A former Hartlepool student has been given a massive career boost after winning a commission to design wallpaper for an international textiles studio.
Sharron Bates has won her first commission and will be flying out to Belgium to see her work produced later this year.
It comes after Sharron recently graduated from Cleveland College of Art and Design’s (CCAD) university-level campus in Hartlepool.
Sharron, 45, graduated with a first class honours degree in textiles and surface design at the specialist art and design college.
After successfully selling her work at a New York-based textile trade fair earlier this year, Sharron has now turned her talent into business after Belgium-based Atlas Wallcoverings commissioned her to create a collection of designs, with the contract worth thousands of pounds.
Anneke Vercammen and Romain Saillart, owners of Atlas Wallcoverings, flew to Hartlepool earlier this year to meet with Sharron after they bought her art nouveau wallpaper panel in New York at the Surtex Trade Show in May.
They loved the hand-rendered work that Sharron had produced and are looking to replicate the designs with etching and 24 carat gold leaf.
After studying the degree part-time for six years, Sharron said: “The meeting was very positive and it was decided that not only would I produce a repeat wallpaper design for them inspired by the panel, but that they would like me to create a collection of wallpaper designs incorporating art nouveau styling.”
Sharron has been invited to Belgium as a guest on completion of the collection to see how they produce their wallpapers, with a view to creating further wallpaper collections with them in the future.
Sharron, who is from Newton Aycliffe, added: “I am overwhelmed and incredibly excited to be working with this amazing company.
“This has happened just at the moment I was beginning to consider how I would move on in my career following my graduation.
“I have worked as freelance artist alongside my degree, and I knew I wanted to continue to work for myself, so this opportunity has helped to realise this dream.”
Anneke Vercammen, joint owner of Atlas Wallcoverings, said: “We are delighted with Sharron’s designs and really looking forward to seeing the final result and to a long future working with her.”
Pat Chapman, head of employability and external relations, said: “Sharron is a very talented artist and designer with a great future.
“I am delighted to hear of her commission with Atlas Wallcoverings and I would like to offer my congratulations on her business win.
“CCAD leads the way in graduate employability in art and design and Sharron’s success demonstrates our commitment to ensuring we give our talented students the best opportunities for careers in the creative industries.”