A New Breed of Fabric Designer
A Conversation with Liz Scott
I got with Liz recently to learn more about her, and the inspiration and process for her fabric design. So brew a cup of coffee, wrap yourself in your favorite fabric and absorb some inspiration from Liz and her designs.
HW: What led you to fabric design?
Liz: Fabric design is an intersection of my two worlds, graphic design and crafting. With the advent of Spoonflower, an online fabric printing service, I can create a design and have it in fabric and at my door within a week or so. Pretty cool!
I have always loved fabric, prints and patterns. I study it, swoon over it, and just love it!
HW: Is Spoonflower your first foray into designing fabric?
Liz: Yes, although I have been drawing and creating patterns digitally for paper and other design projects for many years.
HW: In brief, what kind of design background or education do you have?
Liz: I have always made things and I always will.
I’ve been like this for as long as I can remember. When I was a kid I would lay my Crayolas on the floor in rainbow order, and then proceed to color each word in the expired TV Guide a different color, until it was just pages and pages of rainbows.
Education-wise, I have a BA in Advertising from Michigan State University, and post grad, I studied Graphic Design at Portfolio Center in Atlanta.
HW: To date, what’s your favorite fabric design you’ve created?
Liz: They are like children you know, so it is very hard to answer that question.
They all come from different ideas and for different reasons. I am always attracted to one in particular though, it’s called “Dot Dot Dot.” Every time I see it, I think of a million things I would like to do with it.
Dot Dot Dot Fabric:
HW: Will you describe the concept including your starting point of that design?
Liz: The concept was to make something fun and versatile, using an unexpected color palette. I get inspiration from everywhere: Old books, movies, TV, interior design, fashion (especially), art, painting, illustration, etc.
HW: Briefly describe your steps in creating that fabric design:
Liz: I saw a few different designs in an old book of printing characters, and put them together to form a pattern. The original was very complicated and ornate. It was truly a jumping off point for the final design which is much more simple and modern.
Once I was satisfied with the design, I drew it by hand to make it my own. I draw my work, because I like when you can look at a design, painting, quilt, etc. and see the designer’s personality and spirit. That hand drawn detail lends meaning and conveys expression.
Liz’s original drawing for Dot Dot Dot:
HW: How did you come up with the color palette?
Liz: I keep a folder of color palettes that I find in books, magazines, or from photos that I take, etc. My world is in no short supply of color. I surround myself with it, I am inspired by it. A combo of colors I have never seen before can turn a bad day around for me, really, it is that powerful and important to me.
HW: Did you try different color palettes before arriving at this one?
Liz: Not with this specific fabric, I really wanted it to be multicolored and fun. However, I am thinking of reworking many of my designs in a few different color ways. I would like to create a collection of fabrics that work well independently and together at the same time.
HW: What has it been like printing your fabric with Spoonflower?
Liz: The folks at Spoonflower really could not be more accommodating and pleasant to work with. When first beginning, I wasn’t sure what to expect from the color and fabric quality, but I have not been disappointed once.
The Original Digital File before the design was transferred to fabric:
I always order a test swatch to start because you can never be sure how the color from the monitor will transfer to fabric. I have not had many problems, but if I do, Spoonflower has always gone beyond my expectations to correct the situation. I like the service a lot and truly recommend it to anyone that is curious about trying fabric design.
HW: What’s been the most fun?
Liz: Fabric delivery days!! It is a thrill to see that white envelope in the mailbox and to know that my fabric awaits. I also just saw these yesterday and that was pretty fun and exciting. I just love them:
HW: What advice do you have for others who want to give fabric design a whirl?
Liz: Just try it, it’s really fun! It is the best feeling to make something using fabric you have created.
What would be the inspiration for your original fabric design?