We are a generation who love to travel. Gap year travelling through India? Why not. Erasmus study abroad? Ok. Why do we browse flights every few months? To discover new places, to have wild adventures, to visit friends, to lose yourself, to find yourself, to inspire...
The reasons why we travel are endless. It’s no surprise that with so many people jet-setting for one reason or another, stories start to surface of airlines trying to get approval for standing sections on planes - something which The Economist compares to a ‘Wall of Death fairground ride.’ Nice. Or, that brand spanking new apps such as Lucky Trip, picked by Apple for the Best Apps of 2015, are encouraging spontaneity by letting users find a ‘trip in one tap.’
I like to travel for nearly all the reasons listed above and it’s hard to come back from a trip not feeling inspired in some way by either the people I've met or the places I've seen; be it new landscapes, colours, design, or architecture. One individual whose love of travel has taken her to places as diverse as Iceland and Portugal, has had a unique imprint on her work as a designer.
Samantha Warren London is a British brand specialising in luxury printed accessories made in the UK."I love to travel and it's impossible not to be inspired by new surroundings. The challenge is managing to convey my feelings/mood about a place whilst also creating a sell-able design. I am a professional print designer, and print is the focus on my products. I keep product shapes clean and considered to ensure that the print design is the main feature."
Samantha has produced two collections, The Olhão Collection and The Orka Collection which draw inspiration from her travels to Portugal and Iceland.
The Olhão collection
The Olhão collection is inspired by the beautiful, ornate tiled surfaces in Portugal. Olhão is the name of the town where the inspiration for the range began. Samantha hand paints intricate patterns in soft, feminine colours to create these desirable, luxury accessories.
“I felt delicate watercolour painting best suited the Olhão collection to depict the quaint coastal town and ornate tiles.”
"Different elements transpire into my collections. For Olhão, it was the decorative, moorish patterns found in the town’s architecture which I achieved with soft watercolour painting to convey the romance of the coastal town. The collection overall is ornate, warm and pretty, which is how I would describe the town itself. For Orka, it was the textured Icelandic terrain - be it jagged rocks or soft rippling water. The dapples of fluorescent colour and contrast of rough with the smooth in Orka conveys the element of surprise and wonder which Iceland has."
The Orka Collection
Samantha visited Iceland in 2014 and was captivated by its natural charms: organic jagged forms, bubbling translucent streams, fluorescent algae and marbled layers of rock.
Orka means energy in Icelandic and it was the Icelandic terrain in its mystifying, energetic and rugged beauty which inspired this collection.
“The Orka collection combines a mixture of painting, collage and photography to represent the Icelandic landscape. Jagged torn paper mimics the rocky terrain and watercolour painted washes symbolise the flowing streams.”
When asked what is the most exciting thing about starting her own brand, Samantha told us: "I thrive on creating my own challenges, be it designing a print collection, creating a desirable product, getting stockists and finding ways to get my products in front of potential customers. It's exciting to share my work and in the process, discuss ideas with others and discover new ways of doing things."
We asked Samantha what her hopes are for the future:"My hope is my brand is able to sustain itself. A brilliant customer base and an audience who is interested in the brand and willing to support it are all any brand can hope for."
Samantha's passion for travel and skill in translating the inspirational places she visits into unique, feminine and timeless designs, makes her brand stand alone in accessorising us girls in cool and colourful pieces.
*The images shown in this post were supplied by and are copyrighted to Samantha Warren.