Scottish-born illustrator, textile designer and ceramicist John Booth’s playful designs and love of colour have made him a favourite of both the art and fashion worlds. With a background in fashion design, Booth has collaborated with everyone from Zandra Rhodes to John Galliano, alongside exhibiting as an artist and collaborating with ceramicist Ian McIntyre on joint venture, Supergroup. We nabbed a minute with the busy creative to discuss design heroes, where to eat in London and his most prized possession.


You do so many things and collaborate with such a wide range of entities and individuals. How do you balance it all?
I’m now at a point where I’m just used to working across multiple things at any given time. I enjoy that my working week is varied, it keeps thing interesting. I keep a manual diary of where I’m meant to be and what I’m meant to be doing. I still haven’t mastered the art of sticking to deadlines, though. Maybe one day…

Who are your design heroes?
I’m gonna sneak some art people into this list. In no particular order: Zandra Rhodes, Ikko Tanaka, The Gees Bend Quiltmakers, Sister Corita Kent, Enzo Mari, Nicola L, Peter Halley, Walter Van Beirendonck, Richard Woods, Betty Woodman, Peter Shire, Duncan Grant, Claude Viallat, Nathalie Du Pasqiuer, Vernor Panton, Eduardo Paolozzi, Etel Adnan, Dries Van Noten, Ettore Sottsass, Alexander Calder, Baba Issaka (Flag maker). I could go on, but those are some all-time favourites that I often look to for inspiration.

Have you always been attracted to bright, joyful colours?
Actually, yes, I was always drawn to colour. From a very young age.

You started out in fashion design. What attracted you to move over into interiors, ceramics and textiles?
It was really a combination of necessity and a desire to explore other fields of design. I had trained in Fashion Print at Central Saint Martins but, after graduating, it quickly became clear that making a viable career designing prints for fashion was going to be tricky. So I started branching out into other mediums and have found it to be a really stimulating way of working. It’s allowed me to expand my knowledge in various areas of design other than fashion.

Best piece of advice you’ve ever been given?
That you don’t have to say yes to every job offer!

How did your collaboration with Ian McIntyre, Super Group Projects, come about?
I moved into a shared studio space seven years ago (which I’m still at) where Ian was working too. Over time, we got to know each other and started collaborating very organically. Our solo practices are very different, so working together is interesting because it pushes both of us to try new approaches. Ian is an accurate, detail-oriented designer while I’m much more messy and loose. We balance each other out well.

What is your approach to collaboration?
Receiving an exciting email from someone wanting to collaborate with me is always very nice. I often approach people and ask if they’re up for working together. I think it’s good to be proactive about these things.

What is your most prized possession?
My Vilbert chair from IKEA, designed by Vernor Panton in 1993. It’s a very pleasing thing to look at and occasionally sit in.

What have you been listening to lately?
My recent Spotify searches include: A.G. Cook, Chris and Cosey, Cher, Nick Drake, Change, Peace Flag Ensemble, Nabihah Iqbal and Wham!, I listen to a mixed bag at the studio for sure.

Where are your favourite places to eat, drink or hang out in London?
Uncle Wrinkle in New Cross does extremely nice Chinese food. The Welcome Inn fish bar in Deptford is a really good chippy. Din Tai Fung for amazing dumplings, and Bao in Shoreditch for ramen. Bun House on Lisle Street in Chinatown is a favourite of mine, and then ice cream after at Gelupo in Soho. Drinks at The Welly in Soho and then more drinks at Trisha’s, which is always very fun. Zedels is a long standing favourite of mine in Central. I love the décor in the main dining room. The Birds Nest in Deptford and the Snakepit next door are always a good time too. I’ve been in London nearly 20 years and I’m still discovering new places to eat, drink and hang out here.

Finally, we ask all of our Journal interviewees to complete the following phrase:

You Must Create… something that you are passionate about, something you do just for you, not to please other people. Something that satisfies your desire to learn, to experience something or to express something