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How to source fresh new artwork for your products!

Updated: May 15

How to source fresh new artwork for your products

Are you a fashion or homewares label and need fresh, new artwork for your products?

Then there are two ways you could obtain artwork to use for your business:

1. Utilise the expertise of a freelance textile and surface print designer (that’s me!) or

2. Purchase (or license) a pre-made design from an artist or print studio.

Why use the services of a freelance print designer?

There are several reasons why you should consider using the services of a freelance print designer:

  1. Expertise: Freelance print designers often specialize in a particular area or niche, such as embellishment design or surface pattern design. (Guess what, I can do both!) This means they have extensive knowledge and experience in their field, which can lead to high-quality and creative designs. Did you know that I not only create custom prints but can also help with CADs, line sheets and tech packs? With years of experience working in-house, I am familiar with the design, development and production practices commonly used in the industry.

  2. Flexibility: as sole traders or individual business owners, freelance print designers are often more flexible than larger studios, as they can work on a project-by-project basis. This can be particularly useful for small businesses or individuals who have a limited budget or specific design needs. For regular client work, I offer monthly retainer packages and offer priority service to those who need it.

  3. Cost savings: Freelance print designers often have lower overhead costs than larger studios, which can result in cost savings for the client. Fact: I do not print onto fabric headers - not only does this save costs associated with printing, but it also helps me to be more sustainable in my business. I use 3D mockups to help customers visualise a print on a garment, which is also faster than getting a sample made.

  4. Personalised service: Freelance print designers typically work closely with their clients to understand their specific needs and create custom designs that meet those needs. This can lead to a more personalized and tailored approach to the design process. I absolutely love the feedback from my clients after the completion of a successful project! Collaboration and partnership are key to this success, which is why I take customer service seriously and offer free 20-minute discovery calls online.

If you feel like this is the right path for you, why not book an obligation-free, 20-minute chat with me? You can check my availabilities via my website or email me at

Custom art print by Carolyn Quan

Why buy a pre-made surface pattern design?

There are several reasons why you might consider buying a pre-made surface pattern design:

  1. Time savings: Buying a pre-made surface pattern design can save you time as you won't have to go through the design process yourself. This can be especially useful if you have a tight deadline or need a design quickly.

  2. Cost savings: Pre-made surface pattern designs are often more affordable than custom designs, as the designer can sell the design to multiple clients (as a non-exclusive license). Designers can also sell one-off designs (full buyout with exclusive rights), that are quick reactions to runway trends which can be a cost-effective option for small businesses or individuals who have a limited budget and want to stay on top of trends without having to do the research themselves! 

  3. Quality assurance: Pre-made surface pattern designs are often created by experienced print designers who have a keen eye for design and quality. This means that you are getting a high-quality design that is on trend and is responding to the ever-changing seasons of the market. All my pre-made prints are supplied in repeat and in multiple colourways. Complimentary scale and colour adjustments are also included.

  4. Variety: Pre-made surface pattern designs come in a wide variety of styles and themes, which means you can choose a design that best suits your needs and preferences. This can be particularly useful if you're looking for a specific design style or theme. One of my strengths after working for over 15 years as a commercial illustrator is the ability to adapt to many different styles, from bold and edgy to soft and feminine. (Why not check it out for yourself? you can view my fashion portfolio here!)

So how will you source your artwork? Have you seen the latest from my Print Library? These exclusive designs are ready to use now and come with complimentary colour and scale adjustments! Apply to shop here.

Thanks and feel free to email me if you aren't sure which path is right for you. I'd be happy to share some insights and advice:




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