Snippets

Snippets: Chats With Creatives, You Are Brave – Series 2, Snippet 7

Snippets’. Chats with Creatives. We are back with series two! Here at Digital Fabrics we love everything print, pattern and colour and we love to know what makes designers tick. This second series is all about asking some fun and different questions and learning about the inspirations and ideas behind the artist and their work. We hope to inspire others by sharing snippets of these creative stories. We gave the artists and designers featured a varied and different set from series one list of questions to choose from so we will learn something new from everyone involved, should be fun!

Today we are chatting to Michelle from You are Brave, a textile brand that creates hand printed apparel, tableware and interior decor pieces inspired by nature in all it’s glorious forms. Her work has earthy tones and emulates a relaxed Australian vibe. She worked as a commercial textile graphic designer for years before stepping out on her own, inspired by the words of her Aunt Mabel ”You are Brave” her products are hand printed and made locally, an important part of the brands ethos.

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Tell us a bit about yourself, your brand/label name what your creative practice is, how and when you began:

YOU ARE BRAVE textiles is known for it’s hand screen printed fabrics (although I’ve also produced digital prints in the past). I think my style of print design is simple, relaxed + has a coastal and tropical Australian feel.

My prints tend to focus on single aspects of natural forms. I’m trying to isolate “the one thing” or essence of natural things that can seem complex + mind blowing at the outset. This is how I gather my inspiration + it becomes like a meditation for me.

Uplifting everyday practicalities is also central to the ethos at YOU ARE BRAVE as are the benefits of natural + sustainable fibres … the offering is of printed meterage, hand made interior décor and most recently, women’s apparel which is all locally produced.

My leap of faith into YOU ARE BRAVE textiles came in 2014 when I left a long career in commercial textile design. It was a brave move at the time. But I knew I had to do something more meaningful with my creative energy + my time on earth.

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You are brave image 5Where do you call home?

Sydney’s Inner West is now firmly my home although I grew up in & still have close family ties in Cape Town, South Africa.

What 3 words best describe your creative style.

Relaxed. Natural. Australian

What would your dream creative project look like? Who or what is your dream project, client or job? Tell us about why you would love to collaborate with them and what you find inspiring about their work.
I love travelling. And there’s something about the tropics that not only appeals to me but more than that, tropical places make me feel alive. So I would love to work with a boutique resort on updating or designing their textile furnishings.

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What would you say is the biggest challenge when working for yourself ?

As a person with many ideas + interests,  I would say staying focused + motivated has been my biggest challenge. I think being creatively self employed requires not only a commitment to yourself but a large amount of self belief. These are things that constantly ebb + flow for me so it’s something I’m always working on.

What/who inspired you to take the leap in to your creative venture, how did you get started?

My Great Aunt Mabel has always been inspirational to me but as most people who ask about the origin of my label’s name know, she was also the reason why YOU ARE BRAVE has it’s name. The story behind it is posted on my website but in a nutshell, my Aunty Mabel believed in me when I didn’t, she showed me that with a little self confidence, I could do anything.

Tell us about how you get your creative juices flowing, what is your process?

Two things here … I respond to being immersed in nature. Line, colour, pattern, shapes + smells in nature are powerful stimuli both visually + spiritually.

But I’ve recently learned that I respond creatively when I take on a big challenge, see it through + do a good job of it. It energises me + it seems to provide more motivation to explore future endeavours.

You are brave image 9What projects or collaborations from last year stuck out, good or bad and what is coming up this year that you would like to plug!

I worked in fashion for a long time but after 14 years in the industry, I felt I needed to work with my hands again + produce things that were meaningful as well as beautiful, so I returned to my roots in interior decor when I started YOU ARE BRAVE in 2014. Recently I’ve produced some prints that were just calling out to be made into apparel, so I guess I’ve come full circle. I now offer printed meterage for all those talented makers out there as well as decor + a small range of apparel.

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You are brave image 1You can follow what Michelle from You are Brave is upto Website, Instagram, Facebook.

Snippets: Chats With Creatives, Carmen Hui Illustration – Series 2, Snippet 6

Snippets’. Chats with Creatives. We are back with series two! Here at Digital Fabrics we love everything print, pattern and colour and we love to know what makes designers tick. This second series is all about asking some fun and different questions and learning about the inspirations and ideas behind the artist and their work. We hope to inspire others by sharing snippets of these creative stories. We gave the artists and designers featured a varied and different set from series one list of questions to choose from so we will learn something new from everyone involved, should be fun!

Today on snippets we are talking to Carmen Hui from Carmen Hui Illustrations, her drawings are detailed with a playful and fun Australiana theme and often feature botanicals and animals. Each drawing is a labour of love using layers of coloured pencil strokes and her style is unique and very distinguishable. Her designs can be seen across a variety of mediums including paper, jewellery, textiles and ceramics to name just a few and she also teaches workshops so she has lots of advice and knowledge to share with us!

Honey-Im-Home-03Tell us a bit about yourself, your brand/label name what your creative practice is, how and when you began:

Hello, my name is Carmen and I am an illustrator focusing on animal and botanical pencil drawings. I started Carmen Hui Art & Illustration about 4 years ago after wanting a sea change from my job as a designer. I didn’t have a set plan when I started my business, I just participated in a few group art shows, a couple of local markets and then opened an online Etsy shop. It was a slow process but each little step gave me the confidence to keep going. Nowadays, my days are split between running my online shop, doing commissioned works, teaching drawing classes and attending design markets.

Profile Picture_Carmen_HuiWhere do you call home?

I live in sunny Marrickville with my partner Mat and my cat Miso.

What 3 words best describe your creative style.

Delicate, emotive and Australiana

What does a typical creative day look like for you? How do you stay on plan and organised?

Everyday is different and consists of juggling many hats. I start the week by prioritising what’s important and allocating time in the week to complete each task. I usually start the day by doing the less fun stuff such as admin, accounts and packaging orders. Then I will do more involved work such as planning and commissioned work.

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What would your dream creative project look like? Who or what is your dream project, client or job? Tell us about why you would love to collaborate with them and what you find inspiring about their work.

I am in love with surface design at the moment and would love to see my designs on clothing and accessories. This is something that I have started dabbling in, but would love to collaborate with an experienced clothing brand and adapt my drawings into a small range of clothing.

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What would you say is the biggest challenge when working for yourself ?

Being kind to oneself. Being your own boss can have many advantages and disadvantages. You are constantly thinking about your business and what more you could be doing, It is important to give yourself a break every once in a while and be happy with what you’ve achieved. I burnt out really quickly after the first couple of years working for myself, so this year I’m trying to slow down a little. It’s not easy, but I think I’m getting there.

What’s the best thing about being in the creative industry in Australia today? And on the other hand, what do you find most frustrating?

I think right now is the best time to be in the creative industry in Australia. People have a deeper appreciation of craft and great designs and are very supportive in helping small businesses to grow and develop. The growth of social media is also extremely helpful as it helps us reach people far and wide, something that is near impossible in the past unless you have a large marketing budget.

Brucey-the-Cocatoo-02What projects or collaborations from last year stuck out, good or bad and what is coming up this year that you would like to plug!

The project I’m most proud of this year is my Everyday Bag designs. This was a passion project of mine and am so happy that it came to fruition. I’m hoping to slowly build on this and release more designs in the new year. In terms of collaborations, I have an illustrated plant pot design with Plernters, a range of Christmas cards and accessories that are about to be launched with La La Land, as well as some soon to be available wallpaper designs with Milton & King which I’m super excited about.

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Budgie-Pin-Pal-03You can follow what Carmen is upto: Website, Instagram, Facebook.

Snippets series 2 – Snippet 5 Kalaii Creations.

 Snippets’. Chats with Creatives. We are back with series two! Here at Digital Fabrics we love everything print, pattern and colour and we love to know what makes designers tick. This second series is all about asking some fun and different questions and learning about the inspirations and ideas behind the artist and their work. We hope to inspire others by sharing snippets of these creative stories. We gave the artists and designers featured a varied and different set from series one list of questions to choose from so we will learn something new from everyone involved, should be fun!

Today on snippets we are talking to Stacey from Kalaii Creations who is an artist and designer who loves working with watercolour, creating textile art, and helping creative brands with their surface pattern and design needs as well as teaching workshops! She has a flair for colour and a style that is elegant, playful and enchanting.

Kalaii_Creations_snippets_1_image_5Tell us a bit about yourself, your brand/label name what your creative practice is, how and when you began:

My name is Stacey and I established Kalaii Creations in 2016 when I was on maternity leave with my second baby. I needed a little bit of me time, and participated in a creative workshop and from there I was hooked! My creative streak was reignited. I was always very interested in drawing in my school years, and did art through high school, but lost track of it all during my later years. I am so glad to have found it again! I started by making an Instagram page, and sharing some of my artwork, and soon had orders coming in for custom pieces and I just decided to explore it all, and it has opened up a lot of doors for me. Now I host creative workshops with Workshop Brisbane, The Craft Parlour on the Gold Coast, in shopping centres, and I am soon to help teach a textile design workshop, with you here at Digital Fabrics which I am very excited about! Currently I focus on watercolour art, graphic design, textile design and creative workshops ranging from knitting, watercolour art and textiles. I can’t wait to see what’s in store for the future.

Stacey_Biggs_Kalaii_CreationsWhere do you call home?

I have been based in South Brisbane, Queensland, for most of my life (I moved from NSW when I was just a baby).

What 3 words best describe your creative style.

Feminine, Boho inspired, Vibrant

Which part of the creative process is your favourite and why?

I love the initial stages of creating, when a client comes to you with their vision, and their inspiration, and you get a rush of exciting ideas and ways in which you can help them. I love being able to see what I will paint in my mind, and then how I can manipulate that in Adobe Photoshop or Illustrator and then still always be pleasantly surprised at the finished result.

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Kalaii_Creations_snippets_1_image_10What does a typical creative day look like for you? How do you stay on plan and organised?

A typical day for me is a little bit of a hot mess actually! I have two kiddies under 5, and I also work at a Brisbane based university for 3 days a week and thus arrange my creative design work at varying stages around this. Mostly I work at night, once the kiddies are asleep and I host my creative workshops on the weekends. I stay on top of my workload by completing little bits every day, and stay organized by using a Passion Planner. I write down all my clients needs and deadlines, and I also write down all the personal designs, and tasks I want to achieve within my business, which keeps me focused!

What would your dream creative project look like? Who or what is your dream project, client or job? Tell us about why you would love to collaborate with them and what you find inspiring about their work.

I would love to further explore the possibilities of having my designs feature more on active wear and swimwear out in the market place. I would love to be custom creating designs for people left right and centre! I find it so exhilarating when you see your artwork making a product pop! I am so thankful to have been given the opportunity to work with Sarah from @saltysparrowbikini on her new line release coming later in the year. I would also love to work with @midoribikinis. I love their designs and aesthetics and feel my designs would fit well with this brand.

Kalaii_Creations_snippets_1_image_3 Kalaii_Creations_snippets_1_image_4Which other artists/ designers/ makers, artists or creative people are you enjoying at the moment?

I am currently in love with @jessswan_art I love the colours she uses, the shapes, tones everything! It is mesmerizing watching her work!

Tell us about your creative space, what are your tips for keeping a creative studio space organised?

It is my dream to soon create a creative space. Currently I work from my dining table (I know there are many of you out there just like me) and I also have a very small old fashioned house which does not leave a lot of room for arts and crafts and product storage. I use a combination of storage draws and desk space to stay on top of my organisation at home. I am hoping soon to extend our house for multiple reasons, and I may just sneak in a little studio while I am at it!

What has been your proudest creative business achievement to date?

My proudest creative business achievement to date and a dream come true is an upcoming swimwear design project I have been able to assist with. Sarah from Salty Sparrow Bikini (@saltysparrowbikini), has chosen my designs to feature on her first swimwear line which I am over the moon about! I am also super excited to be working with Jemma from Newymummyblogger on the designs for an upcoming project she will be releasing soon. But I will keep that hush hush for now :) Another major achievement for me is being able to work so closerly with Digital Fabrics to help teach textile design classes. I keep pinching myself about this amazing opportunity!

Tell us about how you get your creative juices flowing, what is your process?

I love speaking with new clients about their design ideas and inspirations, as often their ideas require me to push my artistic and creative boundaries each time. They make me think outside the box and think of ideas/combinations that I would not have ventured into, if it was not for their influence! This is my favourite part! Then I usually research their inspiration and competitors to get a vibe for the type of project I am working on and then I get to creating. I usually see the end product first, and then work towards creating the elements to bring this to reality.

Kalaii_Creations_snippets_1_image_6What projects or collaborations from last year stuck out, good or bad and what is coming up this year that you would like to plug!

I have loved working with Workshop Brisbane, The Craft Parlour, Sarah and Jemma, and also Lauren from @cocokini_ (another bikini designer who has also featured my designs)

Kalaii_Creations_snippets_1_image_1I am super excited to further develop my relationship with Digital Fabrics and help by teaching textile design class for beginners, and I look forward to printing some more fabrics for some special pieces I have in mind. Watch this space! My next venture is the release of a cute little day clutch, great for the beach, where I have collaborated with Kate from  @blue_eyed_girl_creations who has helped to sew the clutches for me. I can’t wait to see what people think of them.

Stacey_Biggs_Kalaii_CreationsYou can follow what Stacey is upto: Website, Instagram, Facebook

Snippets: Chats With Creatives – Series 2, Snippet 4

Snippets’. Chats with Creatives. We are back with series two! Here at Digital Fabrics we love everything print, pattern and colour and we love to know what makes designers tick. This second series is all about asking some fun and different questions and learning about the inspirations and ideas behind the artist and their work. We hope to inspire others by sharing snippets of these creative stories. We gave the artists and designers featured a varied and different set from series one list of questions to choose from so we will learn something new from everyone involved, should be fun!

Today on snippets we are talking to Bianca from Bianca Smith Designs who creates artworks that are about empowering women and combine her love for theatre, ballet and beauty in a majestic and magical way. Her style is very unique and she creates a variety of artworks that translate across mediums.

biancasmithdesigns_snippets_series_2_image4Tell us a bit about yourself, your brand/label name what your creative practice is, how and when you began:

My name is Bianca, known affectionately by friends as ‘Bi’, which I also use to sign all of my work.

I’m a Graphic Designer and Visual Artist by trade and I am based in Adelaide. I’ve been a Graphic Designer for close to 20 years where I am able to use my flair for design, but my true passion is art, so over the past 10 years I have invested every moment I can into refining and developing my visual art skills. I love to draw, paint and create.  My utopia is producing art all day every day!

My art work always addresses the empowerment of women – almost a goddess status. Bringing together my love of theatre/ballet and beauty, I try to capture the strength and beauty of my characters in an almost theatrical way. I take inspiration from the novels that I read featuring female heroines as well as the inspiring women that I meet. My use of dramatic light and beautiful models assists in portraying the strength and resilience of women.

Drawing from my other love, fashion, I did a series of illustrative for Australian Fashion Labels. My works focused on capturing the strength and confidence of the girls that wear their clothing, whilst portraying the playful essence of the brand. By mixing monotone drawings with a splash of colour, I aimed to change the tone and strength, creating images of women who are powerful yet delicate. This is universally at the core of what I produce.

biancasmithdesigns_snippets_series_2_image2Where do you call home?

Adelaide

What 3 words best describe your creative style.

Illustrative, Modern, Contemporary.

Which part of the creative process is your favourite and why?

I love the conception of a piece of artwork.  The tumbling of images in my mind, which eventually form and crystallise from an idea, a concept, into a clear vision.  That vision then becomes an obsession, a desperate struggle to be formed with exact replication.  I obsess over sharing my image with precision and that drive continues throughout the process, that desire to replicate perfectly is a bitter, sweet scuffle.

How would you describe your work, and what influences your style?

Although my artistic style can, and does vary, depending on my life and surroundings, I’m also heavily influenced by fashion illustration and my own passion for clothing.  The textures, the colours, the cut, and the design all inspire me. I predominantly work in pastel and watercolour and although I create every piece of artwork by hand, I then use the finished original image, together with various digital techniques to create a series of pieces, combining my art with my design skills.

Fashion and women heavily influence my style. I love, love, love fashion, perhaps another personal obsession!

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What does a typical creative day look like for you? How do you stay on plan and organised?

After getting up at the crack of dawn to exercise and then get my kids ready and off to school, I usually start my working day with a much-needed coffee and the checking of emails. Unfortunately, the reality of life means some days I don’t leave my computer, but whenever time permits, I surrender to my obsessive desire to escape to my studio and create.

Depending on which stage in the process a piece of artwork is, you will either find me upstairs in my studio drawing life into an image or enhancing that original piece of art in Photoshop as I design something for my unique collection of diary covers, pillows, cards, and homewares.

I’m a deadline kind of a girl, it’s the only way I can stay on task. That’s why I love projects where there is an objective and a deadline. I thrive under pressure and produce my best work with adrenaline, conflicting priorities and a little chaos.

biancasmithdesigns_snippets_series_2_image7What would your dream creative project look like? Who or what is your dream project, client or job? Tell us about why you would love to collaborate with them and what you find inspiring about their work.

My absolute dream creative project would be working collaboratively with a ‘fashion house’ to illustrate their models and garments for window display and the associated promotional campaign.  Having unrestricted access to their design method, the inner workings of a label and seeing their creative process unfold would be nothing less than inspirational.  To then have the honour of representing that in art form, bringing that vision to life is my ultimate goal.

If you could spend a day in another artist’s studio shoes who would that artist be?

Kelly Smith of ‘Birdyandme’ fame, works with all the top fashion labels around the world and I’m a massive fan of her work. If I could be in her shoes for a day I would honestly be living my dream. Or Gabriel Moreno – who is an AMAZING artist overseas. He has a remarkable ability to capture the delicacy, strength, and sensuality of women in his drawings. They are just astonishing! I would love to even have a day in his studio to watch him work.

biancasmithdesigns_snippets_series_2_image6.jpgbiancasmithdesigns_snippets_series_2_image1What would you say is the biggest challenge when working for yourself ?

Staying positive about your work!

Social media can be a double edge sword as it both inspires and intimidates. It is full of people posting about their successes and digital platforms have a knack of focusing on the positives whilst minimising or eliminating the negatives, the sacrifices, struggles and setbacks.  It is easy to assume “their” life is perfect, easy, and unattainable when there a no posts about failure.

The truth is, for every success there has usually been many challenges, rejections, and disappointments. It’s important to learn from them all and allow it to fuel your growth, stretch you, and inspire you. I often question my skills and direction, but sometimes you just need to believe in yourself and your vision. And then of course practice, practice and practice some more until your craft is refined to its full potential.

If you could go back and tell yourself one hot tip or piece of advice when you started out what would it be?

Believe in yourself and follow your heart

What has been your proudest creative business achievement to date?

Doing an artist residency with Australian Fashion Labels. I worked from their creative hub in Adelaide City for 3 months, putting together a dedicate exhibition, which was then displayed in their store windows throughout SALA (South Australian Living Artist).

What projects or collaborations from last year stuck out, good or bad and what is coming up this year that you would like to plug!

The project that stood out for me last year was doing all the illustrations for the wine labels of an established winery in Mclaren Vale. They will be launching very soon, I cant wait to share them.

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biancasmithdesigns_snippets_series_2_image8You can follow what Bianca is up to: Website, Instagram, Facebook.

Snippets: Chats With Creatives – Series 2, Snippet 3

Snippets’. Chats with Creatives. We are back with series two! Here at Digital Fabrics we love everything print, pattern and colour and we love to know what makes designers tick. This second series is all about asking some fun and different questions and learning about the inspirations and ideas behind the artist and their work. We hope to inspire others by sharing snippets of these creative stories. We gave the artists and designers featured a varied and different set from series one list of questions to choose from so we will learn something new from everyone involved, should be fun!

Today on Snippets we are talking to Stephanie and Amy, Sydney based couple behind Outer Island. A design label that prides themselves on creating products inspired by nature such as ornaments and textiles, all made from natural or recyclable materials in Australia with a colourful and fun vibe as well as being educational and respectful to the environment.

Outer_Island_snippets_series2_image9Tell us a bit about yourself, your brand/label name what your creative practice is, how and when you began:

Outer Island is the collaboration of Sydney based couple Stephanie Chambers (artist) and Amy Ranck (graphic designer). We love traveling, collecting and being in nature. I’m from New York and Amy is from Australia so we joke that we’re both from islands, which is where the name Outer Island comes from, but really what connects us is our love for collecting and making things. Two years ago we moved to Sydney from Brooklyn and had our first Aussie Christmas together. Inspired by our endless birding and bushwalking, we wanted to bring the magic of Australian nature to our own Christmas tree. We moved here with our beloved ornament collection, but found it hard to find unique, colourful, well designed Aussie ornaments, so we started there. After making ornaments we expanded to fabric items. Everything produced by Outer Island is made in Australia using only natural or recyclable materials. Sustainability is a big part of our mission statement and we work with ethically minded vendors and manufacturers. We work out of our sunny studio in Darlinghurst and our business is a year and a half old.

Outer_Island_snippets_series2_image1Where do you call home?

Sydney, NSW

What 3 words best describe your creative style.

Magical, Colourful, Purposeful

Which part of the creative process is your favourite and why?

The beginning is always the most fun. When we’re working on a new design, we work together to decide what we want it to look like, then I do the drafting and Amy does the art directing. Running a business, we try to divide and conquer to make the best use of our time, so this beginning part is always the most fun because we get to work together.

Outer_Island_snippets_series2_image6Outer_Island_snippets_series2_image2.jpgWhat does a typical creative day look like for you? How do you stay on plan and organised?

Each day varies, but after about 10 months in business, we sat down to create a schedule that we felt would keep our business on track. We scheduled weekly meetings and also started calling Mondays ‘Marketing Mondays’ to force us to step away from painting and designing and to focus on getting our product out into the world. We use google drive to organise our documents and really started treating our business like a business around 10 months as well. Think: BINDERS. We also use spreadsheets to track our productivity and a free online project management tool called Kanban-chi. I use an old school paper and pen planner to stay on track and each month we have different larger projects that we try to get done so we can make sure to stay out of the weeds. I love to paint and Amy loves to design so it’s important for us to have easy tools and systems to work with to keep our productivity on track and to also move the vision for Outer Island forward. We try to think ahead and put systems in place now that will make it easier for us to scale.

If you could spend a day in another artist’s studio shoes who would that artist be?

[Stephanie] I’d actually love to see how it worked in large workshops during the 1600’s in Northern Europe. I’m obsessed with Dutch still life paintings and would very much like to be a fly on the wall to understand how it all came together. I’m a big Northern Renaissance nerd. I love how their paintings represented nature better than nature could have through their compositions and richness which then really emphasised for the viewer how beautiful nature truly was.

Tell us about your creative space, what are your tips for keeping a creative studio space organised?

Buy a label maker! Every now and again we have a big strategy meeting and in our last one we realised our studio was a mess. So we went out and got proper storage things and a label-maker and went to town. It’s been so much easier for us to work efficiently since we did that. We also regularly clean the studio because it makes us feel crazy if it’s a mess, especially if it’s during a busy time.

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If you could go back and tell yourself one hot tip or piece of advice when you started out what would it be?

Don’t rush.

What projects or collaborations from last year stuck out, good or bad and what is coming up this year that you would like to plug!

We’re expanding our line of ornaments with lots of new ones and will also be expanding our Christmas crackers this year. We really want to be able to give people items to enjoy that will bring the magic of Australian nature into their homes and create special memories. Nature needs all the help it can get and we believe if people have reminders in their homes then they’ll feel more connected to nature and if they feel more connected to it then they can begin to protect it.

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Outer_Island_snippets_series2_image7You can follow what Outer Island are upto: Website, Instagram, Facebook.

Snippets: Chats With Creatives – Series 2, Snippet 2

Snippets’. Chats with Creatives. We are back with series two! Here at Digital Fabrics we love everything print, pattern and colour and we love to know what makes designers tick. This second series is all about asking some fun and different questions and learning about the inspirations and ideas behind the artist and their work. We hope to inspire others by sharing snippets of these creative stories. We gave the artists and designers featured a varied and different set from series one list of questions to choose from so we will learn something new from everyone involved, should be fun!

Today on Snippets we are talking to Kate Blairstone, a US based artist, illustrator and designer who’s work can be seen across textiles, wallpaper and art prints with a unique and nostalgic botanical theme running throughout.

Kate_blairstone_snippets_series2_image4.jpgTell us a bit about yourself, your brand/label name what your creative practice is, how and when you began:

I design custom wallpaper and draw lots of stuff (mostly plants) under my own name. My formal education is in Printmaking – I build up images in layers, sometimes using ink on tissue, sometimes digitally. My business launched officially in the Fall of 2016.

I worked behind the scenes in restaurants for years before going full freelance. In that time I accumulated every possible creative hobby (leatherworking, beadwork, gardening) before figuring out that I could combine all those things into surface design and illustration. The restaurant where I worked always needed design help, so I resurrected my art degree to maintain their menu and website. Eventually when we opened a new location, the owner gave me the opportunity to help design the space, including a huge focal wallpaper.

Kate_blairstone_snippets_series2_image8Where do you call home?

I live in the St. Johns neighborhood of Portland, Oregon with my husband and 15 month old son.

What 3 words best describe your creative style?

Lush, Loud, Adventurous.

Which part of the creative process is your favourite and why?

I enjoy combing the visual world for inspiration, building color palettes, finding unexpected ways to communicate with color. Taking time to draw from life, getting into a meditative headspace and using my pencil to observe how a thing is structured. Mark making, especially with brushes and black india ink, where color isn’t a consideration at all, and I can just focus on the shape my brush makes. Twist my arm, and I might say my absolute favorite part is coloring my images, when I’ve been through all these other steps and the pieces finally come together.

Kate_blairstone_snippets_series2_image1Kate_blairstone_snippets_series2_image6.jpgHow would you describe your work, and what influences your style?

I think of what I do like looking at the world through tinted glasses, or at a photograph that’s yellowed as it’s aged. The color of light has a wonderful way of evoking memory and a sense of time and place; it’s a distorted reality. My palettes are designed to enhance this feeling. I spend lots of time looking at plants and working in my garden, and when I travel I pay particular attention to how the plants I grow are contextualized differently in other places, through both landscape and surface design traditions. It helps me to see things anew. I’m delighted by the cycles of my garden, of food and of fashion – I especially love when an iconic style can be seen through the lens of another era or culture and across media, like 70s Victorian Revival, or Art Deco Architecture via Latin America, or 60s MOD as seen through Italian Horror. My husband is a comic book artist: we are always playing with mashups to describe our work and find new inspiration.

Kate_blairstone_snippets_series2_image3If you could go back and tell yourself one hot tip or piece of advice when you started out what would it be?

Though I’ve always been creative and went to art school, it took me a long time – too long, maybe – to really own it. And it took me a long time to find a medium that really took hold of me the way that illustration has. Looking back, I can say confidently that everything I dabbled in has its place in my creative heart, and made my work what it is now. But I wish that I hadn’t been so scared to call myself Artist, to give myself to making things with my whole being. For years I thought I needed some kind of credential; the only thing that mattered ultimately was the permission I gave myself. An Artist is a person who makes art, and that’s what I do. If this resonates for you, go read Elizabeth Gilbert’s “Big Magic.” Living a creative life is what it’s all about, y’all. Also a reminder to myself, always: doing your life’s work is a long game, give yourself the time and make the commitment to get there.

What has been your proudest creative business achievement to date?

It gives me great pride to have built my portfolio to a point where my clients recognize my style, see what I can do for them and – for the most part – give me the freedom to do it. As a commercial artist there is sometimes enormous pressure to conform in order to get enough paid work to make it. It is such a privilege to have this kind of trust, and an absolute joy to deliver on it. Also I hired an accountant this year, which felt like such a big girl move, I literally teared up in the parking lot after our first meeting.

Kate_blairstone_snippets_series2_image10.jpgWhich other artists/ designers/ makers, artists or creative people are you enjoying at the moment?

Right now I’m inspired by Petra Borner, Andy Dixon, Tyler Keeton Robbins, Michelle Morin, Sonia Pulido, Marisol Ortega, Anisa Makhoul, and Gucci Gucci Gucci. All great follows.

What would your dream creative project look like? Who or what is your dream project, client or job? Tell us about why you would love to collaborate with them and what you find inspiring about their work.

For me, great projects involve trust, the opportunity to solve good problems, research and analysis, collaboration, strategy and beauty. I’ve been lucky enough be a part of a few such projects in my career; those experiences have shaped the way I find meaning in what I do, and defined the kind of work I’m looking for going forward. I love to participate in translating feelings visually – I get really excited about differentiating brands. There are so many small-scale production methods available to us now, why use the same stuff when we can be fantastically different?

My dream clients are great collaborators, passionate about what they do, confident in communicating their vision, and hire the right people for the right job. The beauty of seeing my work this way is that there are lots of dream clients to be had out there, but if Gucci wanted to hire me I might literally throw myself at Alessandro Michele’s feet.

Kate_blairstone_snippets_series2_image5.jpgYou can follow what Kate is upto: Website, Instagram

Snippets: Chats With Creatives – Series 2, Snippet 1

Snippets’. Chats with Creatives. We are back with series two! Here at Digital Fabrics we love everything print, pattern and colour and we love to know what makes designers tick. This second series is all about asking some fun and different questions and learning about the inspirations and ideas behind the artist and their work. We hope to inspire others by sharing snippets of these creative stories. We gave the artists and designers featured a varied and different set from series one list of questions to choose from so we will learn something new from everyone involved, should be fun!

Today on Snippets we are talking to Katelyn Tso, the textile designer behind Indigo Thread, a beautiful brand creating homewares, accessories and clothing as part of the slow fashion movement.

Tell us a bit about yourself, your brand/label name what your creative practice is, how and when you began:

I’m Katelyn, the designer and maker behind Indigo Thread. I’ve always loved design. All through high school I would make my own clothes, screen printing, sewing and adjusting op shop finds. After school I started studying Interior Design, however after the first year I realised that interior design wasn’t for me, rather I loved designing individual textile products. It wasn’t until I became a mum that I found the time to sew again and I started Indigo Thread. I’m now a self-taught textile designer, making accessories, homewares and a clothing range coming soon.

Indigo_thread_wares_snippets_2_image8

Indigo_thread_wares_snippets_2_image4Where do you call home?

I currently live in Sydney but I grew up on The Central Coast of NSW and it still feels like home to me.

What 3 words best describe your creative style.

Simple Shapes – Fun Prints (sorry that’s more than 3 words)

Which part of the creative process is your favourite and why?

Seeing the finished product come together for the first time. Sometimes I skip ahead, not completing the steps in the most effective order because I’m so excited to see the finished product.

Indigo_thread_wares_snippets_2_image2How would you describe your work, and what influences your style?

Simple designs and shapes with stylised and fun floral prints inspired by Australian native flowers. My desire for practical yet attractive products fuels my designs.

What does a typical creative day look like for you? How do you stay on plan and organised? 

Being a work from home/stay at home mum means that it can be a bit all over the place and my work is very disrupted. I have a little more time now that my eldest has started preschool 3 days a week but I still have to fit work into small time slots throughout the day. I stay organised by writing lists. Daily, weekly and monthly to-do-lists help me keep focused.

Depending on the time of year and if I have a market to prep for, I could be just sewing sewing sewing. Whereas other quieter times I get a chance to design some new products and fabrics, so it varies a lot.

Tell us about your creative space, what are your tips for keeping a creative studio space organised.

My studio isn’t really a studio. It’s a big desk in the living room of my 2 bedroom apartment. My husband hates that I take up so much space in our home, especially when I take over the dining table as well (it’s the perfect place for screen printing and cutting out fabric). I would love to have a studio one day, or at least a separate room that I can shut the door on the mess but for now it’s working for me. I don’t mind a little bit of creative clutter but I do regularly have to re-organise so that I have the space to work and I always feel like I can work better with a clean workspace. The best tip I have is get a good storage system. I have these amazing deep drawers in my work desk (custom built by my dad out of an old pallet) that store all my sewing bits and pieces as well as a cupboard full of fabric.

Indigo_thread_wares_snippets_2_image6Indigo_thread_wares_snippets_2_image7What/who inspired you to take the leap in to your creative venture, how did you get started?

I just started Indigo Thread as a hobby while I was on maternity leave and I think that made it not feel like a leap, it just kind of happened naturally. I didn’t have the pressure to make money from it straight away which was nice and I think I’ve enjoyed the process more because of it.

Tell us about how you get your creative juices flowing, what is your process?

I am inspired constantly by the beautiful world around me. By colours, shapes and nature. I’m often taking photos of flowers or colour combinations to reference later as well as looking at clothing styles and figuring out how they were made.

Indigo_thread_wares_snippets_2_image1What projects or collaborations from last year stuck out, good or bad and what is coming up this year that you would like to plug!

I loved working with my bestie, Nicole from Better Together Paper, on a collaboration of Prezzie Sacks last year. We love a chance to catch up and be creative together.

This year I’m so excited to be launching a range of women’s tops. I’m currently still in the design phase but they will be released in the next month or so. Think simple boxy tops in my Australian botanical fabrics.

Indigo_thread_wares_snippets_2_image9You can follow what Katelyn is upto: Website, Instagram, Facebook.

Snippets: Chats With Creatives – Series 1, Snippet 10

Snippets’. Chats with Creatives. Here at Digital Fabrics we love everything print, pattern and colour and we love to know what makes designers tick. This series is all about asking some fun and different questions and learning about the inspirations and ideas behind the artist and their work. We hope to inspire others by sharing snippets of these creative stories. We gave the artists and designers featured a varied list of questions to choose from so we will learn something new from everyone involved, should be fun!

Today on Snippets we are talking to Lara Cross, the textile designer behind Glorybox Designs, a bright and eclectic range of fabrics, fashion and jewellery based on prints. She has a vibrant passion for colour and her quirky style is evident throughout her work.

Glorybox_designs_digital_fabrics_custom_fabric_printing_2The Snippety Snips:

Tell us a bit about yourself and what your creative practice is, how and when you began:

Looking back on my upbringing, it seems so obvious that I would end up being a textile designer- but really, I didn’t even know it was a thing until I was in my third year of studying fashion. Even fashion design was a late start for me, I had initially planned on being some sort of creative director and studied Drama and Film at uni, then lived in China for five years and came home to ‘start’ my life. It took a long time to find that field where my skills just clicked in to place, but I did have a great time getting there! Being surrounded by beautiful textiles, colours and prints was just normal to me, I didn’t know that I could be ‘good enough’ to do that too. I think I have always struggled to prove to everyone that so-called normal people can love colour, and that just because you’re creative it doesn’t mean you’re an idiot. It’s probably not your experience if you grow up in a city, but I grew up in a small town and there is certain pressure to conform- so a lot of my work and ranges tend to have a story behind them, a little provocation and thought to give it meaning as well as beauty.

I enjoy word-play, puns and often have a bit of tongue-in-cheek when I come up with a new theme- my last range was called ‘Iconoscopy‘ which was a tribute to our aging rock icons, and the next range is battle Armor for modern feminists, so no doubt there will be subtle references to female anatomy as well as some more blatant imagery. I have been compiling war words that we use daily, and I’ll start sketching off those, from there I’ll probably end up in mixed media experimentation and move into digital. I work with both screen and digital prints, but the designs always go through the computer before they get there. Digital design is definitely one of the late great discoveries of my life. I use my prints in my clothing and in my resin jewellery, I am very hands-on.

Glorybox_designs_digital_fabrics_custom_fabric_printing_4

Glorybox_designs_digital_fabrics_custom_fabric_printing_6Which part of the creative process is your favourite and why?

I love colour mixing when I screen print. I don’t really plan ahead I just go in with an open mind and play. I was also pretty surprised to discover how much I love the minutiae of digital design and getting right into the pixels to create repeats. It’s a secret language. There’s lots to enjoy.

What would your dream creative project look like?

The day I get the phone call from Romance Was Born to collaborate on a range….that will be a pretty great day. (Just to be clear, they can also email me)

Which other Australian designers, artists or creative people are you enjoying?

I am thoroughly enjoying the work of Haus of Dizzy and Doodad and Fandango– they are both forging great paths in sticking it to the patriarchy, all while looking awesome. The rise of dressing for yourself is something that really appeals to me and my customers.

Glorybox_designs_digital_fabrics_custom_fabric_printing_5

Glorybox_designs_digital_fabrics_custom_fabric_printing_7In another life what natural talent would you wish for?

I would love to write raunchy high-society books like Jackie Collins and Rebecca Chance. Maybe I still will….

Love your Locals:

City/Town/Village where you currently reside:

Dulwich Hill (Sydney’s hipster Inner West)

Favourite spot for a bite:

IKEA, not a popular choice I know but I get really freaked out by how obsessed people are with “good’ coffee or things served on wooden boards.

Secret Inspirational spot:

I love the run-down and industrial, behind my house there is a derelict lot that has lots of tire piles, runaway bamboo and fabulous rusty things. It’s being demolished bit by bit (there was an amazing old warehouse I could sketch in and spray paint on) but for now it still a bit of a secret garden of crap that I can enjoy.

Glorybox_designs_digital_fabrics_custom_fabric_printing_3You can follow what Lara is upto: Website, Instagram, Facebook

Snippets: Chats With Creatives – Series 1, Snippet 9

Snippets’. Chats with Creatives. Here at Digital Fabrics we love everything print, pattern and colour and we love to know what makes designers tick. This series is all about asking some fun and different questions and learning about the inspirations and ideas behind the artist and their work. We hope to inspire others by sharing snippets of these creative stories. We gave the artists and designers featured a varied list of questions to choose from so we will learn something new from everyone involved, should be fun!

Today on Snippet’s we are talking to Sara Johnson, the artist behind ‘Travelling Alice’ a printmaker based in Sydney who designs and prints her own fabric before making it into unique accessories.

 Travelling Alice_digital fabrics_custom fabric_fabric printing 5

The Snippety Snips:

Tell us a bit about yourself and what your creative practice is, how and when you began:

Travelling Alice is a range of hand printed travel accessories, made in my Sydney Studio.

I studied Fine Arts just out of High School as I just wanted to Draw, while there I learnt Printing (wow ) I could turn my drawings into prints.

At nineteen I got the opportunity to volunteer in India for three months, and this is where my love of fabrics and Crafts came from and of course my travelling obsession began, seeing all these amazing artist, crafts people. Traveling Alice Started from a need to make light weight and colourful travel accessories for myself and friends. I am such an organised traveller I like to pack things so they are easy to find but of course they have to look good as well.

Travelling Alice_digital fabrics_custom fabric_fabric printing

Travelling Alice_digital fabrics_custom fabric_fabric printing 3Which part of the creative process is your favourite and why?

Drawing drawing and drawing. My Mum is a sign writer so I have always been around pencils, pens and brushes my whole life so it feels as natural as eating. By the way I have the worst hand writing, so I did not get this talent.

How would you describe your work, and what influences your style? 

I design fabric that I can sew into accessories. Travel definitely influences my style and my life. I became obsessed with it when I first travelled to India when I was 19. This was also where my love of Fabrics and pattern came from, you get exposed to colour and patterns, it’s a feast for the eyes.

Travelling Alice_digital fabrics_custom fabric_fabric printing 7

Travelling Alice_digital fabrics_custom fabric_fabric printing 4If you could have your portrait painted by any artist dead or alive, who would you choose?

Louise Bourgeois, that would be amazing and fun, she was known for her Sculptures but I love her printmaking. Louise Bourgeois was also known for her dry humour so we could have a laugh at the same time.

Love your Locals:

City/Town/Village where you currently reside:

Sydney South

Favourite spot for a bite:

I am a Coffee lover so food is a second thought so my favourite place to get coffee is White Horse Coffee in Sutherland

Secret Inspirational spot:

To be honest I find inspiration anywhere and anytime of the day or night. I have numerous note books so I can quickly write the inspiration down.

Travelling Alice_digital fabrics_custom fabric_fabric printing 2You can follow what Sara is upto: Website, Instagram, Facebook

Snippets: Chats With Creatives – Series 1, Snippet 8

Snippets’. Chats with Creatives. Here at Digital Fabrics we love everything print, pattern and colour and we love to know what makes designers tick. This series is all about asking some fun and different questions and learning about the inspirations and ideas behind the artist and their work. We hope to inspire others by sharing snippets of these creative stories. We gave the artists and designers featured a varied list of questions to choose from so we will learn something new from everyone involved, should be fun!

Today on Snippet’s we are talking to Anna Hayman, a UK based print designer who creates fabrics, wallpaper and other homewares from original lino printing and ink drawings. Her work is influenced by the art and craft era as well as the sixties and seventies which is clear in her current work.

Anna-Hayman-digital_fabrics_custom_fabric_printing_5The Snippety Snips:

Tell us a bit about yourself and what your creative practice is, how and when you began:

I am a British print designer specialising in printed lampshades, wallpapers, fabrics and cushions. I create my designs from linoprints and ink paintings. I began trading in February 2016

Which part of the creative process is your favourite and why?

My favourite part is transforming artwork – in my case a Lino print or an ink painting – into a pattern. Pattern is my utter obsession so creating repeat designs from artwork is a really exciting point for me, often there are literally endless possibilities of how it can be repeated, mirrored or formed, and seeing that take shape is completely thrilling. That comes just before the worst part, getting the pattern to repeat, which can take forever and is truly boring! Luckily I’m a bit of a geek :)

How would you describe your work, and what influences your style? I would describe my work as half hippy, half traditionalist, intricate, relaxed and colourful. I’m influenced by old English styles, I visit a lot of old places, and 1920’s places, but also love Bohemian 70’s style. Creatives I’m influenced by are Celia Birtwell, Biba, The Bloomsbury Group, Olaf Hajek, Aubrey Beardsley and many more.

Anna-Hayman-digital_fabrics_custom_fabric_printing_4Anna-Hayman-digital_fabrics_custom_fabric_printing_6In another life what natural talent would you wish for?

Writing! I have been reading a lot about the lives of writers recently and I must say it does seem an appealing occupation. I’ve always told myself I am terrible at writing, especially copy, but really I just haven’t had the space to explore it. I would love to take a summer learning how to construct a book, for instance.

Which other Australian designers, artists or creative people are you enjoying at the moment?

Estelle Briedis, for her exacting palettes of colour, Nine Lives Bazaar for their beautiful brand building skills and photography, and Instagram legend @labohemehouseofthewishingtrees for her inspiring and abundant use of brights with white, and layering of textures.

If you could only use one colour in your work what would it be?

Hard question! But I’m crushing hard on jade at the moment, a sort of greenish turquoise, a colour which can be hot and cool, and quenching somehow. I’d find it hard to live without orange though, deep vibrant orange, warm and fresh at the same time.

Anna-Hayman-digital_fabrics_custom_fabric_printing_7If you could have your portrait painted by any artist dead or alive, who would you choose?

Lucian Freud, not just because I love his work (I love flat looking paintings with a lot of detail) but because I feel I have the right sort of face for his portraiture.

Which five words best describe you?

English, rebellious, clever, arty, fun.

Love your Locals:

City/Town/Village where you currently reside:

Ringmer in Sussex, England.

Favourite spot for a bite:

Any good seafood restaurant, or sushi place.

Secret Inspirational spot:

Charleston farmhouse, the Bloomsbury group country house hotspot of the 1920’s, which is 15 minutes from where I live.

Anna-Hayman-digital_fabrics_custom_fabric_printing_1

You can follow what Anna is upto: Website, Instagram, Facebook

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