Interviews

Behind The Design: JJ x Jonathan Lawes

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Our bestselling laundry designs meet gallery-worthy graphics in our exclusive print collaboration with London-based artist & designer Jonathan Lawes.

Renowned for his use of hand cut shapes, vibrant colours and playful layering techniques, we asked Jonathan to reimagine our most loved laundry solutions in his own unique style.

To find out more about his screen-printing process, inspirations and what makes him tick; we headed to his South London studio to go behind the design of our latest designer collection.

 


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Meet Jonathan



What inspired you to become an artist?
The inspiration to become an artist goes back to my GCSEs when we had a change of art teacher. She introduced us to lots of new experimental, colourful stuff and it was where I began to play around with shapes. My mum has a little bit of creativity, but I think my creativity just nurtured itself over time, trying out different processes and experimenting.

What is your favourite artistic memory, and does it inspire your work today?
There are so many memories from quite a short career. But what stands out is the first projects I did at school. I remember doing a project where a lot of inspiration came from architecture. I came to London and went round Canary Wharf, taking photos of buildings – eventually playing around with shapes, structures, and things like that.

How have you styled your home interior - does it feature bold colour and prints?
My home interior is pretty much completely different from what we’re in now. I kind of like it more muted and toned down at home. I have sometimes brought that into my work, but I also love playing around with colours too – I think it is nice to have a difference between the studio and home, so I’m not always working, and I can see the colours fresh in the studio.

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Why did you choose to collaborate with us? 
I jumped at the opportunity! My mum is a huge fan, and I grew up with the products in the classic lime green colourway. It’s a big brand and a big player in the industry, so when the opportunity came along, I just couldn’t say no.
 
What is your design process, do you start with a sketch?    
So, my design process is all based on the on the print table. I will start by cutting shapes out and working with them, but all my drawing as such comes from the print table. I'm not particularly great at drawing, I can't work directly on the computer. I can do it afterwards, but my brain just works best on the print table, mixing bits together. 

How was the design process for this project?  
The design process followed the same principles as the art I would create for walls. Then it’s about adapting it to work with the product. I normally work with standard shapes, but working with the curved edges of the ironing board is a different challenge. You can do things on the computer, but for me, it doesn’t really comprehend. Things look incredibly flat, and I need to see the layering that can’t be replicated on a screen. Doing it in real life gives you a real sense of what the end product will be.

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What influences the process?
We first worked on what composition we liked, then it was the colours. Going into the offices and picking out specific colours. We also had to focus on the capacity of the colours - how bright they came out when printing, which ones to stray away from, and which ones to dial down a bit.

What was your thought process when you started thinking about your print direction for laundry designs?
So, I wanted to keep the design quite simple, not overwork things but also to have lots of flashes of colour. It’s like that with every piece of work that I do, it’s all about the balance. Certain areas blending in, others standing out.

Where do you normally draw inspiration from?
I’ve got books on architecture, that’s always a big thing. I love structures, shadows from light. I’ll be on holiday and I’ll be taking photos of shadows on the wall, for example. It can come from anywhere. I could be sat at home, or in here when the light pours through the window. Also, taking influence from other artists, or architects. The shapes sculptures come up with too, and the negative space when you put objects together.

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When creating this limited-edition artwork, which style of home did you imagine them in? 
I guess I styled it on my home, laundry products can be put to the side quite often to blend in the surrounding. Whereas, this range is full of statement pieces, so in my own home it would really stand out which is nice.

Colour, geometry, and shapes are key to your work. How did you amalgamate them for this project?
All the colours, shape, compositions, balance and pattern all work along with each other in my head. It’s kind of natural, sometimes things come together really quickly, and other times it is more of a slow process.

How did you know when you’d created the final JJ print?
There’s just a feeling when it all clicks together. Sometimes you could start off quite minimalist, then you complicate things a little bit, but there’s a point where you’ve gone too far. Then you have to come back on yourself. The design process for the JJ collection was straightforward. It was nice to work with people who could give you a gentle push in one direction to get you down the right path. It was really enjoyable to work and be part of a team, as opposed to just being by myself!

 

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Shop The Collection

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Tota 90L Laundry Separation Basket x Jonathan Lawes

$199.95

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Glide 130cm Easy-store Ironing Board x Jonathan Lawes

$209.95

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Hold-All™ Collapsible 35L Laundry Basket x Jonathan Lawes

$79.95

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Pocket Folding Ironing Board x Jonathan Lawes

$169.95

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