Inside the Artist Process
A Look Inside The Design Process of Supra Endura
You may have guessed that we are big fans of color and print at Supra Endura! We think sustainability and being eco-friendly is super important, but the visual side of things usually comes first for us!
Supra Endura is a women owned business and our founder and head creative Gabrielle Mandel first started in the fashion industry. After designing for a number of brands she wanted to change her focus to sustainable home goods, but she wanted to create pieces that were both beautiful and beneficial: well designed items you would actually want to have in your home.
She started painting 7 years ago when she was on the print team at Urban Outfitters. It was at that job that she learned more about color, pattern, and repeats. Mandel loved to experiment with different shapes and loved modern abstract design. She also started to grow her appreciation for color and how to create interesting color combinations.
Through these experiences, Mandel has arrived at a visual and product style unique to herself. Supra Endura has been making goods printed with Mandel’s print process for the past five years! Typically these designs begin as medium-scale paintings of acrylic gouache paint on paper. This specific form of paint is Mandel's preferred medium, as it provides a peculiarly contrasting and vibrant visual experience mainly through how the paint brings out colors.
The Design Process:
Each season starts with a selection of curated images that evoke a mood, setting the tone for the collection's prints. Once there is a cohesive thread going through the images, they are made into a mood board which is referenced for design concepts. These mood boards are designed in order to figure out two distinct styles found in Supra Endura’s brand: the Abstract Absurdist and the Modern Maker.
These two categories take on design personas- the Abstract Absurdist is one bold, playful and modern and the Modern Maker refernces traditional art techniques and shapes but in a more subdued palette. While they both represent Mandel’s style, they allow the pieces to exist in two different styles of home and make it easy to narrow down design choices.
Patterns are referenced and used as inspiration for Mandel’s style and hand painted as they are incorporated with new ideas once themes are solidified. These paintings are done in a large format for detailing and scanned into photoshop where they are aligned into a print appropriate format. A couple different paintings with different motifs are done, and they are played with to see how they interact. When painting, Mandel loves using acrylic gouache because of the beautiful colors it allows which make for the beautiful contrasts you find on Supra Endura prints!
Once a few pieces of paper are well-covered in a series of motifs in a variety of images, then the paintings are then scanned into Photoshop and edited into a print format using a variety of techniques. Prints are put into repeats and colors are tweaked until they are perfect. This is where the magic happens and Mandel gets to see the who collection come to life. Once happy with the artwork she will format it into a tech pack for her fabric printers to print.
A great example of this is the block print collection. You can see this artwork used on a beeswax wrap set, Dishcloth and tea towel. While the artwork is similar the patterns are shifted and recolored to best fit individual products and make a larger cohesive collection.
That’s a quick look into our process at Supra Endura! We hope this was an insightful and inspirational look into the behind the scenes. As a small women owned business we love using art to create one-of-a-kind items for your home!