The dream to launch my own wallpaper collection really started a couple of years ago. I've had a few requests from customers, so I knew there was some interest... and it sounded like such a fun project to work on. The dream didn't start becoming an actual possibility until March when we decided to purchase a larger wide format printer. With this bigger 44" printer I was able to add large scale art to the shop, and I worked for a few weeks on getting all of the listings updated. The large scale art was exciting to be able to offer, but I was more excited about starting on my first wallpaper collection! :)
First thing was first, I needed to learn how to create seamless repeating patterns. Not just the actual technical process of doing so... but I wanted to learn how to create a beautifully designed pattern. I invested a fairly good amount of money on an 8 week Surface Patterns Design class. This was also my introduction into Illustrator, and I began learning a completely new program. With a little more experience I discovered that my signature style couldn't be easily replicated within illustrator. I was a photoshop girl and really liked the rough texture that came through in my watercolors, and illustrator would not replicate this well enough for me. I took more courses to try and learn how to accomplish what I wanted within photoshop, and in the end I've learned to utilize both illustrator and photoshop for my pattern designs. It takes SO much more time to do so, but the finished piece is something I am proud of! :)
After designing the entire collection I decided to move from a 17" paper to a 24" wide paper, which meant I needed to re-design each and every pattern so the repeat would hit in the right spot. This added an extra week to my timeline. Considering the size and scale of a pattern turned out to be a bit overwhelming! Some designs looked good in both a small and large sized scale, and some looked great in more than one colorway. Hard decisions!! :) During this process I was also testing papers, and had found one with an amazing removable adhesive. It stuck far better than anything else I had tried, on a number of different surfaces, yet was easily removable. Even though I had hoped to find something with a canvas texture, I really couldn't find anything that stuck as reliably as this particular paper that I had fallen in love with.
Cascading Roses Mini size classic trim color
I've decided on how I will package the wallpaper and the samples,I even nailed down the final touch branding details that I love so much! I have the future photoshoot planned to a "T"... so what's holding things up? The realization that I might need to outsource the actual printing of the wallpaper. You guys know that I like to have all the control over each and every aspect of my art, so this has been a hard one to swallow. Turns out that an Aqueous printer is the very best option for printing fine art. The color gamut on my 11 color Canon Pro 4000 is amazing. I've been super impressed with the ability it has to hit colors my Epson couldn't quite achieve... but because aqueous inks are water based they aren't as durable as say an eco solvent, or latex ink. But eco solvent and latex inks don't have the color range or fine print quality as an aqueous ink. So it appears there will have to be a bit of a trade off in either direction I choose. Printing the wallpaper with aqueous inks would be the obvious route I would prefer, but I want to make sure the durability is there.
I've lost track of how many hours I've spent trying to locate the best paper, or the time I've spent researching different ink types. Then, it became a little more overwhelming when I decided I just wasn't comfortable using a paper that wasn't PVC free. I had found a beautiful canvas self adhesive textured paper, but it was a vinyl. I know so many other wallpaper companies are using vinyl paper, so I am not sure it is something that would be a concern to many of you (please tell me in the comments!) but after hearing how much of an impact vinyl has on the environment, I just didn't feel good about it. Fortunately there are PVC free paper options available, and I just need to find the perfect one.
So, as hard as it was to put the wallpaper launch on the back burner I was driving myself (and my loving husband) crazy trying to push through every obstacle. For the past few months I've felt like I've taken 1 step forward and 2 steps back each week. I'm incredibly proud of the progress I've made, but unfortunately I am still going to need more time to really make this launch the very best it can be! I know this is disappointing news for anyone who had been waiting for the launch day, but I can assure you it's still coming. I'm just relieving the pressure to get it done, yesterday. ;) I haven't launched a new art collection all year- wallpaper design has pretty much consumed the past 4 months, so I am turning my attention to the Summer Collection I started back in January. It's one that I have been VERY excited about completing so turning my focus towards that has been very therapeutic. I think it will be just what I need to recharge my creative spirit! :) I'm working with a short timeline, so all hands are on deck, and I am planning 7.27 as the launch date!! :) An actual launch date, I'm SUPER excited. I started collecting props for this collection 6 months ago. It's going to be SO good, and a little bit different than any collection I've done yet! I'm revealing the collection name, along with a little mood board sneak peek- to my VIP's tomorrow. EEK! I am SUPER excited to share it with you guys!! OH- you can become a VIP right here.
So, please tell me what your thoughts are on this news? I've been SO nervous about sharing all the details of this journey with you. I don't want it to sound as though it has been all bumps in the road, that first day I printed my first wallpaper panel, was incredibly rewarding. I feel super blessed to have the opportunity to be doing what I am, and knowing you've been cheering me on has made all the unexpected surprises worth it. ;)