Meet the artist behind our prints!

Meet the artist behind our prints!

Meet the artist behind our prints!

We have been working with designer Keyla from Pankeen Design for a few years now - she is absolutely wonderful! We would love you to get to know the person who brings our ideas to life - so we can give you unique exclusively designed prints each season! 
Tell us a bit about you - what makes you tick? 
My name is Keyla [ kay • lah ]. I am a textile designer and the artist behind I was born and raised in Brazil, my background is Japanese and I’ve been calling Australia home since 2017.
I consider myself a not-so-introvert, softly spoken person. I love to spend time outdoors, exploring gorgeous beaches and national parks around. Cloudy days are the best to paint for hours or gather friends at home for a board games + snacks sesh. I also love a good BBQ - I tend to put together the best of my mixed background culture into a very unique BBQ!

Tell us about your background in graphic design. Have you always loved to draw?
I've always loved art and creative expressions since I was little. My family has always supported my love of drawing and crafts - I took painting classes when young and used to make my own plushies clothes.

At Uni, my Graphic Design bachelor degree's final project was about digital patterns inspired on Japanese Haikai. That was when I knew I fell in love with patterns and digital illustrations - along with my love of hand paintings. My first actual job in textiles was in 2014 at a big textile company where I worked for 3 beautiful years.

Do you design full time or is it your side hustle? How did you start Pankeen Design?
After moving to Australia in 2017, I started freelancing which meant that I needed to be adaptable in my design style being able to fit any given brief as well as fit each company's aesthetic! Once I developed relationships with the clients, I became one of their go-to designers.

After a while, I started to set up Pankeen as a business from the ground up including everything from building my website to social media, reaching out to potential clients and everything else in between.

I'm still taking baby steps and learning the hard way what works, especially having to juggle my part-time job with my side business. It can be very overwhelming at times but totally worth it. Some of my clients have done similar and I love seeing our business growing together!

How do you design a print? Tell us about the whole process from idea/brief to digital file! 
When a client reaches out with an idea for a print, I like to gather as much information as possible to pinpoint the client’s goals. During the brief alignment stage, we develop an inspirational mood board, discuss colour assignments, dimensions, artistic style, image references etc.

Once the style or technique is set, I start developing my initial ideas creating supporting elements for my design ( i.e. hand painting watercolour motifs such as flowers, textures, animals).

When I’m happy with the hand paintings, I move to the digital part of the process. I use Photoshop to structure the layout by putting the design into seamless repeat and colouring - always referring to the client’s mood board making sure everything ties in style-wise.

I also love to create digital illustrations on Procreate; the wide variety of brushes and colours help me achieve the desired look during the initial stages of the design.
Why did you decide to reach out to us at DD Apparel?
When I first saw DD Apparel’s range of products I fell in love with their beautiful styles! It’s a beautiful brand run by two super-lovely women who support and care about the environment and ethical practices within their product manufacturing - simply amazing! I’m so lucky to be one of their go-to designers!

What has been your fave DD Apparel print to design to date?
To date, my favourite released prints are - can’t choose just one! : the watercolour ‘Floral’ print (SS21 collection ) and the ‘Dinos’ print (AW22 collection).

What is your fave thing to draw and your fave colour palette?
I love to draw florals and animals! My conversational prints (animals/fun elements) are very popular. For colours, neutral and soft pastel colours are my faves!

What is your nemesis item that you find the trickiest to draw?
Animals and human figures are definitely the trickiest to draw! I find these tricky to go wild or play around with shapes and colours.

Lastly.. are we painful to work with? We ask a lot of you! Give it to us straight..!!
Han and Beck are super kind and have always been great to work with! I love how they develop their briefs and ideas with all the details and colour choices - lessening the chances of edit requests.
Follow Keyla to see all her work - - you won't regret it!