Artist Series: Rose Darling
Our friend Rose Darling has worked as an illustrator and print designer since the early 2000s. A lover of the great outdoors, she integrates elements of the natural world into her work, and has created a number of nature-inspired artworks for us that became towelling Original-Series robes.
To celebrate the coming launch of 2 new designs, which will be dropping soon, we spoke with Rose about inspiration, sustainability, art and her love of the ocean.
Hi Rose, can you tell us a bit about yourself and your business?
I am a Creative Designer based in Cornwall. You’ll often find me sourcing natural materials by hand, and I mostly create prints and patterns for surface design. This can range from packaging to wetsuits to hospital interiors!
On a personal note, I’m a pen hoarder and am mostly found wearing second-hand steals from eBay, Depop and charity shops.
Where does your inspiration come from?
I like to look at trends. I’ve done quite a bit of forecasting, plus, as I often work with similar companies, I’ve developed a feeling for where to find inspiration...
I also gather ideas from old reference books. I’ve kept a few old sportswear magazines from my uni clear-out, and they are absolute gems. I found one with photos of Kelly Slater back in the day, in some rather interesting 80’s fashion.
Sometimes I just rely on my feelings. It can happen that aesthetically you just know when something’s right.
Finally, my friends. They are way more fashionable than I am, so it’s nice to see what they are drawn to.
What is your favourite art medium to work with?
My go to’s are ink, watercolour and old, scruffy pens.
I also love experimenting with shadows, hedgerow plants and mixed media like printing or cyanotypes… So maybe I don’t have a favourite?!
When did you first become interested in sustainability?
I have always been a keen thrifter and prefer to be outdoors rather than in front of a screen. Naturally I’ve been driven to use the organic materials I find around me, with the view of also protecting the environment. I like to use my tools and materials right up until the end of their life - even an old pen will be used for textures.
My primary organic graphics project began in my first job when I was working as a Junior Designer for Animal. We used organic cotton for our t-shirts, and I loved it. Structurally the material was so different and soft, and it set me on a path to work with like-minded companies. I still have that t-shirt today, and my daughter wears it. It’s probably 20+ years old and still as lovely!
How does it feel to see people wearing your designs?
Interesting! I like to find out the story behind it. Recently I met a lady wearing a printed dress with my design on. She told me it was her interview dress and she’d just got a brand new job wearing it.
I once also met a lady in London who was wearing one of my t-shirt designs, and together we worked out that she’d been wearing it for 12 years! It was so lovely to see that she was still enjoying it, as the process of making those designs is just as enjoyable.
Home or away?
Hmm, home, but away holds the most exciting memories.
Water or land?
Water. You can wash away so much negative energy by jumping in the sea. It’s the most refreshing feeling. (But if I was on the water in a boat, I’d rather be on the land!)
It was a pleasure to work with Rose in the past, and we’re excited to share her new patterns with you soon. Keep your eyes on the Robie Robes social channels for the two new designs which will be available as towelling Organic-Series this summer, made to bookend your beach day.