Recently when we’ve launched a new range of prints we’ve taken the time to put together a blog post that details the creative process behind the collection. We thought it would be a fabulous opportunity to revisit some of the past textile collections in our Fabric Shop and share the inspiration, techniques and methods that went into the creation of these designs. For this textile retrospective we’re focusing on one of our most popular ranges – The Luxe Collection. The range features 6 key designs, with some available in multiple colourways, resulting in a rich 10 piece collection.
Palazzo Colonna Rome – nikyrovis.com.au
Dulux Styling – we-are-scout.com
Dulux Styling – we-are-scout.com
Villandry Wallpaper Styling – stylelibrary.com
The Luxe Collection wanted to celebrate the essential role that textiles and prints play in designing really sumptuous interiors. The layering of different colours and textures together elevates a space and gives it that luxurious feel. Our design team wanted to apply this same logic to a textile collection by playing around with different colours, techniques and imagery.
The first design element we worked on was colour. We wanted to select a colour palette that created a sense of opulence all on its own. The secondary colours of green and purple were selected as focal points, with distinct choices for each being used, including hot pink, sage green, indigo and spearmint. The colour palette has cool undertones throughout and is reminiscent of gem stones.
The creative process then varied for each of the designs. For the ‘Bold Rose’ prints, photographs taken at The Royal Botanic Garden were digitally manipulated to create moody large scale prints. The ‘Watercolour Pink’ and ‘Circular Peony’ were created from hand drawn watercolour illustrations which gives the designs a free-flowing aesthetic. ‘Mramor Ice’ was created using marbling techniques, which also provides an organic feel, whilst ‘Elephant Ear’ and the ‘Cutout’ prints were designed entirely digitally as a point of difference within the range.
This variation between designs creates a really interesting narrative throughout the collection where the prints can either work alone or harmonise beautifully together. The Luxe Collection is a series of statement prints certain to give any space a touch of flair.
We’d love to know what sort of project you would like to use these designs for, or perhaps the projects you’ve already used them for – so please get in touch! Designs are available in our Fabric Shop now.
We had so much fun creating our last collection we thought we’d release another range of beautiful fabric prints dedicated to florals. This time round we completely changed our creative process to deliver fabric prints that felt entirely different to the soft, inky designs of the Palamporia Collection. Introducing our new Folk Flora range, which is available now in our Fabric Shop.
To make sure we were creating floral motifs that felt new we put the watercolours away! This time we wanted to focus on the textures and line work that could be achieved by working digitally only. This does unfortunately mean that we don’t have any gorgeous process illustrations to share, however we think the end results are stunning enough!
We began by collecting images of flowers to draw from, as well as endless scans and photographs we’d gathered of interesting textures. We drew our floral motifs digitally, giving them crisp sharp lines and overtly simplified shapes reminiscent of retro floral forms.
We then began to play with our gallery of photographs and scans. These images were manipulated, distorted and layered to come up with interesting designs to use to fill our floral motifs. Some designs, such as ‘Kaleidoscope Garden’, layer several of these digital textures to create a really rich patchwork, whilst others like ‘Stormy Blossom’ choose to showcase just one gorgeous texture. The strictly digital process of drawing, cutting and collaging resulted in designs that had a vintage flair, so accordingly we chose a warm colour palette that reflected this outcome.
With so many of our prints starting with hand-drawn elements it was refreshing to try a whole new process with a different set of restrictions and possibilities. The Folk Flora Collection creates retro feeling designs for the digital age, and can work for both fashion and interiors applications.
We’d love to know what sort of project you think this range would be perfect for – so get in touch! Designs are available in our Fabric Shop now.
Snippets. Chats with Creatives.
Here at Digital Fabrics we love everything print, pattern and colour and we love to know what makes print designers tick.
This series we are focusing on textile designers as our creatives to get into the nitty gritty of the thing we love the most, textiles and surface design! We have asked a different set of questions relative to this and as always we hope to inspire others by sharing snippets of these creative stories.
Today we are chatting to Beck Ng from Fabric Drawer, a Melbourne based surface designer and maker who has a passion for pattern! She creates prints often inspired by nature and the things she has seen and done throughout her life, these are available for license or purchase. She also makes things from her printed fabrics and sells them at markets and online here
We love her style, whimsical and folk like florals that look great on our favourite thing, fabric! Her work has been featured in lots of awesome places including the Print and Pattern website, the latest Flow Calendar and she is currently a finalist in the Frankie Good Stuff Awards so you can vote for her here!
Tell us a bit about yourself, your brand/label name what your creative practice is, how and when you began:
I’m a designer, maker, mum and pattern lover from Melbourne. My creative journey started in graphic design, but took a side step into patterns when I started a textiles course. I created the label Fabric Drawer (in 2012) to showcase my love of patterns, for licensing and also for use on my own range of products. I started out designing patterns and didn’t begin making my own products until a few years later.
Having my own business allows me to create my own style of work and turn it into a product that people can purchase and take home (or gift!). So far, I make each and every product myself and have been committed to sourcing materials locally where possible. I also enjoy the process of licensing my work, which means I work with clients to have my designs on their products. I really enjoy being involved in all facets off my creative business; it’s a never ending learning process!
Where do you call home and what is your favourite thing about where you live?
I live in Melbourne, close to the city and I enjoy the convenience of being able to walk, bike or tram to most places.
What 3 words best describe your creative style.
Inspired by nature
Tell us a bit about what kind of studio, space or practice you run? Do you sell online or license your prints, do you do commissions or lots of freelance and what do you like doing the most?
My creative business does a little bit of everything. I license my designs, make products from my work and sell at markets around Melbourne.
I started out in art licensing through an art agent in America. They represented me for almost 3 years and I was fortunate to have my work sold/licensed on products such as greeting cards, party ware, gift bags and wall art. I have learned a lot about the art licensing industry and am finding it an area I’d like to get more and more into. It’s still a big learning curve for me and it’s certainly challenging finding my own licensing opportunities without an agent.
Outside of the licensing, I have made my own collection of products from my patterns. I’ve been doing this for about three years now, starting out very small by sewing a few products and selling them at markets. Initially I didn’t sell very much, but as I kept going, I started to sell a bit more at each market and have now been able to be part of some of the larger design markets in Melbourne. I sew everything myself, which is a very time consuming process, but has been the best way to make small quantities and keep things local for now.
I find licensing and making products both a rewarding process and I think that having my own range of products has helped the licensing side of the business.
Tell us about your creative space, what are your tips for keeping a creative studio space organised? What would your dream space look like?
To be honest I don’t have much of a creative space. I have seen pictures of other creative studios, and I love the idea of a light filled space, with your computer on bare desk and pieces of your work and work that inspires you decorated around the wall and studio. In reality, I work in my bedroom, lounge room, dining room (I have a laptop) and small nook in a room (for sewing). It’s not very glamorous, but I guess I wanted to share that so people realise you don’t need the perfect set-up to get started and be creative. Sometimes constraints are needed so you can focus on creating. That said, I wouldn’t mind the type of studio space I described above!
When designing a new surface design collection or set of work what is your process and how long might you spend on this?
I keep it pretty simple and start out my patterns by drawing on regular plain white paper with a pen or pencil. It’s good to have a bit of a story or theme in mind, but I don’t always start that way. When I feel like I have sketched up enough motifs, I photograph them and bring them into my computer to start tracing them in Illustrator. I love using Illustrator because of the flexibility it allows to scale and change colours. From there I start working on the hero print, then build out the secondary and simple coordinates. I try to have a minimum of 5 patterns per collection. I have been known to put together a collection within a couple of weeks when I’m under a bit of a deadline, but it could take a month or months if I take my time.
Which part of the creative process is your favourite and why?
I really enjoy the process of piecing a surface pattern together. It’s feels a bit like a jigsaw puzzle; fitting each motif into the right space and then working on the right colour palette.
What would you say is the biggest challenge when running your own creative business, what is your favourite and least favourite part?
Time! There is never enough time. I don’t work on my business full-time and never have. I have a part-time job as a graphic designer, sometimes I freelance too and have two young girls to look after. Usually I would have to work on my creative stuff when the kids are in bed, or if I have any small snippets of time throughout the day. I would love to focus on my creative business more, but the reality is I still need some bread and butter income.
My favourite thing about having my own business is that I can create whatever I like. As a graphic designer, you’re bound by what the client wants, so having my own work gives me the freedom to express myself creatively.
My least favourite part is social media. I feel like it’s a bit of a time suck, and am spending more time on it then I’d like. I do try to post regularly to share my work (because opportunities can come out of social media) and build my brand, but I kinda wish I didn’t have to.
What advice would you give an aspiring textile designer in today’s challenging and competitive environment? Are there any resources you would recommend or websites that you couldn’t live without?
I feel like being a creative is a bit of a labour of love, so you need to be passionate about what you do, because it’s not a huge money maker for most. Persistence and consistency is important. Keep creating consistently and by the end of the year you’ll have a good body of work. With licensing and collaborations, it can be a disheartening process, because it’s not that easy to sell or license your work, especially when you are starting out. Often you’ll contact companies and they don’t even respond! But keep persisting and asking around, while continuing to build up a stronger folio of work and through this hard work, things can start to happen.
Facebook groups can be immensely helpful connecting with other surface designers. I’m in a few surface pattern / licensing groups and it’s great way to get some advice. I’m part of a meet-up group of other designers who are specifically interested in licensing their art. Skillshare is a great resource for doing some short courses at a reasonable price. I did the Make It In Design Module 3 course, and I felt that was helpful to get me started. There are quite a few online courses, but they can be costly. I’d probably recommend starting with free or low cost options first and see where that takes you, before investing in an expensive course.
What projects or collaborations from last year stuck out, good or bad and what is coming up over this year that you would like to plug!
I loved being involved in some of the bigger design markets, such as Markit, Finders Keepers and Makers and Shakers market last year. It’s great to be amongst other creatives and interact with customers directly, even though I’m quite an introverted person. It’s a lot of work though, preparing for markets when you make everything yourself, so I haven’t planned any markets for this year so far.
I also really enjoyed working with Apiary Made on their range of beeswax wrap designs. It’s been great to work with a local business whose values sustainability and ethically made products. I have collaborated with another couple of brands, but I will share the details when the product comes out as I’m not sure when this will be happening. Licensing can be a bit of a tough road, but I’m hoping I get to work with more clients in the future.
Where would you like to see your work featured?
I would love to have my own range of fabric one day. I love the idea of seeing what people would make with my own fabric.
You can find out what Beck from Fabric Drawer is upto: Website, Facebook, Instagram
Hello 2019 – we hope everyone is feeling refreshed after the break! We know it can be hard staying motivated after taking some much needed time off, so to help keep everyone on track with making 2019 a year full of creativity we’ve launched a brand new range of textile designs that feel summery, fresh and timeless. Introducing our Palamporia Collection.
When embarking on designing a new range we found ourselves being drawn to the intricately detailed and beautiful tradition of Palampore textiles. These textiles were common across India during the 18th century and often featured hand-painted and hand-dyed designs depicting botanic motifs.
The creative process began by collecting gorgeous reference imagery and local flowers to draw from, and then illustrating the motifs in pencil. A warm colour palette was then selected inspired by colours commonly found in natural and vegetable dyes, such as indigo and turmeric. The painting of delicate floral motifs using water colours then became a worthwhile labour of love.
When putting the textile designs together it was important to mimic the undulating nature of the inky textures with interesting use of negative space and organic placement of elements. In some of the designs that have a more formal layout, the curved lines and water colour medium helps to give them a free-flowing feel.
The Palamporia Collection puts a contemporary spin on the tradition of Palampore textiles, providing a pared-back style with a limited colour palette. The play between lovingly painted details and crisp negative space shows its versatility. We can see these prints working well for both fashion and interiors applications. Gorgeous summer dresses and linen pants, and fresh feeling bedding and cushion covers spring to mind. We’d love to know what sort of projects you think these designs would be perfect for so please get in touch! Designs are available in our Fabric Shop now.
It feels as though we’ve been hit with a heatwave! & what better way to celebrate things heating up than with a fun new range of textile prints that simply scream Summer. For these designs we’ve been inspired by the beautiful simplicity of summer fruits. We are very excited to introduce our new Tutti Fruity Collection.
Creative inspo came straight from our green grocer, and we were really excited to create a range of playful designs that celebrated simple motifs familiar to everyone. The range includes a quirky minimal print, a tangerine dream and a seriously sweet statement print.
A mixture of acrylic paints and watercolours were used to create the artwork for this range, resulting in a range of interesting and juicy textures. The hand-painted nature of the designs gives the range a lazily elegant feel.
It wouldn’t be a summer fruits inspired range without plenty of colour, and our design team did not hold back. The collection features plenty of bold colours and primary brights in perfect contrast to ensure balance within the prints.
The Tutti Fruity collection has been designed as a celebration of enjoying the little things, and we must admit we are definitely enjoying the change of season. We love to know what you think these designs would be perfect for so get in touch. Prints are available in our Fabric Shop now.
Flowers and lemons and popsicles oh my!
During winter it’s just so easy to find yourself drawn to a neutral colour palette and minimal prints. To help unshackle you from the unlikely effects of the cold we’ve launched a new range of playful textile prints which are anything but drab. Introducing our Garden Party collection!
For this range we wanted to use sweeter than pie motifs, a mixture of neutral and bold colours and a consistently light-hearted theme.The quirky designs all began on paper, using pens, pencils and watercolours to create a variety of textures and lines. The artwork was then manipulated, edited and layered digitally to resolve and polish the designs.
Figurative designs can sometimes feel a bit too kitsch. To avoid this we combined bold colours with softer hues and mixed both textural and minimal elements within the same design. Negative space was also played around with, and as a result is varied across the designs, as they range from heavily detailed to simplistic.
The collection delivers a series of grown up novelty prints for the young at heart with whimsical designs and a statement colour palette! Designs are available in our Fabric Shop now! We’ll be keeping a keen eye on what you create with these prints, so get in touch if you have a project in mind!
Nailed It. Creative business success story
Here at Digital Fabrics we love finding a new and interesting success story on a brand or business that is inspiring to the creative community. We thought it would be useful and informative to find out how these creative businesses nailed it, lessons learned on the way and tips they might have. We have asked them to share important “How to’s” and growth hacking tips for start-ups and emerging designers. Read it, get motivated and nail it yourself!
Today we are talking to Sarah Kalidis, the artist and designer behind Textile label and self-named bricks and mortar shop: Studio Onethirty. We will be chatting to her about how and why she began, what challenges she faces and what she sees for the future of her growing brand.
Tell us about your creative business, what do you create, how did it begin and where did the name for the brand come from?
Hello I am a textile designer, furniture designer and artist. The business began while I was taking time off as a new mum; I started drawing and painting in my down time. After trying to source fabric for homewares pieces, I found there was a lack in the market for something bold and playful, and at that moment I decided that I would create something myself. Thus began the transition from drawings to textile pattern. The name ‘Studio Onethirty’ is where my studio first began; my home address number of 130. It would be a reminder of a humble beginning, and those few precious years being a new mum and juggling a new venture.
You began your career in interior design, what led you to start your own business and if you could go back and tell yourself anything what would it be.
After becoming a mum and taking time off, it gave me plenty of thinking and reflection time. I decided I wanted to forge my own path rather than help some someone else achieve their dream. Having my own business would give me flexibility of choosing my own adventure. It hasn’t been easy, as working solo from the beginning meant that all responsibilities were mine, and working on designs, prototypes, sampling; meant plenty of back and forth while carrying an infant around.
If I could go back and tell myself something, it would be not to stress the small stuff; things may seem difficult and every day you may feel like you are pushing up a very steep hill, but keep looking forward and try to remember the reasons why you took this path. The pure joy and satisfaction of creating your own collection is far worth it.
What did you learn through the interior design industry that has helped you with building your own brand and what skills are transferable?
Being an interior designer has definitely helped with conceptual development of the range, and I give myself a brief and manage all aspects of the product from initial sketch through to assembly. I not only see each piece aesthetically, but it is important that there is a relationship between form and function. Certainly the skills of being able to visualise a product from conceptual stage has helped. I have a vision right at the beginning of how the piece should look, and having the material knowledge allows me to liaise with different local artisans and collaborate on the manufacture process.
You opened a bricks and mortar shop earlier in the year, a designer’s dream some would say. What were the biggest challenges in doing this and what led you to make the bold move.
Yes it is a dream move most certainly! And having only started the business a little over a year before, it was a very quick progression. However a store came up in my local area, in a lovely boutique little shopping strip, and it was a blank canvas. I thought what an amazing opportunity to provide locals with something unique and inspiring, and bring something different to the area. The space is my retail flagship store, and it also houses my art studio upstairs. I love that I can create pieces entirely onsite, and customers can visit to experience the whole design process.
What do you love most about what you do, what does a typical day in the shop look like and do you ever miss elements your old job?
The thing I enjoy most is being able to design and create each piece myself. It is a real sense of pride to be able to introduce people to the collection and explain that the art, textiles, homewares & furniture are my very own designs. And they are proudly made in Sydney! A typical day in the store during opening hours, is working in-store serving customers, along with tending to emails, orders & social media. And if there is some quiet time I can work on some new concepts and art pieces. I do miss my old job where I worked with some fabulous people and clients, however having the opportunity to be creative in a completely hands-on way is a really lovely new direction.
What would your advice be to someone dreaming about opening a shop or creative space? Have you faced anything you didn’t foresee as a challenge?
Making the decision to open up a creative space is one that takes a lot of consideration. You need to have a clear goal of what you are setting out to achieve, and know the risks at hand. The retail market is not an easy during this economic climate, so you need to offer your customers a unique experience and a level of service that would make them want to return. The challenge I faced right at the beginning was educating the local community on the store concept. The site had been a beauty salon for over 15years, and not expecting a creative space in an area such as this; it took a little while for people to realise what Studio Onethirty was all about.
As well as having a real life shop you also do the independent design markets, what do you think the main benefit of these are to Studio one thirty and what would your advice be to someone keen to showcase their brand at these events.
I love doing design markets! I feel that my products need to be experienced first-hand; and what better way to see a product than to touch and feel, and meet the artist themselves. My first ever launch to the public was at The Finders Keepers Market 2017 in Sydney, and over 3 days 20,000 people came through the doors! So the exposure my brand gained in the early days was incredible. Exhibiting at a design event is something I highly recommend when developing your brand. You will be exposed to a diverse range of customers, & gain feedback on your product that enables you to grown and adapt to the retail market.
What are your biggest inspirations and favourite materials to work with and is there a material or discipline you would like to work with in the future?
I love painting botanicals and native flora, and I do like to give my pieces a contemporary feel. It is all about colour and texture. I do enjoy working with linen as I love the organic feel of the fibre, and there is something about the way my designs translate to the cloth; it adds dimension to the artwork yet achieves a softness. I try to be eco conscious when developing the range, working with more recycled materials would be a great step.
How do you approach new work or designs, do you create for seasons or trends? In your experience is this valuable or do you prefer to follow your own path and see what comes naturally.
I prefer to follow my own path when designing pieces. My range is quite unique, and so it is important for me to keep inspired by external influences other than trends. I do feel that my work is a reflection of the season; I am often inspired by the natural environment, and so many of my artworks include colours that I am surrounded by at the time of their conceptualisation. It is generally a natural progression while painting and drawing.
What do you see for the future of Studio One Thirty, do you have any projects in the pipeline you want to let us know about?
I hope that my pieces can continue to bring a smile and one day I would love to see my upholstery fabrics in an amazing hotel somewhere fabulous, like New York or Paris. Dreaming BIG I know!
What is the best piece of business advice anyone has ever given you and if you can pass on any words of wisdom what are they.
One of the best pieces of advice was that you should believe in yourself and have the confidence in your product, as it will evidently show in the quality of work you produce. Words of wisdom would be to find something creative that you really enjoy, even if it is just a small hobby, and make some ‘me’ time to really enjoy it.
Thank you Sarah! We loved having you as part of our Nailed It series.
You can follow what Studio Onethirty is upto: Website, Instagram
We’re very pleased to announce that we can finally share the new prints that we’ve been working on. Introducing our latest designs: Hand Dyed and Green Lily! For these new prints we’ve drawn inspiration from the ‘wearable art’ trend! Whilst the term can be used broadly, when it comes to print design think heavily textured dry brush strokes, pools of inky watercolours, emotive gestures of line and colour and scratchy pencil illustrations.
To create our first print we experimented with tie-dying techniques to create a watercolour effect. To steer away from the ultra-colourful, psychedelic designs that tie-dye is often associated with, we wanted to create a print that felt more abstract.
The final design chosen was one with sporadic ink blots, plenty of negative space and a softer colour palette of denim blues and muted corals. The design’s organic feel and chosen colours gives the print a contemporary feel that we think would work beautifully for both fashion and interiors.
With the success of using tie-dyed fabric as a way of creating a repeat pattern we then tried painting directly onto silk using batik techniques. For this print we wanted to create floral motifs that felt looser in their form than those used in our other floral designs.
The dyes allowed not only for the creation of flowing motifs, but also an inky, spontaneous feeling background. The final design has a free-flowing, tropical quality, and is desperate to be made into gorgeous wardrobe staples such as dresses, trousers and head scarves.
Both designs were resolved as repeat patterns by scanning the original dyed fabric, and then manipulating the artwork digitally. These photographs show the repeats designs digitally printed onto our silk-like fabric Dilly, which beautifully maintains the hand-painted quality of the original artworks.
Whether you like prints that are crisp and minimal, or big, bold and colourful, the wearable art trend is certainly one to try! These prints are now available for purchase in our Design Library.
We’re launching a new range of prints at Digital Fabrics! It’s been a little while since we brought you our last set of designs and this time we took a different approach to bringing you new prints. Rather than focus on one cohesive collection, we’ve had three artists create three different prints for you just in time for Mother’s Day!
The collection of prints range from flirty to psychedelic to sophisticated, and feature both hand-painted illustration and digital manipulation. With three very different styles represented, we’re sure there’s something for everyone.
If you’re needing fresh ideas on what to spoil mum with this Mother’s Day, we’ve got you covered and have put together a few DIY ideas that we just know you’ll both love. A custom made gift speaks volumes, and is guaranteed to be a winner with mum this year!
Got accessories in mind for a mum who always looks fabulous? How about making a gorgeous and versatile scarf? For something bold or bright you might want to use either our Roxy or Dilly fabrics. If you were thinking of something a little more sheer we would recommend our super soft Chiffon.
If you think home-wares might be better suited, how about a tablecloth? Our Cotton Linen is an absolute dream for a decadent feeling table setting and our Waratah and Panama fabrics are excellent polyester options for durability. You could also make napkins to match! And we can’t forget the ever perfect gift of a stunning, custom-made cushion! It could be the perfect opportunity to try out our new Organic Cotton Canvas that we’re very excited to introduce! Of course our Cotton Linen, Waratah and Panama fabrics are also perfect for cushion covers too.
So whatever your, or your mum’s style, there’ something here to get you started on any handmade Mother’s Day gifts you might have been thinking about. Let us know how we can help you realise your next DIY textile project!
These prints are now available for purchase in our Design Library!
Exciting news from us at Digital Fabrics, we have launched a new textile collection! This time we dove head first into a private collection of vintage European textiles and found just the inspiration we needed! The Boho-Chic trend is one that pops up time and time again, and it’s for good reason. We just can’t get enough of bohemian patchwork, colours and textures, and have designed a range of prints heavily inspired by collected embroidery treasures.
Whilst the boho design aesthetic is undoubtedly fabulous, the statement style can be a little overwhelming for some. We wanted to create timeless re-imaginings that pared-back the heavily embellished designs typical of bohemian textiles, resulting in versatile and accessible designs.
Elements of vintage textiles were scanned, redrawn and redesigned to create the Babushka collection. Finding the balance between streamlined design and textured details was key in maintaining the essence of folk embroidered pieces whilst still giving them a more contemporary feel, and negative space became as important a feature to focus on as the motifs and designs themselves.
The collection features both flirty, feminine motifs and minimal, geometric design elements, whilst using bold contrasting colours to maintain a crisp aesthetic throughout the range. The range revamps vintage embroidered textiles, resulting in elegant, graphic designs that can be used for so much more than the blouses and table-wear that we so often associate with the bohemian style. We cannot wait to see what you create with these prints!
The Babushka Collection is available for purchase in our Design Library!