Working in the Colorado mountains, Donna Skupien creates her surface designs surrounded by nature – just the way she likes it. Donna’s firm, Bridgewater Moss Designs, has delivered stellar surface patterns for clients large and small. Learn more about Donna, her inspirations and her obsession with prints in this week’s installment of our Featured Artist series.

Where do you live?
Operating outside Denver at 9600ft in a studio that I designed and built, I travel quite a bit to meet with clients but mostly work virtually, providing on time, on budget, trend forward solutions.

Donna in her Colorado studio

Does where you live influence your art?
Living in the mountains gives me the solitude to work on my designs without distractions — surrounded by nature. I gather inspiration from my travels as well as research done while working on projects …. it’s an interwoven process.

Tell us about your design firm, Bridgewater Moss Design.

Bridgewater Moss Design in a full service design firm with over 25 years experience in creating exclusive trend forward surface design solutions for manufacturers and retailers for the fashion, home, tabletop, contract, activewear and paper industries.

I have always been in the problem solving business and believe this experience in marketing gives me greater insight and perspective understanding clients’ products, demographics, manufacturing, budget and price point as it relates to trends.

Bridgewater Moss Design for a collection of tableware

When did you begin designing textiles? What inspired you to get started?
My roots started as most kids with drawing and painting on anything I could find, a BFA in comprehensive Design, the usual stint of working for someone for a couple of years, then starting my own marketing communications design firm in Chicago with nothing but my passion for design.

Our good reputation made us grow creating brand identities, consumer packaging and annual reports for global giants as Allstate Insurance (yep, those ‘good hands’), Kellogg’s and the William Wrigley Jr. Company. Our branding work expanded into product development designing back-to-school products, then with entrepreneurial startups as Crate & Barrel, and the Container Store on prints for textiles and paper products.

In regards to textile design, I have become addicted to prints. Always experimenting new ways to do stripes and plaids …. florals morphing into textures…and then, there are the endless color combinations. Every day is a new opportunity to create.

How has your creative process changed since you started?
When I first started, there was a lot more time to work on a project. We thought things out and worked by hand before translating to the computer. Today, the computer is both a creative tool and a curse. Clients expect more for less, which has made design even more competitive.

I am grateful for all my clients and cherish the trusted relationships I have developed over the years.

Donna often works from photos to create unique patterns

What is your preferred medium?
I wish I had the time to paint….but with too many ideas in my head, I rely on my Mac to me keep up with my demanding workload.

Where do you find inspiration?
Inspired by everything – from the strange to the very ordinary – my work is a never ending random mix of everyday geos, florals and textures, along side seasonal motifs, and sprinkled with special occasion and conversational themes.

What other artists and designers have influenced your work?
It depends on what I am working on. Good Design is Good business. It has the power to captivate, motive and even just make us smile.

I am influenced by architecture and fine art – both historical and contemporary – design and color. Frank Lloyd Wright to Studio. Josef Albers to Yaacov Agam. It’s all about embracing this knowledge and applying it to new prints.

Donna often works from photos to create unique patterns

How has WeaveUp helped you sell our work and break into new markets?
We mostly sell our prints outright, but if a company prefers a license, that works too!

WeaveUp has help me expand my reach by connecting me globally with new clients that otherwise I would not have the opportunity to find. What is uploaded to the site today is a handful of prints in my portfolio. I will continue to add new categories and prints on a regular basis, so please come back and visit.

Has the WeaveUp Customization Tool helped streamline the creation of colorways and collections of your designs?
My uploaded prints are just the starting point. The collections are grouped by attitude or subject and are the bones for endless color combos. The customization tool is too much fun — and makes new color combos fast and easy.

Thanks to Donna for speaking with us! Check out the Bridgewater Moss Design website here, and be sure to shop her designs on WeaveUp.