or other things lined up?

As well as selling my ceramics collections in shops, I am focusing on the prints, with collaborations in mind. I’m exhibiting at Top Drawer in January which is a huge trade event at Kensington Olympia. This will hopefully open more doors in terms of licensing work, (where a company buy and use my prints). I have some collaborations I’m working on at the moment but I’m afraid I’m sworn to secrecy! Watch my Instagram account (the hub of the business) for news on these. I have a lot of irons in the fire and am really intrigued to see what 2017 brings. I think it will be a really fantastic year.

You can currently buy ANNA HAYMAN DESIGNS ceramics and textiles online via her website.

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