This year's Fabric8 Contest is well under way, and our community has chosen the 8 finalists who will have a shot at signing with Moda Fabrics to release a beautiful, botanical collection! As finalists work on completing collections based around their winning design, we're getting to know the top 8 a bit better in a series of interviews with each of our finalists! Today we meet Christine Witte, a fixture in our weekly top ten and the creator a lovely Fabric8 entry titled A Field Guide to Wildflowers.
CHRISTINE: Hello! I grew up in Germany, where I recently moved back to after having lived in Canada for almost half my life. I currently live on the beautiful rural outskirts of Frankfurt, surrounded by fields and mountainous forests.
For many years I admired certain companies’ surface design, such as Oilily. One day my old clunky computer died and I decided to splurge on one that could handle graphics well, plus a graphics software package. I only started getting more serious about designing and creating surface patterns once I discovered Spoonflower less than 2 years ago.
What inspired your Fabric8 design?
During our moving preparations, my partner found a book in his stash called A Field Guide to Wildflowers from 1968. I was instantly smitten with the old-school graphics and beautiful illustrations, and I wanted to keep the book as a botanical reference. But it also made me want to create a design with a similar vintage feel. I am very nostalgic and fascinated with anything a few decades old. Add to that the sketch aspect of this year’s theme, and I knew I had to draw something with an evocative touch.
How did you create your Fabric8 design?
My illustrations consist of layers of pen drawings that were scanned in bit by bit and digitally altered as needed in Illustrator – a rather time-consuming process as opposed to straight vector design. I also created a hand-lettered alphabet and pieced together the flower names. Individual textures were added later, and at the end, colours were adjusted before applying a texture in Photoshop that adds a paper-like quality.
What inspires you now?
Inspiration is around me all the time. I could be watching an old movie with an intriguing poster in the background of a scene, but that poster is all I have eyes for. Or an old book cover, house or park. Places I find visually appealing are tremendously inspiring: old towns, lush parks, quirky designs. Here are some fascinating murals I came across in my new neighbourhood. They were painted and tiled on working class apartment buildings in the 1960s, in order to distinguish the buildings for practical reasons. These buildings are connected by another favourite urban feature of mine: the pedestrian footpath, making for quaint and inspiring walks.
Cats or dogs?
Both - and all other sentient beings, too. I’m vegan. :)
What’s been the biggest help in promoting your work?
Spoonflower contests! I’ve been very lucky with my contest placements; I am grateful to Spoonflower for continuing their fun, fair and free contests week after week, and to those who have been voting for my designs.