4 Creative Questions

Bonnie Christine of Going Home to Roost, a fellow designer for Art Gallery Fabrics, genuinely sweet and talented person posed 4 creative questions to me on this creative blog hop: 1) What am I working on? 2) How does my work differ from others of its genre? 3) Why do I write/create what I do? 4) How does my creative process work?

Here are my answers

Q: What am I working on?

A: Even though I am the sort of designer that needs to be very focused and work on one thing at a time to really get into it fully, I don't have that luxury right now and have several things going at once. The quilts and projects I made for Quilt Market need to be written and illustrated for patterns and my plan is by year's end to have those designs as PDF patterns for purchase. This site has been known for it's free patterns but it is time to take it to the next level and start making some money from my experience and creativity. 

I am also excited to say I am designing prints for my next collection with Art Gallery Fabrics. I can't say much about it now but am focused on further defining my style as an artist and branding my particular look for pattern design--so more of what you know and love about my designs!

My first Art Gallery Fabrics collection Gossamer will hit the stores in December. I want to be sewing new quilts and projects with my prints as soon as the fabrics are in--can't wait to start sewing new stuff with the yardage so I need to be planning out what I want to make. 

Q: How does my work differ from others of its genre?

A: Hmm, that is a tough question to answer. I love all the variety of design styles available in fabric today. It would be boring if we were all the same--right? So having a signature look and style is so important to differentiate your look from the rest.

I know my designs have a particular look to them but I am not sure I can be the one to describe it. As an Art and Design major, I love to see the artists hand in the work. I am attracted to simple, clean design--not fussy or too many colors. I really try not to look at what other current designers are doing so as not to be influenced. It is too easy to be derailed but seeing everything that is going on out there. Instead I look at works of textile and fine art artists from the 20th century. I am fascinated with mid-century design with the skeletal lines and geometric quality to objects. I am sure my work will evolve as I make more collections but this is my direction right now.

Q: Why do I write/create what I do?

A: I love fabric because you can make useful things with it. I love pattern. Becoming a textile designer was the perfect outlet to make beautiful designs that could be made into cloth and then sewn with. What a perfect circle! If I wasn't a textile designer I would be doing something creative like painting landscapes, drawing, graphic design, photography, crafting, etc. I have this uncontrollable NEED to create! To make something that lasts. 

Pine Copse by Sharon Holland

Q: How does my creative process work?

A: Like many other designers I have an idea or story in my head before I can get started designing. This helps to keep my focused and helps to define the types of prints I will want to make for a collection. I don't always have a name for the collection right up front but a vision and mood for it. I start collecting ideas. I do an initial gathering of images, ideas, colors, references from my personal library of art books, photos, internet and from previous designs I have made just to immerse myself in the idea I have come up with. But I don't make mood boards or even write anything down. I keep my vision in my head and constantly reshape it and sculpt it as I design.

As I go along the vision either gets clearer or falls apart--I can't say there is always success. Ideas morph and change as I go along. Getting 10 prints to play well together is like a house of cards and sometimes you have to do some rebuilding to get it all right. It is a process for sure and I love it. I discover a lot about myself each time I do a collection and love to push my brain into thinking about things differently and from a new angle. 

I find that I can do some of my best brain work laying in bed. There is no light to see and get distracted by anything and I can be creative without constraints of paper, pencil or computer. I do keep a tablet, pen, and flashlight by my bedside for those (sometimes) brilliant ideas. When I am working at my computer and get stuck on a pattern and it is not working to my liking I usually step away and take my dog Henry for a walk. Being outside and away from my desk helps me think clearer and usually by the time I am back I have mentally worked out all the issues and everything comes out beautifully! So, most of my creative process is done in my head.

Who’s Next?!

though it’s not mandatory, i would love to hear these questions answered by Bari J., Maureen Cracknell and April Rhodes. if you'd like to join in, please do so! just answer these questions and tag a few other creatives to join the fun. be sure to leave a link to your post in the comments section here so we can join along!