Here at M.M Linen, we are extremely excited about our collaboration with Avalana Design and their amazing designer Avalana.
Avalana Design is all about creating truly stunning, hand painted designs. Each print is designed to encapsulate the extraordinary beauty of our natural world and seeks to inspire a sense of wonderment and escapism to the viewer. Now more than ever our homes and surroundings need to feel like our very own sanctuary space, bringing us joy and allowing ourselves to escape the noise of the day.
Every Avalana design starts life as a sketch, which is then lovingly hand painted in the Manchester based studio. Founded in Summer 2018, after 10 years of working in industry as an experienced designer-artist; Avalana was born from a watercolour set and an instagram account. ‘It was time to take the reins of my own creative journey and design artwork I was truly inspired to create’. Avalana offers a personalised design service for private clients and commercial developers, throughout the UK and overseas.
We were lucky enough to have an interview with Avalana to learn more about her and her design process.
See below for our interview.
1. Tell us about your background and how your interest in design began?
I was born & grew up in rural Scotland. My childhood was filled with forest walks and my dad being a keen gardener I was surrounded by a vast variety of plants and flowers throughout the seasons. All this natural beauty has always been my main source of inspiration – it fuels my imagination and fills me with joy. Growing up I was always into art and my mum would say I would sit for hours drawing and painting lost in my own little world. I always knew I wanted to do something with my artistic apabilities and my aim was getting to art college after I finished school. I had a vision in the back of my mind after graduating from University, that I wanted to create something unique and allowed me to have complete creative freedom. Despite all the challenges of starting a new business and design brand, it has been such a creatively freeing experience, and that for me makes it all worth it. To design for
my true creative passions is a dream come true.
2. You have described that your designs are inspired from travels, folklore & nature.
Can you elaborate on any experiences in particular that you have drawn inspiration from?
When I first left my design job and started Avalana the biggest question was what was going to be the basis for my first ever solo collection. We had recently come back from a trip to Costa Rica for my 30th birthday and I was absolutely blown away by the abundance of beauty in the rainforest’s there. It was so awe inspiring to see the different plants and animals in the nature reserves we visited. It just made total sense for me to base my first Avalana collection around that experience. My aim is always to create prints and patterns that truly capture the essence of the things that have made me feel an awe or wonder about them.
3. Could you please describe your creative process?
My creative process always starts with my inspiration- I love creating mood boards to help me visualise my final design. I am constantly pinning images, screenshotting from Instagram and scouring the Vogue articles of the latest runway shows. Each of my prints starts its life as a rough sketch at my painting table, before going in with watercolour and ink which are my go to mediums. Once I have finished each painted element, I then scan in the art to then digitally build the final print design.
4. How do you get unstuck creatively? What is your favourite way to get your creativity flowing?
I have always used nature to help me get rid of those pesky creative blocks. The best thing I find I can do if my mind is in a knot is put on my running shoes and hit the trails. Ask anyone I ever worked with in industry – every lunch break I would be off out for a run. This would never fail to get my ideas in pace and get my creativity flowing again!
5. Do you have a favourite Avalana design that has special significance to you?
I love all my Avalana designs and they each have their own significance to me in some way. The design ‘Gardens of Petra’ is really special to me right now as I had to really use my imagination to create what I thought the ancient gardens could have looked like. Creating the art for this was giving me a sense of escapism that I was craving while being in lockdown. I love reading folklore and stories of ancient cultures and this design is a real personal fave, I even have this mural in my own bedroom. It envelops me in my own little magical garden as I drift off to sleep and as I wake up listening to the birds singing. It really has been the escapism I’ve needed through lockdown!
6. Where do you see yourself and Avalana in 10 years?
My dream for Avalana is to grow into a successful brand and expand into new and exciting products! I would love to have collections in gorgeous boutique style stores across the globe and to feature on the front of some glossy magazines. I would also love to get involved in creating interior designs for some commercial projects too. I am currently working on some exciting new projects – and my current aim is to be able to get some help on board as I am running every aspect of Avalana on my own and it is no small feat running a business solo as well as painting all the designs! One day and step at a time, and I cannot tell you how proud I am of where I am almost 3 years in let alone where I will be in 10 years!
7. What do you hope your design work says about you?
I hope my design work conveys the enjoyment, wonder and escapism I feel when I create each and every one of them! I love what I do and I really hope that comes across when people view my work.
8. Who are your design heroes or who inspires you in life and in design?
I don’t really have any one hero, there are so many people that influence me in different areas of my life and my career, I really couldn’t name just a few. A huge shout out has to go to my soon to be hubby though, he has enabled me to start my dream and he really gave me the support I needed to pursue this dream!
9. What is the best piece of advice you’ve received?
The best piece of advice I have ever received was from my parents who told us all when we were kids: ‘Always do something you enjoy, find that and you will never work a day in your life’. This is why I pursued my creative career from as early as I can remember, I couldn’t imagine doing something other than this. As soon as something stops being enjoyable I switch it up. Life’s too short to do something you are not enjoying!
10. What is your favourite season of the year?
Spring 100%! The season is filled with light and hope of warmer days. The days get longer and the plants start to spring from the ground, flowers bloom and the birds sing! It’s nature’s fairytale! And I LOVE it!!
11. Favourite holiday destination?
My all time favourite holiday destination is Mallorca. One of the balearic islands off the coast of Spain. Nothing beats those sunsets and chilled balearic vibes. I’m getting married there this year (if everything goes well!!)
12. What is one of your favourite things to eat?
Again I am struggling to think of just one!! I’m a ‘more is more’ sort of gal, and there aren’t many foods I don’t love! I suppose coming from Scotland, if you have eaten haggis you can eat anything! I adore eating out and trying new cuisines, it’s a real joy having quality foods and trying new tastes! It’s probably easier to say the one of the things I don’t like the taste of, and that is raw celery! Although I can just about manage that if it’s served in a Bloody Mary!
Thank you so much for your time and inspiring words Avalana. You are truly and inspiration and we are so grateful to be able to work with you and share your beautiful designs with all out customers!