Josephine Kimberling’s fabric lines are anything but boring. Excelling in combining bold patterns and bright colors, Kimberling creates fabric lines for those who love to make a statement. Read on to find out more about Josephine Kimberling and her great fabric lines with Robert Kaufman.
Can you tell me a little bit of background about yourself?
Yes, definitely! I went to college for Illustration and Graphic Design. Shortly after college, I ended up working for Nordstrom as a Textile Designer. Throughout my 10 years there, I created patterns for a variety of markets including kidswear, baby, juniors, and womenswear. It was there that I also created color palettes and did print trend forecasting for the junior girls brands. For 2 years somewhere in-between, I worked for Hallmark Cards designing stationery and gift-wrap collections, and also worked for a fashion print representative out of London, selling my artwork to fashion companies across the world.
How did you get involved with the Fabric designing business?
I had been dreaming about starting my own thing for many, many years. I got to a place in my life and career where I decided to take a leap and put together a collection of prints to send to fabric companies. With my background as a Textile Designer, it seemed like a natural extension of what I’ve been doing, and a great place for me to start.
How many fabric lines have you designed?
‘Just Dandy!’ is my third fabric line with Robert Kaufman. My other two collections were ‘Glam Garden’ and ‘Hot Blossom’.
Where do you get the inspiration for your fabric designs?
I get inspiration from all over the place! I absolutely love researching and surrounding myself with creativity. I usually keep my eye on runway trends, find the common threads and then interpret the trend for a particular market, with my own twist and utilizing my own style.
On your website, http://www.josephinekimberling.com/, you showcase some great clothing and projects that incorporate your fabrics. Do you design these yourself? Do you have these products in mind when creating your fabric line, or is it the other way around?
Thank you! For the clothing that you see on my website’s inspiration page, I usually find already existing patterns that fit into the feel and theme of the fabric collection, and either friends or myself will sew them.
The projects available for a free download on my inspiration page are usually designed in different ways. I’m not a fashion or technical designer, so designing patterns for things like handbags and clothing are a bit out of my league, to be honest. For those types of projects, I usually have an idea of what I would like to have designed based on the feel of the fabric collection, and then work in collaboration with friends who have the right experience. On my inspiration page, I designed the fabric flowers and the pillow since they are much more simple and crafty. I’m a big advocate of leaning on people who are strong in areas that I am not in order to get to the best product possible.
You seem to love bold and exciting patterns on fabric. Any tips on how to combine many different patterns together successfully?
I definitely do love bold and exciting patterns, and even more than that, I love mixing them together! Some tips I have on combining many different patterns together successfully are:
1. Drama. Find a pattern that is truly amazing, either by the detail it involves, the largeness of its scale or one with a lot of color throughout it. This is your “A” print. Then to accentuate it, find a “B” pattern – one that is either smaller in scale to balance it, or one that has the ground color that is an accent used in the “A” print. I usually don’t like mixing “B” and “C” prints together because sometimes they can lack interest. When mixing a lot of different fabrics together, you can also have multiple ‘A’ patterns to balance.
2. Mix Master. Mix contrasting fabrics together until you bring out the best in each pattern. For example, contrast in scale, color position (pattern with blue accent + pattern with blue ground), repeat type (linear + tossed), or density (open ground space + densely packed).
3. Harmony. Put patterns with different color balance within them next to each other. Allow the arrangement of the patterns to keep color moving throughout so your eyes don’t get stuck in one place.
4. Personality. Don’t be afraid to step outside of the box and try something new! Keep playing and push yourself outside of your natural boundaries.
Any favorite parts of the design process?
My absolute favorite part of the design process is the beginning of starting a new collection, which for me is the research process. Looking at runway, blogs, magazines, nature, home décor, and shopping a variety of markets just keeps me excited about what’s going on in the world and pushes me towards expressing my artistic voice. I really enjoy taking that information, sketching out thoughts that come to my head and then putting together a collection like the pieces of a puzzle.
What other types of art do you do?
I would say that I combine my art creation with design, rather than multiple types of artwork. I love creating pattern for a variety of markets – either through creating a pattern that is fashion forward, working in collections for the quilting market, or designing what my patterns would look like on stationery, gift-wrap, packaging, etc. I like to use different mediums to get to my vision when creating artwork for a variety of markets.
Anything else you want to add?
Yes! Thanks so much for reaching out to me for an interview! The quilting & sewing industry is just full of amazing people with so many wonderful skill-sets and creativity, and it’s so fun to be a part of it!
Thank YOU Josephine!
Photo Credits: Natalie G. Photography