Tell us about the print?
It literally just popped up in a cloud of inspiration. When I start working on a print, I’ve often seen an interesting picture or colour story that triggers something in my mind. Then, I just start to illustrate and build it up from there. The new print was just an afternoon spent working at home, I was just sitting around and scribbling things down. I wanted something that felt a bit jungely, that the eye can disappear into. You can find new elements every time you look at it. The idea was just to find something humoristic that would pop and feel very Monki.
Where do your ideas come from?
They're everywhere, honestly. It’s way easier now with Instagram because there’s a whole visual bank full of refreshing concepts, from past to present. Sometimes it’s important to get away from that imagery though, when constantly scrolling gets too much. I find that exhibitions and the art world have always been my biggest sources of inspiration. As a print designer, the theme is often quite open and I feel free to express myself in creating visuals that will be right for our customers. I’ve been a part of Monki for almost five years now, so it seems natural for me to know quite quickly if a print will work or not.
What makes a Monki print?
Our prints are always special. It’s the human touch that makes all the difference. There’s a strong hand drawn feeling that runs throughout, and they’re always a little quirky. It’s a balance between being a bit tongue-in-cheek without being childish, I think our latest jungle print really plays on that line and stays constantly intriguing to look at. Many artists stick to one form of expression, but as a print designer you need to have 20. That takes a long time to master.
What’s the first step of the process when you’re creating a print?
All print designers work differently. I rarely ever do a whole repeat, I usually build up sections by illustrating lots of different elements. If you see a painting or image, the way the colours work together can get something going in your mind. A print is all about that feeling in the pit of your stomach and also personal taste, so it’s hard to make prints that everyone on the team likes. When a print works, it’s just a feeling you get that’s difficult to describe.
How do you feel when you see someone wearing a print you’ve designed?
At first it was an ‘oh my god, that’s my print!’ type of feeling. Now, I’m more used to it but it always makes me smile. Especially when I’m abroad in the US or Asia and I realise how global Monki style has become. It’s always interesting to see the different types of customers who wear our stuff, it includes so many people – from boys to girls, young to more mature. It’s really cool.
Who is the Monki customer?
I think she (or he) could be completely about rocking jeans and a t-shirt one day, and the next could throw on some crazy prints, a colourful fake fur jacket and head to the club. I think our customer also has a very modern mind-set, and their style is constantly evolving. They’re very aware and interested in social issues, and in general are quite grounded. When I’m designing, I imagine their personality rather than what they wear. What’s important to me is what she/he believes in, rather than what trends will appeal to them.
What inspires your creativity?
Right now, I’m inspired by how people choose to live their lives. I love researching different artists’ studios, the interiors of designers’ homes or just fabulous environments in general. I also love travelling and exploring new places. This summer, I went to Jean Miró’s old home and studio outside Palma in Spain. It was totally untouched – they even had a whole cabinet of small objects he used as inspiration. I love to see what inspires other people, and the way objects relate to our minds. Personally, collecting things when I travel is a great source of creativity. I remember the feeling each place gave me, and that in itself is the best inspiration of all.