Blain McCallion - The Sheet Society

Blain McCallion

August 30, 2018

WE CAUGHT UP WITH the designer of our 'BANKS' quilt cover @blain_mccallion...

Can you tell us a little bit about yourself?

Well, I was born in the UK, I grew up on the Gold Coast and have now lived in Melbourne for the last 9 years. It's nice here.

What got you started?

I knew I wanted to do art for work but was always told that there is no real money in it. So I did a short course at TAFE in graphic design. I felt like working in fashion seemed creative and ever-changing, so I just aimed in that direction. Just kept bugging people till I got a fashion job in Melbourne.

How would you describe your design style?

No Idea, It depends on what or who I'm working with. I try to keep it diverse. I do like to keep it somewhat feminine, maybe a little dark.

What mediums do you use?

Anything really. At the moment it's acrylics. But I'm most comfortable with graphite on Illustration board.

What are exciting projects (present or past) you proud about?

I was in an exhibition with NGV called “BOARD” that celebrates skateboarding culture. Presenting 1970s & 80s skateboards and ephemera from Tony Hallam’s collection alongside decks created for the exhibition by 50 Australian artists, it explores the evolution of board graphics and design. It was an honour to be next to so many great artists, and to celebrate skating. Two things I’ve always enjoyed doing.

What do you enjoy most about your job?

I think the diversity is nice, Its always testing. It keeps you on your toes, plus you meet plenty of great people.

alk us through your creative process from ideas to final piece for your designs.

It really depends on what the project is. But I guess the simplest way is to:

- Get all the inspiration and references you need.

- Build a basic story and colour palette.

- Draft until you and/or the client is happy.

- Build the final.

- Go for a beer.

Where did you get the inspiration for your design for the new BANKS Quilt?

Hayley and I made a bit of a storyboard on Pinterest, and luckily we were on the same page. I wanted one side to be more tonal, like abstract art that you see in a gallery or clouds, the side that looks like smoke. Then the other side to be more like a textile design. I had been doing a lot of Hawaiian/floral woven tops for Cotton On, but I wanted to do something a little darker, to fit the colour palette Hayley provided me with.

What do you do if you’re having a creative block?

Freak out, then get back to work. You always get over it, you have to.

When you’re not designing, how do you like to spend your time?

I like getting out of town when I can, I live right in Melbourne CBD so nature is something I’m always longing for, but never get a chance to do much these days.  

What designers/artists are you crushing on at the moment?

I'm loving Eliza Ivanova’s art, everything she makes is stunning. Also Egon Schiele, but I think everyone loves his work.

What’s next for you?

I'm off to travel through Vietnam, Cambodia and Laos for a while. Think I'm due for a break.


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