Louise Tiler graduated from the BA (Hons) Printed Textiles & Surface Pattern Design course in 2011.

Whilst on the course Louise won five national and one international awards; including Business Design Centre New Designer of the Year award 2011, Grand Prize Winner of the SURTEX 2011 designext Student Design Competition and the Tigerprint online competition.

Since graduating from Leeds Arts University Louise’s career as a surface pattern designer is going from strength to strength. We caught up with her to see what she is getting up to.

What have you been doing since you graduated?

I have been signed up by Woodmansterne who are the No.1 publisher of greeting cards to independent retailers in the UK. They have produced my first set of cards, which are now available in Waitrose and John Lewis, which is really exciting!

I produced a collection of 12 cards from my designs, that look great individually, and as a range. They’re reasonably priced, so hopefully people will buy a few cards, rather than just one.

Other than that I have been attending trade shows, and events, networking to build up new contacts, building my website and blog and, of course, designing!

How did Woodmansterne hear about your work?

After winning New Designer of the Year award 2011 and the SURTEX 2011 designext Student Design Competition lots of people were interested in working with me so I spent quite some time meeting people and discussing how I could work with them. I’ve found that online networking is really helpful, lots of people have heard about me and contacted me through seeing my work on blogs and online articles. It’s important to maintain my profile on the internet to keep my work fresh in people’s minds.

How did your experiences at Leeds Arts University prepare you for commercial work?

Throughout my time at the University, tutors encouraged me to enter competitions. I took a business module that was very helpful. Lots of the tutors at the University also have their own businesses so they can give you honest, practical advice from their experiences, which have helped so much in negotiating deals with companies.

The quality of the work that all students produce on the course is so high that it really inspires you to improve your work. The way I am working now is very similar to how I worked at University, although I have less time for experimentation I need to be more aware of trends, and think commercially.

What influences your designs?

I get my inspiration from vintage fabrics and interiors and drawings that I create from my own photography. It’s important to me that there is a hand drawn and hand painted element to all my work.

What are you planning next?

I’ll be making gift-wrap and some box sets to match the current range of cards that’s now in the shops. I’m also planning to create a new full range of greeting cards, so my cards can be given for any occasion!

My main focus will be the release of my new wallpaper collection, which I will be manufacturing and producing by myself. To make sure that plenty of people see it I’ll be attending lots of design shows this year, including the Tent Festival, One Year On and Spring Fair International, so buyers will have lots of chance to see my work.

If you would like to hear any more about Louise’s work please take a look at www.louisetiler.com