18. March 2014 | But Out Of Limitations Comes Creativity

My collection features floral and animal designs that look like painted. Now you might think that I have outstanding painting skills. Well, the truth is I can’t neither draw nor paint. When it comes to pencil and paint I’m a lost cause. MY tools are a Nikon D 80, a PC, Adobe Photoshop and digital textile printing.

I’ve been taking images of flowers and animals for the past twelve years. They mean endless inspiration to me. When I’m on a walk I’m constantly scanning the nature around me. I’d stop to examine a plant or animal closely. Pattern-driven as I am I see flora and fauna arranging themselves into textile designs whenever I look at them. I even see them morphing into patterns with my eyes closed. Sometimes they keep me from falling asleep.
When I shoot an image I already have endless design variations in mind. So I shoot a subject from every possible angle, with different focuses and varying camera settings. Yes, I do have an enourmous photopool on my computer.

So with these endless design variations in mind I start creating. Sometimes the flowers or insects slip neatly into the shape I imagined. I love that! Sometimes they refuse to match the pre-shaped patterns I had in mind. And then I just go with the flow until the subject reveals it’s real character. I love that too!
Very rarely it happens when I’m in the middle of a design process that I’m not satisfied with my photo material. If I’m lucky I just did the shooting recently or at least in the same season of year. Then I can just reshoot the subject. If I’m not lucky the season is over and I have to store my idea in the archives. Or even worse they never make it to a real textile print. I don’t love that at all.

The next steps in my creating process are textile printing and sewing. That’s where my professional skills as a textile engineer and dressmaker come in. To me as a textile professional the rise and establishment of digital textile printing was THE big thing. I’ve been struck by the technique and it’s possibilitíes right from the start. With photography and digital textile printing all my dreams can come true. And when I discovered sublimation printing (a variation of digital textile print) I got even more excited. With this technique I’m in control of every step in the process to create my products. Here’s a making-of, where you can watch me doing every thing from shooting to designing to printing and eventually sewing. By the way I also do the fashion and product shootings myself.

A really great thing about creating accessories is the freedom that comes with it. If I designed fabrics I’d be determined by fabric width and pattern repeat. However my process is engineering prints to the cut of a fingerless glove/ waist belt/ secret message scarf or silk foulard/ (these cuts are developed and tested on prototypes by myself). So my designing work is much like the work of a florist: I make flower arrangements – including animals here and there.

Also accessories: I love accessories, because they’re the wow! and the oh la la! The cherry on the cake. Eye candy. Pure finesse. The better garment – always.

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