Meet Bethan Wyn Williams

Meet Bethan Wyn Williams

Artist and Surface Pattern Designer based in London, Bethan specialises in hand-crafting exquisite repeating patterns for luxury textiles, wallpaper and home accessories. We spent the morning with Bethan catching up on her inspiration, proudest moment to date and much more... 


What influences your art and where do you draw your inspiration? 

Inspiration comes from all over, from the vivid colours and surreal botanical forms of glassblower Dale Chihuly, to the free flowing inky brush strokes of painter Howard Hodgkin. I'm attracted to colour, pattern and craftsmanship and particularly drawn towards artists and makers working within a traditional craft, creating unique artworks and objects with their hands. The Arts and Crafts movement has had a strong influence on my work, and I admire the joyous celebration of the natural world within the intricate and technical patterns which can be seen on the embroidery and printed fabrics of May and William Morris. I grew up in rural North Wales and feel deeply connected to its landscape and language, and find endless inspiration in the area's historic architecture, especially in the little details found in decorative ironwork, stained glass and stone carvings which often feature stylized naturalistic forms.




What are your favourite mediums to work with?

I'm at my happiest drawing, and have had the opportunity to work on several large scale designs using either graphite or coloured pencils. Drawing allows me to create detailed, elaborate artwork with intense colour that translates wonderfully onto fabrics and wallpaper. When I'm looking for an alternative medium I usually turn to gouache for its powerful colour saturation and smooth matte finish and love challenging my instinct to work in minute detail by painting in a freer more expressive style.  


Cherry Gingham Jodhpur Dress


A lot of your pieces are also made into beautiful textiles and furnishings. Did you first start out with textiles in mind or was this something that happened at a later stage? 

I've always had a keen interest in fashion and textiles, and spent my teenage years reading about fashion designers and studying photos from each season's shows. At university I was able to explore the possibilities of combining my drawing and printmaking with surface pattern design and it all came together. Over the years I've had times where I have concentrated more on drawing or screen printing, however in the last 6-7 years I've dedicated my focus to pattern design for fabrics, wallpaper and home accessories and have had the opportunity to work on some fantastic projects with incredible brands. 


Cherry Gingham Jodhpur Dress


Tell us a bit about your journey into the art world - did you work elsewhere before setting up your own studio? 

I've worked with many interesting people and companies and they have all taught me invaluable skills and knowledge that help me today. From selling scarves in the Liberty scarf hall as a student, to working as an art teacher in a prep school, to assisting artists and designers with their own projects. All the opportunities I've had have offered areas of growth and learning and allow me to continue to create in the way I want to. 


Ditsy Strawberry Sweetheart Rah Rah


What has been a highlight of your career so far? 

There have been lots of brilliant moments along the way, and seeing my work exhibited in a gallery space is always a fantastic feeling. In 2021 I was awarded a QEST scholarship and have had the most amazing opportunities sharing my work in all sorts of beautiful places including Fortnum & Masons, Decorex and a wonderful week's residence at the Design Centre Chelsea Harbour. This year I was thrilled to have been asked to take part in Cynefin, a long running Welsh language series, being able to share my work and inspirations with a wider audience was incredibly rewarding as well as being a hugely enjoyable process. Perhaps the biggest highlight so far is the launch of my first collection of printed fabrics, something I have been working on for many years and a real pinch me moment after endless amounts of hard work, dedication and an unimaginable amount of hours drawing!



Have there been any challenges and how have you overcome them? 

There have been all sorts of challenges along the way, living in London has many benefits being close to amazing exhibitions and events but it can also be hard to make it work and to find the time and space to create which is extremely frustrating when it's an important part of you. I've always been naturally driven and dedicated to my artwork and I make sure that I block out time to work on creative projects, this often means working evenings and weekends and sacrificing down time. This year I'm prioritising finding a better work/life balance, something that I think most creatives will agree is a tricky thing to achieve.    


Pink City Mix Cindy Sweetheart


What advice would you give to aspiring artists?

I'd recommend finding a beautiful sketchbook that you enjoy drawing in, that is small enough that you can carry it around in your bag everyday. Having it on you all the time will make it easier to do a quick sketch or note down any ideas that pop into your mind when commuting or on your lunch break. It's always surprising how quickly things can develop when you don't have the pressure of producing a perfect artwork and just allow yourself to play.


Finally, how will you be styling your PCP pieces this summer?

I've been admiring the PCP dresses for a long time and absolutely love seeing the incredible skill behind the block printed fabrics used. I'm going to treasure my pieces and cannot wait to wear the Cobalt Mini Blossom Genevieve dress with its beautiful scallop shaped neckline and delicate cobalt printed flowers. I'll be wearing this dress with my favourite cropped mohair cardigan and strappy heeled sandals.


Cobalt Mini Blossom Genevieve Dress




Follow Bethan on Instagram: @bethanwynwilliamsstudio

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