Anything is possible if you follow your dreams, just ask Shyanne Clarke, a self-confessed dreamer and sparkle chaser who is making her mark in the fashion industry with her stunning beach-inspired prints.
In most creative industries, particularly fashion, there are those in the spotlight and those who play an equally important role behind the scenes, local mother-of-two and talented print designer Shyanne Clarke is the latter.
The exotic patterns Shyanne dreams up from her home studio in Caloundra caught the attention of both local and international designers via her Instagram page, and have since graced the fashion runway for Bondi Bather as well as across the seas to Hawaii for an upcoming label that will be featured in the Emmy’s goodie bags! Not bad for a local girl who dared to dream big.
“I’ve had my prints on swimwear and ladies fashion in online stores and boutiques from Myer to Urban Outfitters, and my designs also adorn Disrupt Sports surfboards,” says Shyanne proudly.
“It’s amazing when you go into a shop and see a print you designed on a garment and what the designer has done with it. They can really enhance it. You might have a certain vision and then they do something with it that blows your mind – I get goosebumps!”
It was quite by accident that Shyanne found herself working in this niche market. In fact, she never knew such a profession existed until she ran into a friend who was about to start her own print studio and had a lightbulb moment.
“I was always interested in art and drawing patterns but I never pursued print design because I didn’t know it was an actual job,” she says. “But when I discovered I could do this for a living I did a crazy happy dance because I had finally found my thing.
“It’s surprising how many people don’t know it’s an actual job, so bringing awareness to it is good because ultimately it helps designers if they can access better prints that are unique to their brand. I’ve had designers contact me wanting custom designs for their range because the commercial lycra range is often very restricted and more suited for dance wear.”
An entrepreneur at heart, Shyanne sold her online baby store while pregnant with her first child and used the profit to start her own print design business – Print Sea.
“I’ve always known I didn’t want to work for someone else, I am very passionate about start-up businesses and I think it’s important to share information, so young people can get off on the right foot.”
Having always lived near the beach, Shyanne’s designs are heavily influenced by the magic of the ocean.
“I think saltwater is probably part of my DNA,” she jokes. “There is something enticing about the ocean. It’s my happy place and I want to create pieces that will inspire and capture the ocean spirit.”
Inspired by just about anything, Shyanne’s designs can be sparked by the swirling of instant coffee as it mixes with water in the cup or a flower on the ground.
“My ideas can come from anywhere – I wish I had a camera in my head so I could take a snapshot of what I’m thinking,” she says.
I never pursued print design because I didn’t know it was an actual job. When I discovered I could do this for a living I did a crazy happy dance because I had finally found my thing.”
So what exactly does the print design process involve?
“I had to learn how to use a computer pretty quickly,” says Shyanne. “It’s no good just being a good artist, you must be able to scan the file and work on it in Photoshop and then it needs to be in repeat, which makes the fabric seamless for the designer, it’s quite technical.
“I learnt by necessity, but now I am a whizz. My husband used to be the technical one but now the tables have turned and he comes to me for help on the computer,” she laughs.
With two young children to care for, Connor, six, and Alana, four, Shyanne says working from home allows her the ideal work/life balance and she plans to build her business as the children grow.
Ultimately I want to build a three storey house, with a studio on the top level with wall-to-wall glass windows overlooking the ocean,” says Shyanne.
“I would love to work closely with one brand, specifically Jennifer Hawkins. I really resonate with her style and branding.
“I think everyone can achieve their dreams, you just have to find your sparkle and run with it because when you do, great things happen.”
With an attitude like that, the world is her oyster.