Today is the third day in a row that I bring you an interview. This time I interviewed Kevin Boyd, a minimalistic designer from Durban who writes about himself that “he studied architecture but became scared of estate housing”. So his journey continued to advertising and graphics and interior design. It seems that he landed everywhere.

The genesis of this interview is that I read an article on the blog Poppytalk: and had the idea to contact Kevin to see if he was willing to be interviewed about the project “Colour Cafe”. He replied immediately and we started an email conversation that actually led to another project which is close to his heart: Afro’s.


A. You mention a project that is close to your heart is Afro’s. Please let me know how this project came about, why the client chose you and what your intention is for this project.

The client was an existing client of mine that I had done other design work for. My intention is to maintain food quality and local design honesty no matter how much it grows.

Quote from About Afro’s (a document that Kevin sent to me to give further information about the project): “Afro’s is the brainchild of a food lover, a minimalist designer, a musical insurance broker and a well-travelled chef. It started with a chicken sauce that was too good not to share, and as the idea grew the Afro’s shape took form: a proudly local food offering that is mobile enough to serve the best chicken to any area of the city.”


B. You say that you create simple and uncluttered designs. You write very little about yourself in your About section and in the Work section on your website. Do you think simple design needs no explanation? Or is it because you don’t like writing?

I actually do enjoy writing, but I like images to speak for themselves. It also takes a lot more thought to say something in fewer words. Much like design I suppose.


C. Your work is all-round work. You do graphics, interior and furniture design. You say that you love nuances and details. Would you prefer to design “the whole thing” – from naming to graphics to interior? Or are you happy to do any part of the design and if so where do you feel you are best in the more graphic two dimensional work or in the designing of three dimensional objects and interiors?

I don’t like the idea of being a “jack of all trades” but I believe that something that is conceived and designed from beginning to end by one designer usually pans out more honest.

If I take all the elements in bite size chunks, and if I have enough time, I can still focus on the details. If I have to choose, I’m probably strongest on the 3D side.


D. What are your professional dreams? Any project you’d live to work on? Any client you’d love to work for?

Ultimately I’d like to develop a product line so that I can be my own client. Designing from scratch with each new client and each new brief is good fun, but it isn’t the best use of time.

E. What does a day in your life start with? What daily routine do you need to work best?

Breakfast. Favourite meal of the day. I go to bed dreaming about it. Then I try to look at a couple design blogs to avoid reading my email.


F. How does your design process work? 

I spend a Lot of time thinking (designing in the head). I only start executing once I’ve got most things resolved in my mind. I’m probably guilty of not sketching enough. When I do, it feels good.


G. What inspires you? Are your inspirations more international or local? cheap nike air max

I think I get inspired by very random everyday things. But it’s what I love about being a designer. You can “work” no matter where you are. Often results in the glazed-over look when in boring

conversation with someone. But then I get a lot of inspiration from blogs too. usually international. so there’s always a balance. nike heels

H. Where in the world do you feel your work is understood best? Is there a place you feel you would rather work other than South Africa, Durban? nike cortez trainers

It’s probably not south africa. I often see people looking a bit confused with what I’ve done. But that’s what Excites me about being here, and in Durban in particular. There’s the opportunity to stand out, grow and educate the public. cheap isabel marant boots


Photo credits:

Hello dear readers,

I met Dinah about 5 years ago. She had just finished studying textile design in Florence, Italy and wanted to come to Vienna to work with me.

After staying in Vienna for about 18 months she decided to go to Rotterdam where her twin sister was living. After looking for a job as a designer, and working in several fields around town, she decided to open her own studio with her sister.

This is where the story of Studio Lilesadi begins. I interviewed Dinah for this blog to see what her focus is, to share her story with you, dear readers, and to see where she is heading in the future.

1. Please give a „behind-the-scenes“ idea of how and where you work.

We work in our studio in the old north of Rotterdam. It is a refunctionalized kindergarden, where a few designers have a studio in. It is a large, airy space which has a inspiring feeling. We even have a patio, where we can have lunch together as soon as the sun comes out.

Mostly we decide first the theme and then I start with collecting images and ideas creating a moodboard. As soon as the idea got stronger in my head, I start sketching and drawing by hand and then I scan them in and rework them in Illustrator and Photoshop.

Then Sarah gives her feedback, and sometimes we finalize the image together.

Sarah is occupied with creating new business contacts, finding new retailers and producers. She answeres press inquiries for example and writes the blog. Starting next week we will have a intern which will work one day a week on projects. We are really excited about it.

When an big order comes in, we meet in the studio and pack everything together.

Since Luca has been born we have to organize better to keep everything running smoothly. But he is such a cutie and very easy and relaxed little boy and for our kids collection he is already booked as the model.


2. Talk about your design background, your education and how you started to do what you are doing now.
I grew up in Bonn which is a small town without a big creative scene. My first touch with the design world was when I made au pair in London after my A levels. I saw some stunning works of textile design students at an exhibition and knew ‘that is it!’
I have studied then textile design in Florence , Italy. These were very inspiring years where I learned weaving, screen printing and translating ideas into patterns and designs.

During my studies I did a internship at a fashion label in Hamburg where I had at first insight about how the organisation of a fashion label works. Sarah studied international tourism in Italy and completed her master degree in Marketing in Rotterdam.


3. What inspires you?
I am very inspired by Structures from nature , photography like macro views on flowers , ice bergs, space, rocks , which brings out the beauty of it in detail.
Architecture, blogs like patternity, illustration, design magazines.


4. What is it like to work and live in Rotterdam? Are your clients more international or local? How do you find your clients or how do they find you? Is the internet playing a large part in this?

Working and living in Rotterdam is very inspiring and challenging. There is a big creative scene to create a network and to find cheap work spaces. There is a lot going on, e.g. festivals as Motel Mozaik, Rotterdam Film Festival, Worm, etc.

The platform shows every week the coolest things to do. Rotterdam is love at second sight, there are still a lot of areas with old beautiful houses and neighbourhoods and as well there is modern architecture.

I will move to a new flat this weekend which is directly at the harbour. I can’t wait to decorate the space!

Via Etsy we created a good network as well as working with other Dutch designers.


5. What big dreams do you have as a studio – go for it, the sky’s the limit! nike high heels

We would like to create more exclusive products for fashion and interiors. More collaborations with other labels and create pattern designs for shoes, lamps, ceramics,…

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Image credits: Studio Lilesadi. cheap nike air max

Hello dear readers,

if you want to learn to design patterns I found someone online who can teach you! Michelle Fifis is offering three great online courses about pattern design. Read this interview with Michelle about her story, her e-courses and her future plans. More about her can also be found on her personal website: HERE.

I met Michelle because I found her website on the internet. She also wrote about me on her blog, read the article here. Pattern Observer is a great blog to visit if you want to find out about contemporary surface pattern designs.

Michelle Family

Please give us an idea about the e-courses you are offering, who are they targeted for and what result can one expect after joining in?

We offer a variety of e-courses which help textile designers improve the professionalism of their work and grow their businesses. If an artist is new to the industry and wants to understand the basics we help them take that first step. If an experienced textile designer wants to expand their business by signing with an agent or launching a consulting business, we help them through that process. There are so many opportunities out there!

What different types of courses do you offer?

We currently offer three e-courses, as well as a private mentorship program.

Continue reading “Do you want to learn to design patterns?” »


Hello dear readers,

today is the last day of the Blog Boss e-course with Holly Becker. She posted a final video where she reviewed some of the work submitted by the students of the blogging course, she mentioned mine (which I show you below):


When she talked about my work she thought I was dutch or danish which made me very happy, because one of the main inspirations I get from other blogs is the aesthetic look. If a website is too colourful or playful I do not like it. I am drawn to websites which have very cool photos and are held in simple colours.

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The aim of the homework was to show where we are heading with our website and also with our (professional) life. If we had a fairy to grant us a wish what that would be. I decided to show that my work is still work in process and drafty. That’s why I showed the open sketchbook and made the look and feel of the pages so hand-made. I don’t know where I am heading yet, but I want it to feel authentic and real. I hope I am getting there. nike heels uk

Here is a link to the fellow students work: nike high heels nike heels

I’d like to encourage you to look at things you love on the internet and to play with the inspirations to create your own works of art. On the photographs below I used the new skills I learned from Neil Tasker regarding lettering and the skills I learned from Kim Thomas regarding product photography during two classes that I took on Skillshare.



To remember the new skills I will outline the two important things I learned from each course here:


– Start with guide lines. These are horizontal lines to draw your letters on. Also add a slant line for the slant of the letters. The letter spacing is spontaneous (use your gut feeing for that).

– Sketch with pencils.

– Scan your drawing and trace using Illustrator.

– In Illustrator first draw a point. The the second point needs to be dragged to form a curve before letting go of the mouse. When you’re happy with the result let go of the mouse.

– To convert lines to shapes with a fill, select the objects and use the command: Object>Path>Convert (make sure that both outline and fill are selected).

– Then use the pathfinder tools to combine the shapes.

– Work on details until you’re happy with the finished lettering.



– Start with a custom white balance.

– Set up a stage near a window with a backdrop. I used two moveable wallpapers one as a table top and the other as a back wall. Beside the object I placed a white folder to reflect the light back on the object.

– Put your camera on a tripod and use a remote control.

– Set ISO to 100, use a high f-stop if you want the depth of the object to be sharp.

– Then select the shutter speed. Select the shutter speed so the product is over exposed. This is better for product photography. cheap nike air max

– Once you have the photo on the screen save it on your computer. nike air max cheap

– Correct the brightness and curves before you start to work on the backdrop colour. nike air max 90 sale

– If you want the background totally white use a gradient tool (white to transparent gradient) and masks in Photoshop and paint the background behind the image to make all corners totally white.

That’s it.


I hope you have fun with your experiments. Let me know what you did! cheap isabel marant shoes

Lots of love