My design journey…
Hello and welcome to Freya Niamh (pronounced Neev or Ni-uv) Design. My name's Hannah and I'm the face behind FND. I'm an illustrator and graphic designer based in York UK and live with my artist boyfriend Ollie in a little apartment with his German shepherd, Ella, a big friendly ball of fluff.
I started Freya Niamh Design around two years ago after designing some wedding stationery for a very good friend of mine. Running my own business has always been a life goal of mine and with a background in art and design I thought something along those lines would most likely be the route to go down.
In 2013 I spent a year in Falmouth, Cornwall doing my art and design foundation at Falmouth University which then led to 3 years completing my BA (Hons) in Interior Design at Northumbria University. This taught me how to fine tune my visual skills and develop into a designer.
Interior Design BA (Hons)
Unfortunately at the end of my three year degree I accidentally broke the hard-drive on my laptop, losing the majority of my work. The images above are what I've managed to recover from various sources.
I really enjoyed the conceptual side to interior design, developing unique themes and researching all sorts of topics from the evolution of peppered moths to adult playgrounds. Although when it came to graduating university and seeking employment there were very few commercial interior design jobs in my area that really sparked my interest. I therefore moved on with what I had learnt and explored new avenues.
After graduating I took a year to explore what it was I really wanted to achieve in my life/career. I began asking around as to wether anyone needed anything designing. This lead to lots of hairdresser price-lists and business cards but also some wedding stationery which I particularly enjoyed...
The one consistency for me over the years has been my love for illustration. I've looked up to Quentin Blake and Ernst Haeckel for as long as I can remember but I've also been lucky enough to have been tutored outside of school by an amazing artist/family friend called Barbara Agar who filled in all the gaps where the school teachers fell short. My mum and grandmothers too have a great love for art which definitely influenced my development.
I now work as an in-house graphic designer at a York based company Tuesday-Friday, further developing my commercial experience and gathering knowledge to help improve my own business. My day usually consists of designing leaflets, continuing the interiors projects and fulfilling a wide variety of briefs set out by other members of staff. Despite my desire to escape office interior design, one of the first projects I was given at the company was to redesign the entire 2 storey office block alongside another graphic designer. It's still ongoing as it turned into quite a mammoth task, however I look forward to sharing the outcome of that within the next few months.
A sneak peak at some of the internal work I've designed. (tap the arrow keys to see more)
Looking forward I have lots of plans in place for 2020 and beyond. Firstly I'd like to design some new, more unusual, wedding stationery collections in a range of styles. Which includes testing more sustainable materials and printing methods. Ensuring Freya Niamh Design is as environmentally sustainable as it can be.
I'd also like to develop further with my illustration and try book-cover designing/illustrating. I have a real love for writing little poems, something passed on to me from my nana, who herself is a really talented poet, so a dream of mine would be to create and illustrate my own children's poetry book.
And finally I have plans to develop some more interior decor products including fabrics and wallpapers. I see Freya Niamh Design going down the home interiors route rather than office stationery as I still find so much enjoyment in interior design. I want to be responsible for creating a beautiful escape from the day-to-day world with unique, up-lifting decor in the home.
I hope this post provides a little more insight into me as a designer and how I've developed over the years. I believe it's so important to find inspiration wherever you go, to soak up as much education as possible in whatever field it may be to enrich your mind. It will always come in handy when you're trying to tackle a brief in a unique way. I've made it my mission to try and learn something new every week.
Whether you're a designer/student yourself seeking some inspiration or wether you're still figuring out what it is you want to pursue, I hope I've helped in some way. Please feel free to ask any questions down below or over instagram. I have so much more work that I may share if you'd find that interesting, but I also look forward to see what's yet to come.
Thanks for reading :)