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Posted 13.02.20

Printed Textile Design graduate interns with award-winning designer Ella Doran

By Naomi Girdler

Beth with her work at London Design Fair

From exhibiting at London Design Fair to interning with prestigious interior design agency Ella Doran, Beth Mason has been busy since graduating from BA (Hons) Printed Textile Design & Surface Pattern in 2019.

At her Degree Show, Beth made such an impression with her work that she won the ‘Ella Doran Award’ in collaboration with the designer, winning a cash prize and the opportunity to intern with Ella for three weeks. Beth was chosen by Ella for her vibrant and quirky interior design work. 

Ella Doran is a designer who specialises in creating interior products ranging from wallpapers and large scale interior graphics to fabrics and household accessories. Using her own photography, mark-making and textile design skills, Ella is known for her pioneering application of photography-based images and patterns.

Beth's work at the 2019 Degree Show

Beth was also invited to exhibit her work at London Design Fair along with other graduating students from the college, after exhibiting at New Designers earlier in the year. London Design Fair is an international trade show hosted at the Truman Brewery in London, with over 550 designers from 40 countries exhibiting their work. Featuring artists and designers showing everything from architecture and interior design to sculpture and ceramics, the Fair sees over 20,000 people pass its doors over the three-day event. We sat down with Beth to find out more about what she’s been up to.

What was it like exhibiting at the London Design Fair?

London Design Fair was the most inspiring show I have ever been to. It was my first time attending and it truly opened my eyes to what innovative design means. I spoke to so many fellow designers and companies here who have greatly inspired me to carry on working within my unique style. It was great to receive advice about being a new graduate in the industry and how to go about setting up my own company in the future.

Being chosen by my lecturers to exhibit my work there was incredible and a great chance to receive feedback. The standard of work at this show is really high and the chance to exhibit alongside some huge names was amazing!

Ella Doran in discussion at Focus/19

Tell us about your internship with Ella Doran?

On a day-to-day basis I was helping Ella in her studio in Hackney, London. It was so beneficial to see how she runs her business, from the small details of how she packages products for customers to how she carefully considers the environmental impact of her design work.

Ella has a small team at her studio so I was able to work one-on-one with her, which gave me a lot of industry insight. I was also given the incredible opportunity to create a new design for her 2020 collection. Helping Ella with this was so exciting and allowed me to utilise the Photoshop and design skills I’d learnt during my time at Plymouth College of Art within a professional environment.

Ella offered me so many amazing experiences whilst I was in London too, attending events including Top Drawer, Focus 19, The V&A, Shoreditch Design Triangle, Tate Modern and Design Junction. Being in London, I was surrounded by inspiration every day; from the colours along the canal on my way to the studio to the many amazing exhibitions I could visit and the bold graffiti in Shoreditch. 

Overall, working for Ella Doran Design was an amazing experience. It opened my eyes to the professional design world and what it means to run your own business. Gaining insight into the day to day running of her business, even the small things that need working on, was really important to me!

Beth's work at the 2019 Degree Show

What’s next? What are your plans for the future?

On returning from my internship, I felt extremely inspired and motivated to start the next step in my design career. I have always loved the idea of setting up a small business to sell my own designs through, and after returning from London I was even more inspired to do so! I am currently working on setting up my own Etsy shop, opening soon.  Keep an eye on my Instagram @bethmason_design for details of this to come!

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