Where do you live?
I live in Darwin, Northern Territory, Australia. I’m originally from England and have also lived for spells in the Netherlands, Malaysia and Western Australia.
Does where you live influence your art?
Yes, a lot. Australian plants, animals and tropical flowers keep creeping into my work. I am fascinated by the idea that the same ideas come up over and over in nature, like a good old English hedgehog, a spiky echidna and a porcupine all using spikes to defend themselves. That fascination comes from moving around a lot, I think. Also, Darwin is a very laid back place, more so that other parts of Australia, even. I think that frees up a little extra creativity in me.
A sketch on the left, and the vector art, made in Powerpoint, on the right for Becky’s design, Jade Vine
Tell us about your studio/workspace.
I work from home in a spare bedroom, which I have filled up with a laptop with an extra screen, a scanner, a desk, my art and card making stuff, and hundreds of fabric samples.
When did you begin designing surface prints? What inspired you to get started?
I’m partway through a two year online course in Interior Decoration. One assignment challenged me to design a children’s bedroom in the theme of Australian nature. I was so frustrated that I couldn’t find the fabrics I wanted for the assignment I started searching online for information about how to design and print your own fabric. I found WeaveUp and went from there. I got a distinction in my assignment!
A few of Becky’s animal designs available on WeaveUp
Congrats on the distinction, that’s awesome! What advice do you have for creatives just getting started?
I am just getting started too, so you’re not alone! But I would say: let yourself have plenty of failures. Design a lot, then step back and evaluate which ones you like and don’t beat yourself up about the ones you don’t like.
What would you love to see your prints sewn into?
I often picture my designs as dresses. For example, a set of peacock feather designs I did. I designed the tail feathers first, then thought about that as the flared skirt of a dress. Then I had to design a blue feathered fabric for the peacock’s body and a green feathered waistband.
Where do you find inspiration?
I love food, which is why a bunch of my designs are vegetables (perhaps the ones with a narrower appeal, because really, who would want a cabbage design as their curtains?). The park near my home is full of incredible tropical plants and trees. The view from my home office window is a sparkling bay. And I’ve always dabbled in visual creative arts and crafts, including drawing, painting and card making, and the media I use for those influence me. For example, when I make a card from pieces of colored paper cut into shapes it feels pretty much the same as making vectors for a surface design.
A cute birthday card made by Becky
What other artists and designers have influenced your work?
I particularly love the designs of Marjatta Metsovaara, and several of the wonderful Marimekko designers’ work. In my art in general I’m influenced by several of the impressionists.
What is your go-to color combination?
Perhaps a little tragically, it’s rainbows. I have loved them since I was a kid. I know it’s not a particularly practical combination and doesn’t fit into the color theory that I’ve been learning about in my interior course. But it certainly makes it easier to reduce the colors in my work down to twelve when they are not too close together and the color customization tool on WeaveUp is so good that it’s not a problem to adjust the colors to something subtler afterwards.
How has WeaveUp helped you sell your work and break into new markets?
I have just recently been asked by a WeaveUp partner organization to make adjustments to a design for samples for a hotel interior. I don’t know if they’ll pick my design but I’m excited to see where it leads, and it’s given me confidence that my designs aren’t purely for my own amusement.
Thanks for chatting with us, Becky! Shop Garigal’s fantastically fun designs here.