Bethany Salt, founder of brand Salteria creates inky illustrations and surface patterns inspired by organic forms and sea life. Using fabric printed by Fashion Formula she creates bold and beautiful printed accessories.
What is your studio name and location?
Salteria! I am based in my parents home in Derbyshire, UK.
Where did you study?
I studied Printed Textile Design at Leeds College of Art and graduated in 2016. I actually started on the Graphic Design course but I missed painting and experimenting with pattern and colour so I asked (begged) to transfer to the Printed Textiles course.
Describe your design process:
My design process involves a lot of time painting, working to create colourful imagery which I then finalise into designs in Photoshop and send to Fashion Formula to be digitally printed onto fabric. I then take the fabric and move from the painting side to the sewing side, using my trusty sewing machine to make the products I sell ready to photograph for the website. Each stage of the design process is completed by me at home in my studio.
What is your favourite part of the design process from inspiration, drawing to the final printed fabric/product?
The painting stage! This is definitely my most loved stage of the design process. I love creating new work and watching how textures, colours and shapes form. I also really enjoy seeing my work on fabric and I don't think that feeling will ever change. It's like this surreal feeling that your art is actually on a useable product!
What first sparked your interest in print design?
I have loved painting and drawing for as long as I can remember and it was my main focus in school, so when I discovered that being a designer was an actual job, I knew this was where I wanted to be. I didn't really understand how many different directions were available for me after school, even at college I wasn't really aware of how many areas of design there were and when I discovered print design I realised it was where I felt I fitted in. I think so often people get encouraged not to pursue an art based career because it will always be a struggle and that's an unfair assumption. I'd rather have to work really, really hard to get to where I want to be, than be stuck in a job I don't enjoy!
Describe your style in 10 words:
My style is really colourful and busy, bold and detailed. I like to think of it as bright and intense, with a sense of movement. Abstract, surreal and a conversation starter with an imaginative feel.
What is your favourite medium to work in and why?
The medium I love to use is gouache. It has a really strong pigment and gives my work the colourful, vibrant look I like. I also use acrylic paints, posca pens etc. Pretty much anything that is going to help me achieve the look I have in mind.
What / who are your major influences?
The artist Olaf Hajeck is my all time favourite painter and biggest inspiration. His work is stunning and he is incredibly talented. The details in his paintings really draw you in. I'm also really inspired by the packing design of the cosmetic brand Lush. It's so colourful and bold. I would love to collaborate with this brand one day!
What has been your career highlight so far?
I would say my career highlight has been people buying my work/products. I have been building my brand for just over a year now and am still overwhelmed (in a good way!) that people buy what I make!
Your biggest challenge you have faced as a designer?
Developing my products has been my biggest challenge. I spent months and months researching and learning how to make bags! I researched so much to figure out how to achieve the idea I had in my head. It was definitely worth spending so long researching and has made me better at what I do.
I would also saying having enough self-belief has been a big challenge, I have to remind myself how far I've come since the first bag I made. It still makes me laugh that I actually used this bag for a wedding I went to and I thought it was really good... the stitching is all over the place and it's not even lined properly! But it's a nice reminder that hard work and practice means you can do more or less anything you put your mind to.
Best exhibition/museum/research trip/inspirational place?
Anything involving nature. Botanical gardens, florists, the outdoors etc. I was lucky enough to snorkel in the Great Barrier Reef two years ago and this was the most inspirational trip for me as sea life forms a huge part of my drawing references.
Favourite music when designing?
Anything really! Spotify has some brilliant playlists so that you don't have to mess about choosing a song!
What are you working on at the moment?
At the moment I'm preparing for Christmas and focussing a lot on painting! I've started making art prints alongside my textile products and want to push this more.
What do you hope to accomplish in the future?
I'd love for more people to start seeing my work and just for Salteria to be successful!
Do you have any tips for new designers starting out?
My advice for designers starting out would be to work really hard on developing your ideas and the product you plan to sell, it will set you off in a positive way and you'll know what you really want to do and how to do it! Also be don't buy stuff you don't need, I spent a lot of unneccessary money when I started out and now I only spend money on what I really need to and it has really made a difference!
However, I would also say just enjoy yourself... there is so much pressure and worry to be perfect and have everything sorted straight away. Be happy with where you are at and don't take it all so seriously but don't stop working hard to achieve your goals!
You can see more of Bethany Salt's work over at her Instagram @salteriaprint