I must say I I’m loving this part of my course as I’m learning so much already! It really is opening my mind. I  I’m asked to research some textiles companies like;

  • Elizabeth Blackadder
  • Zoffany
  • Erdem
  • William Morris
  • Takashi  Murakami
  • Timorous Besties
  • Marni
  • Jane Askey
  •  Tom Boontje

I’ve  found all of them to be interesting for different reasons and apart from William Morris, Tom Boontje and Marni I hadn’t come across the other companies  before.

I am asked to choose three of the Artist above and do some research into their practice and find some examples of their floral or leaf-based work and try to determine why are these motifs so important in their work.

My favorites are Timorous Besties,  Marni and Takashi Murakami. Of course I love William Morris prints but I found  I know less of the other three that I have chosen to research.

Timorous Besties

Oh wow!  Were do I start? I love each and every one of their desings. Here are some examples.


Timorous Beasties was established in Glasgow in 1990 by Alistair McAuley and Paul Simmons, who met studying textile design at the Glasgow school of art. Today the studio has emerged as a multi-award winning internationally acclaimed Icon.

Their work embodies a unique diversity of patterns and motifs. They do/make fabrics, wallpaper, cushions etc.

I like it that the colors they use are bright and bold but very elegant and edgy. They use flowers, plants, fish and insects and make them look contemporary and modern. The attention to detail in the drawings make them works of art.

The repetitive motives of flowers and plants are vital in their work as that’s the basis for everything they do. One of their inspirations was Willian Morris. They were once described as Willian Morris on acid.

Timorous Beasties main objective was to produce unusual and beautiful fabrics, wallpapers and products which were sensitive to the interior they were designed for.

Their practice has become very involved in designing for experimental techniques both in hand-printing and machine production. They use tradicional elements like academic drawing, use of complicated repeats, and hand printed inks.

I am a fan and they have become an inspiration to me,  I’m trying to convince my husband to give me permition to spend £600 on a roll of wallpaper ha ha ha.


Marni was established in 1994. Consuelo Catiglioni and her husband use to sell fur coats and their customers asked for clothes to wear under the furs. Marni  started designing for women who dressed for women. Consuelo hated sexy clothes and came up with comfortable, good quality clothes that women felt comfortable wearing. Consuelo was quoted saying that she hated trends and that Marni customer would not follow any trend but just wore what they liked, sometimes wearing the same Marni item again and again, updating it with different accesories.

Marni makes fashion including:  bags, shoes, bijoux, eyewear and fragrances for all types of potential customers.

The clothes have been described as quirky, feminine and funky.

Early design features included idiosyncratic prints and vintage inspired shapes and fabrics. Marni has kept these elements but has became more streamlined. Marni hallmarks include juxtaposition of texture and color blocking (that’s something I would like to explore).

If I had to describe some of Marni  prints it would be:

  • Bold prints
  • Repetitive color
  • Ethnic
  • Flowers
  • Illustrated prints
  • Botanical studies
  • Silhouette looks
  • Matisse inspirations
  • Stencilled work
  • Creative background

One of my favourite Items are her Totes created with recycled vintage Lps,the prints are just beautiful.

I find Marni  a very disciplined yet feminine designer. I like the combination of her purist approach to material, lines and silhouettes with an emphasis on luxury and a grafted finish.

I love the fact that it’s a woman designing for other women, and that her designs are focusing more on the wearer rather than  the observer, comfortable clothes made to last with beatiful classy prints. Now…I just need the money to buy at least one Item! .

Takashi Murakami


And my final choice of artist to research is Takashi Murakami, I like his cartoony, Manga inspired smiley flowers print. He is a internationally contemporary Japanese artist.

He works in fine art media such as painting and sculpture as well as conventional considered commercial media like fashion,  merchandise and animation.

I like Takashi because he was fustrated with the lack of a reliable and sustainable art market in post-war Japan, for this reason he formulated a strategy where he would first establish himself in the western art world and then import himself back to Japan.

He wanted something fresh but still Japanese that would be appreciated around the world.

The key elements to his work are Anime and Manga as well as the larger subculture of Otaku.

Takashi Murakami has collaborated with designers like: Marc Jacobs and Louis Voitton ( his art work was used in the design of a series of handbags).

I like the vibrant colors and his  incorporation of motifs from Japonese traditional and popular culture.

His motifs are:

  • Flat
  • Glossy
  • Smiling flowers
  • Iconic characters
  • Mushrooms
  • Skulls
  • Buddhist iconography

I feel refreshed with the humour in his smiley flower print, making him another of my favorite artist.

I think the common denominator, in the three companies I have chosen to research is their use of repetitive motives, each one of them at some point have used flowers or botanicals in different ways. I think that nature is the basis of everything we do and the inspiration for many. Nature for me is fine art, so why wouldn’t these companies and artist be inspired by it’s splendour!. I can see why we are asked to research other artist or companies as this helps not only in broadening  our minds and ideas but also to find our influences and aims. I feel very exited about seeing where this journey takes me but I feel enriched already with the information I have gained.