Dynamic Surfaces

Dynamic Surfaces

Founded and run by British designer Beth Travers, BOBO1325 is a boutique design studio specialising in bespoke wallpaper and surface pattern designs.

A: You specialise in creating unique, contemporary patterns with a surrealist twist. How did you come up with your designs and who are you influenced by in the wider arts world?
I find myself constantly inspired by the world around me, from global events to the rolling hills. The shooting of “Cecil” the lion, climate change and extinction sparked for instance my Before They Pass Away collection; it’s a message that if we change our thinking we can change the world – before it’s too late. Fleurassic Park is about gender equality; it’s designed for the girls that love the dinosaurs and the boys that love flowers. Our diversity and celebration of different cultures, animals, lands is our strength – we have so much to learn not just about ourselves but from each other.

The prospect of that, to me, sounds exciting. Life is about living, learning and exploring, make the most of it and soak up everything that you possibly can. I have another design, Hebdo, which was created after the terror attack on the Charlie Hebdo office in Paris – like all acts of terror and violence, I was shocked to the core and felt a profound sense of sadness. I felt this attack more acutely because those men and women were targeted that day for using their artistic license, which thousands of artists before them had been using. It’s our job in the creative industry to use our voices whether it is with words, art or design. We’re seeing this more and more throughout the media with recent political events.

When it comes to the wider arts for me you can’t go wrong with Timorous Beasties, Florence Broadhurst, Dali, DainNYC, Faile, Jean Michel Basquiat with a liberal dose of Bruce Springsteen! Brexit and Witchcraft in the desert inspire my upcoming collections. Both designs will be launching at Decorex 2017 in September.

A: Why do you think that it is important to pay attention to interior design, and as such, craft the spaces in which we live our daily lives?
: I think it’s important to know the trends and styles to see where people are leaning and what they’re influenced by … to an extent. Interior design differs from fashion because it’s much more personal. Your favourite dress is your favourite dress for a season, or maybe two. But there is something truly special when you design for interiors as you are given this incredible gift of being a part of someone’s dream, whether it be for a commercial, hospitality or a residential client, its humbling that someone chooses work that you have created and dreamed up to play a role in their space and safe haven.

A: How do you combine different disciplines in your designs, for example graphic design, illustration, fine art and fashion photography?
BT: Surface pattern design encompasses so many design disciplines from graphic design, illustration, fine art, mixed media, and photography. The sky really is the limit, I believe in utilising these tools to create designs that are full of depth, they have a story to them, you know? The more you look the more you see. To this day, I still have clients telling me that they’ve discovered something new. It’s more than just creating a vectored motif. Its art – and that has no limitations. William Morris blazed the trail of this industry and I think with the digital age while it’s so dynamic and exciting it’s very easy to lose that handmade edge. I create designs that are a healthy mix of old and new techniques.

A: All your designs are constructed from illustrations, textures, mixed media and photography. How do these initial ideas begin to form a larger piece of work?
BT: Marc Jacobs once said: “I always find beauty in things that are odd and imperfect – they are much more interesting.” That statement truly resonates with me. One of my hobbies is to go urban exploring – I am truly fascinated by buildings that have just been left for nature to reclaim. I photograph them and those images are then manipulated to create textures and shapes that weave through my designs, it’s giving those abandoned spaces a brand new chapter, their story isn’t over because they form a brand new story that will be in a brand new space anywhere in the world.

Photography is always my baseline, I’d love to take some time out to travel and explore brand new venues whose stories have been forgotten. Up next it’s the mixed media, Illustration work and screen-printing. When I design, it’ s about creating that vibrant and exciting visual story, composing designs that are full of depth and intrigue. They can set the scene or blend seamlessly into the tale that the client is already unfolding.


1. The Key to Change. Courtesy of Bobo1325.