top of page
Tools & Tips
Fresh graduate from a textile print course? Maybe an graphic designer oogling Creative Market's promise of millions? Or perhaps an illustrator with so much artwork and no idea what to do with it? Either way, I've compiled some advice on how to navigate this complex world of selling digital products and your artwork. Good luck!

If you're looking for some 2022 colour trends to energise your new designs, you're in the right place!

The years behind us have been a whirlwind of things we could have not expected or predicted in any way - the pandemic, lockdowns, social isolation and more. Life has changed irrevocably and everything seems a bit glum - which is exactly why you are seeing incredibly bright, saturated colours popping up in design lately. Doesn't make sense? One word: escapism.

After being shut off from the world, it is only natural we are all trying to escape into a brighter, better world. You've seen this happen with the stratospheric increase of metaverses - places where we can hang out virtually, without leaving home. We can party without feeling tired; we can socialise without overspending; we can be creative without experience.

With all this want & need for an alternative universe also comes a tug towards nostalgia; the older generation looking back and reminiscing, whilst the younger generation daydreams and idolises anything old.

I have collated all this and more into a new trend that I am calling The Rave Identity. This trend is looking to extend into 2023 and it is basically everything we have seen happening in the metaverse, extending into our world; neo gothic symbols, 3D everything, rave colours, Tumblresque and y2k aesthetic.

In this tune, I am also building products which complement this style, but adding my touch to it: a bit of fun and a bit of whimsy. See below!

As always, if you want more helpful posts on how to make $$$ doodling and drawing, subscribe to my email list below! I aim to routinely send out tips, tools, trends and other helpful bits!

If you haven't banked in on the retro revival trend just yet, you're missing out big time.

2021 is set to become a smorgasbord of mid century retro - anything from 40s to the noughties goes. I always hoard little retro color palettes, saving them reference photos or happy mistakes whilst designing. I've compiled for you below some of my absolute favorites (and some of my products to give you an example), so you can apply them to your projects and get that retro vibe going.

P.s. if you're looking for more general 2021 color trends, see my other post on this here!

Chill Pill

Your typical retro colorway will include some oranges, off browns and a lilac. This is a quintessential colourway for all things mid century, usually derived from furnishing and wallpaper colors from the late 60s. I like to dim them down just a little bit as you can see in the colourway, to give it a slight tinge of calm and chill. Use this for cool wrapping paper or late summer graphics!

70 Kitchen

You know those cringe looking kitchens from the 60s and 70s that look like a doll house? Those, my friend, are the best reference for retro color palettes. This one is from a picture I've since lost, but I've kept and used the colourway so many times. These would look great on velvet fabric or even some cool greeting cards.

Mod Con

The all time favorite for anyone who loves retro is 60s Mod. Usually a happy go lucky style, it consists of clean, minimal, but still bright colors. Perfect for stationery, wrapping paper and packaging prints.

English Cottage

This is definitely a result of two massive trends right now - that is #cottagecore and everyone watching Bridgerton. A darker take on the usual cottagecore, this is a more sophisticated take on old English estate inspiration. Think sophisticated florals on coloured cotton paper, a light ribbon and curly, prim fonts.

Sky High

One of my absolute favorites is this airy, chill, muddy pastel colourway. Inspired by 70s marble tiles, it will be a welcome breath of fresh air in all the typical retro oranges and greens. If you design fabric, this is perfect for airy silks - or for packaging designers, think see through paper and milky plastic.


You can't talk about retro without featuring the colourful 90s. This one is more reminiscent of the late 80s, what with its light hues and happy tones. Perfect if you want to try your hand at the famous Memphis style graphics.


And at the other end of the 90s is this punchy set - almost reaching the noughties, it's much more saturated and reminiscent of the first screens and websites we remember seeing (for those of us who were, errr, alive in the 90s). Bright parkas and shiny scrunchies, this is the colorway of the millenials.

As always, if you want more helpful posts on how to make $$$ doodling and drawing, subscribe to my email list below! I aim to routinely send out tips, tools, trends and other helpful bits!

We all probably already own all the same books, but I think there has to be some gems out there a lot of people don't know about. This is the reason why I've been compiling a long, long list of the books I use the most - and have finally managed to cut it down to a readable list. My best advice to any surface or pattern designer is to amass as many books as possible - whilst this might sound a tinge financially reckless, I guarantee you it is the best investment you will make. These resources will be the ones you will always go back to - trust me.

So without further ado and waffling, here is the list of books I use on a daily basis for my work:

Textiles, The Art of Mankind (Hardcover)

By Mary Schoeser

This is an incredible (super heavy) book with tons of historical references. It's always been my go to book for not just pattern inspiration, but surface in general; it includes a multitude of embroidery, screen printed, hand woven textures, etc. If you can, get it second hand as it does tend to be a bit pricey! I've found a quick link for you here.

The Book of Flowers

By Redoute

Well, I can't really call this pattern inspo, but my God, does this book deliver when you desperately need some floral references. With super detailed, colorful and botanically correct drawings, this book by far out ranks any other botanical references (and trust me, I have them all, even the garden books). I also prefer it to others as it has a slight tinge of romance in the colors and the way it's been drawn as opposed to dry, black and white botanical sections.

You can find it on the publisher's page here.

Liberty: The History

By Marie-Therese Rieber

If you're like me and you love anything post 1930s, this will be your favorite book. Liberty in itself is an institution, but the textiles they developed hold a history of their own as well. From classy to funky, they've done it all - I mostly use these references for color palettes as they are super refreshing and fun. I've found you a link to it here.

Grammar of Ornament

By Owen Jones

You know when you're supposed to draw a super detailed, geometric print - or something with a tinge of ethnic and your mind is just blank? This is where Grammar of Ornament comes in handy. A sort of dictionary on historic tiles, ornaments and patterns, it is a wealth of information that will be your companion for years to come. Here's a quick link.

Patterns: Inside The Design Library

By Peter Koepke

The Design Library, which has 2 spaces, one in New York and one here, in London, UK has published a wonderful book, chock full of vintage textiles. This is an absolute inspiration as a lot of these are quirky, never seen before prints. If you're local, you can also go visit them - you'll find info here and the book here!

The Pattern Sourcebook: A Century Of Surface Design

By Drusilla Cole

This is more or less constantly on my desk - whenever I need a quick reference or a new idea for a pattern set, this is where I usually start. It's got 342 illustrations with detailed descriptions, so I usually find a reference in here and then Google my way onwards. You can find it on the publisher's website here.

The Aloha Shirt: Spirit Of The Islands

By Dale Hope

This is sort of my secret weapon - in addition to our vintage archive of course. An incredible and breathtaking book by Patagonia (printed on recycled paper, ofc), this is a complete guide to the intricate world of Hawaiian shirts. From bark cloth to American tourists, this lovely book is an amazing reference for conversational prints. Yo can find it here on Patagonia's page.

One of the best ways to find cool reference books is by going through second hand shops - you'll find amazing resources in unexpected places, such as magazines or even garden tending books. So don't just stick to Amazon; trawl through treasures on Ebay or go and have a look in a second hand book shop yourself. Is there a book you swear by? Something you can't live without? Send me a DM on instagram (@angelainthefields) and let me know about it!

As always, if you want more helpful posts on how to make $$$ doodling and drawing, subscribe to my email list below! I aim to routinely send out tips, tools, trends and other helpful bits!

bottom of page