Introducing Beki Bright
We caught up with brilliant London artist, Beki Bright, who we were lucky to collaborate with this season.
Her designs are both joyful and nostalgic, lending themselves perfectly to Daydress.
Give us a snapshot of your life
I’m a textile designer and screen printer, living in London with my husband and naughty little dog Roscoe. Day to day my life is very busy, full of screenprinting, drawing, design work and antique textiles. I am expecting my first baby in November so it's only going to get busier which is exciting! I launched my first collection of screen printed interior textiles and wallpapers three years ago during the pandemic and haven't looked back, moving into my own studio in South Bermondsey at the end of last year.
Where did your creative journey begin?
I was working in film and television as a textile artist, specialising in dyeing fabrics for costume which led to a job with a textile design studio in London. This environment has given me access to some of the most beautiful antique fabrics and allowed me to travel the world, providing an endless source of inspiration. I have always been really creative and in my spare time I was taking courses in landscape drawing, textile design and lino printing. I was searching for a way to combine the practical skills I had learnt whilst working in costume with my creative interests. This coincided with a move from London to Somerset, giving me the chance to enrol on the MA Design at Bath Spa University.
How do you bring your ideas to life?
When designing new collections I love the initial drawing stage. At this point there is no pressure and I can just let the ideas flow freely and explore the outcome. Eventually, I will transfer the designs onto my sample screens and start the printing process, experimenting with colour until I'm happy with the final result. It’s a very long process, each design taking up to a year to complete.
How did you find the process of block-print?
I loved the challenge of streamlining my drawings and creating a collection that felt new for Daydress. All my screen printed designs have big repeats which suits my desire to draw on a large scale. However, with block printing the sizes had to be much smaller to fit the maximum block size - just larger than a human hand. My designs had to be much more focused with a ‘less is more approach’. It was an incredible experience to travel to India to see the collection being printed last November. I nearly cried when I saw how beautiful the hand-carved blocks were.
What is your best source of inspiration?
I draw a lot of my inspiration from the English countryside. Growing up in Suffolk and spending time living in Somerset has fed my fascination with English Folklore, country crafts, and rural rituals; all which inform my designs. I love the work of English 20th-century artists; Vanessa Bell, Enid Marx, Peggy Angus and Eric Ravilious, their work is energetic, playful and full of colour. Through discovering their designs and artwork I began to look at design in a different way, they made me want to start creating fabrics that were highly decorative yet functional.
Any recent cultural high-points?
I visited Compton Verney in May to see their inspiring exhibition ‘Making Mischief : Folk Costume in Britain’. I loved the decorative aspects to the costumes, especially the intricate pleated ribbons and applique. I also saw ‘Portraits of Dogs’ at the Wallace Collection. This was great fun, you can’t beat a painting of a dog in a bonnet smoking a pipe.
How did designing for dresses compare to designing for interiors?
With interiors I'm always imagining my designs being used on large spaces such as sofas and curtains. With the dresses I had to visualise the designs moving with the body. I love the final collection and I’m very excited to see people wearing the dresses!