First off, thank you all for your great comments in my last post! The winner of the Cabbage & Roses fabric bundle is rubyhaze! Please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org with your mailing info so I can send the bundle out to you!
I am thrilled that I got to speak with Stephanie Carter who is the person behind Lily Ashbury fabric line! Read on to find out more about this fabric designer and her latest line of fabrics from MODA entitled “Summer House”. Let me know what you think, by leaving a comment at the end of this post, for your chance to win a fabric “layer cake” of this new line!
1. Can you tell me a little bit of background about yourself?
I have been in the art and design business for many years and have worked in many markets along the way.
My passions for as long as I can remember have been creating and collecting. I started my career as an editorial illustrator for one of the local newspapers in my hometown of Vancouver BC, Canada and have never looked back.
From extensive projects for the advertising and publishing industries, to children’s book illustration, art for packaging and Canadian stamp design, my illustration career has been both challenging and rewarding.
My dream of licensing my artwork for use on products is now a natural culmination of my many years as an artist and designer. I chose to name my company Lily Ashbury because I feel it embodies the feminine and lively quality my designs evoke.
2. How did you get involved with the Fabric designing business?
I have worked as an illustrator for many years in the advertising and editorial arena. Years ago before I was married I used to sew. Life just got busy and while building my career some of my cherished hobbies fell by the wayside. Once My daughter Isabella was born my nesting instincts kicked back in full force and I started to sew again making things for her. My many trips to the fabric stores as well as a keen interest in licensing my work in different ways got me thinking about textile design. The play between colors and different patterns attracted me specifically to quilting fabric. I just love the look of deliciously colorful quilt. I am thrilled to be working with Moda, it is a fantastic company on so many levels. I adore how they design their advertising materials and I am proud to be a part of their talented team!
3. How many fabric lines have you designed?
Prior to joining Moda I was designing for another fabric company creating patterns for Joann’s and Hancock’s. “Summer House” is my debut branded fabric line but I have a new one coming out this Fall called Trade Winds that I am very excited about. Living in rainy Vancouver it was wonderful to spend some time this winter working on designs with an exotic feel. I really felt transported.
4. Where do you get the inspiration for your fabric designs?
I find inspiration everywhere and find myself constantly snapping pictures of color combinations and ideas while I go about my daily life. I must admit though I am obsessed with all things vintage and spend lots (probably too much) time checking out auction sites for vintage textiles. For Trade Winds I did a fair bit of research on the Silk Road and the old British India company etc.. It was educational and very interesting.
5. On your website, http://lilyashbury.com/, you showcase some great items that incorporate your fabric, such as plates, tins, message boards, and more. Do you design these yourself? Do you have these products in mind when creating your fabric line, or is it the other way around?
I do license my work on many different products but the designs generally start with fabric in mind. I like working this way because I am not restrained by the product in any way and this allows for a more creative approach. I also like being able to build the work around a theme.
6. Any funny stories that you have regarding your fabric design? Any favorite parts of the design process?
My favorite part of the design process is losing myself in a concept. I tend to really immerse myself in the idea. For Summer House it was all based on my vision of the perfect cottage from the 1940's era. I imagined simple afternoons on a porch swing surrounded by scented blooming flowers etc. I also love naming the designs as hunting for the right name keeps the idea alive. Summer House is chock-full of retro-esque names like Audrey, Rosemarie, Belmont etc. I even name the colors such as marshmallow, popsicle pink etc.
7. What other types of art do you do?
I started my career as an illustrator creating highly detailed drawings and paintings, then I moved into a scraper board style. Now I work almost entirely digitally and in many diverse styles when it comes to illustration. I still paint in acrylic once in awhile. My brother and father are both painters and we like to get together and tackle huge canvases. We'll set up in my living room and stay up late until every inch of the canvas is covered. It's a very immediate form of creativity and a great bonding experience.
8. Any tips for artists interested in making their own fabric lines?
My biggest tip is to look at fabric a lot. I am not suggesting an artist should copy other people’s work but it is very important to see what is out there and study the trends in design. I also recommend looking into color forecasting. I use Pantone for this service.
9. Anything else you want to add?
My family and I will be moving into a new house in a couple of months and I can't wait to decorate. I am designing a dream bedroom for my daughter (who has revived my love of the color pink).
Thank you so much Stephanie!
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