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 Lucie Duclos (Snowflower on Spoonflower), the artist behind the oh so lovely Multiflorum entry.
LUCIE: Hi! My name is Lucie, I am an Aquarius, and I live in the coastal town of Port Townsend in the Pacific Northwest, but I am originally from Montreal, Canada. My favorite color right now is aqua (as in Aquarius, just realized that!) but I also love lime green, so I kind of go back and forth.
I always liked to draw, so I went on to study Fine Arts and then Graphic Design at the University of Québec at Montreal. I moved to the San Francisco Bay Area and worked as a graphic designer and illustrator in packaging design and for fashion and home décor magazines. I also owned and designed my own line of children’s clothing named “Zookini”. I have been longing for the Pacific Northwest for quite a while because I find this area very appealing and inspiring. Now that we live in Port Townsend, I try to spend more time drawing and painting and less time on the computer.
What inspired your Fabric8 design?
I was really excited about the theme this year because I love botanical illustrations. I have books and books of them, and I love to expand my visual vocabulary and learn about new plants and flowers. I’ll just grab a piece of paper and start sketching. But when I paint with watercolors, I try to come up with my own imaginary flowers in a whimsical style. When I combined my botanical style line drawings with my free flowing watercolor illustrations, it created an interesting contrast that I liked a lot. I am having a really fun time working on this collection!
What has been the biggest help in promoting your work?
I have a blog where I post things that inspire me and share my new Spoonflower designs and any workshop or particular project I am working on. I posted the prints I made in a Monoprint Collage Workshop I took with Jane Davies and she decided to share it on her blog, and all of a sudden my page views went through the roof! So, I think it’s important to just put your work out there. I made an infinity scarf with my Water Flowers design and every time I wear it, somebody asks me where I got it!
When I participated in the Port Townsend Studio Tour, people really responded to my gift wrap and fabric too! I was surprised how many people didn’t know about Spoonflower, but when they found out what it was, their faces just lit up–it was really funny to watch. It’s actually how I found out about it, too, during the same Studio Tour years ago.
What inspires you now?
Traveling is definitely my main source of inspiration. I take a lot of pictures to draw from and collect little objects along the way from local artisans. This summer, I took a textile printing workshop with Lotta Jansdotter in Åland (between Finland and Sweden) and it was so inspiring to be there and to share this experience with a wonderful group of artists from all over the world.
I also love to play with different medias and techniques from encaustics, to collage, to monoprinting, to watercolor, to acrylics; I will try anything new. Also, it’s a great excuse to buy more art supplies!
What is your best advice for fellow designers?
My best advice for fellow designers would be to get out of your comfort zone and try something new. Take a workshop. Travel to a new place. Get a piece of cheap paper and just play with shapes and textures and don’t worry about the final outcome. Don’t get too attached, just get out of your own way and let it happen. You can always refine later but the first rough draft of something often contains little gems that you can use in your work no matter what. Don’t give up too early. Sometimes I work on something and I am really struggling and I really want to give up but if I stay with it, I find that most of the time I can turn it around into something that I really like. Let your true flavor come through.
Illustrator or Photoshop?
I love Illustrator and I am very comfortable with it, especially to create repeats, but I use Photoshop a lot to manipulate my images. To me, AI and PSD are a team, and I cannot imagine my life without them. They are my business partners!
Cats or dogs?
I used to think I was a cat person, but since I moved to Port Townsend, I met a lot of people that have great dogs with big personality, so I think I just have a soft spot for animals in general.
Stripes or Polka Dots?
Stripes or Polka dots? Yikes, I love both. Do I really need to pick? I can’t do it! How about polka dot stripes?