Welcome to the Kate Spain blog hop, a month-long celebration of the beautiful Kate Spain and her equally as beautiful designs and fabric! We began our interview with Kate Spain yesterday, and we’re concluding today!
No matter what I’m designing for, I generally begin my creative process with a pencil and piece of paper. There is spontaneous energy, motion and emotion in the process of drawing that has become a focal part of my personal style. I always try to make sure that the essence of my hand can be seen in the design even when it’s finished. So very few of my designs are symmetrical, many are off-center with repeating elements that are not often predictable. I scan my sketches into my computer and digitally interpret them — also in a very spontaneous way. Here’s a recent sketch that became part of a new collection you’ll see down the road a ways:
To me, color is one of the most important parts of any design whether it’s on fabric, tableware, rugs or anywhere. All trends aside, colors are such visceral things and you can’t help but react to them in some way. During my sketching stage, I’ll start out by using colored pencils that evoke the overall feeling of what I’d like the fabric collection to be as a whole. Do I want it to be vibrant and bright? or more sophisticated? or subdued and soothing? When I get to the computer stage, I pick Pantone colors as a starting point for working the designs into repeats. Nothing is set in stone at this stage because while colors can look beautiful in a paint-chip kind of arrangement, they might not interact very harmoniously – so I’m constantly shifting and fine-tuning the hues as I work with them. It’s not often that the end-results have much relation to do with the initial images I may have had in mind, but instead it’s through the process of responding to what is happening visually that a color palette finally emerges. My only two fabric lines that remained in the same colors from start to finish were Fandango and Terrain.
There is a distinct journey of colours and styles throughout your different fabric lines that keeps us wanting more. Is this a conscious decision to maintain continuity, or is it the natural result of growth and time?
Oh, it’s definitely not been a conscious decision! When I first started to design fabric for Moda, I was so new and so unsure of the whole process. For anyone who has followed my collections from Verna to Sunnyside, they may not know it, but they have also been following my personal journey from trying to develop a clearer sense of my design style to feeling more comfortable in getting to know who I am as a designer. Whenever I complete a fabric collection, or any intense design project, I always feel like I’m “done” but never “finished”. The process is so consuming and exciting that I usually have more ideas than I have time to realize them. So perhaps the continuity you refer to comes from the natural way that one collection begins before the other is completed. And yes, I admit that sometimes I fall in love with certain colors (eh hem, orange) that I’ll bring forward into a new collection, so there’s definitely an emerging continuity because of that too. I’m just really happy and grateful that people have been excited enough to join me on this amazing creative adventure.
How do you measure your success as a designer? What gives you a sense of achievement?
If I can wake up every day with happiness in my heart and am able to continue to do what I love, that’s all the success I need. If I am able to make other people happy through my designs, well, that’s where I feel I’ve achieved something significant. And I will continue to do my very best to make happiness visible.
Thank you once again, Kate, for your time! You have certainly made many a fabric-lover happy with your colours and designs!
Remember, Kate will be picking some questions from you to answer at the end of the month! Leave your questions on YESTERDAY’S POST for her to choose from. Plus today, we start visiting bloggers around the world to see what gorgeous projects they have made from Kate Spain’s fabric! So head on over to Jane at QuiltJane to some of what she’s made from Kate Spain fabric.
And don’t forget, come back here Friday June 14th to submit your favourite Kate Spain project made before the blog hop, and then anything you make this month from Kate Spain fabric can be linked up Friday June 28th! Lots of fabulous prizes to be awarded thanks to our fabulous sponsors.