Today I am proud to feature a Pattern Observer alumnus, Molly Fitzpatrick. I met Molly about five years ago in one of our marketing workshops. Since that time, it has been a joy to see all that she has accomplished.
Molly Fitzpatrick is the Founder and Creative Director of DittoHouse – modern, bold textiles for the happy modern house. She lives and works in Cleveland, OH and has designed textiles for a wide variety of clients in a number of markets, including major airlines, home furnishings, and baby accessories. Her work has been featured in Dwell, Interior Design Magazine, Architectural Digest Mexico, and Design Milk, among others. Recently, Molly’s work was included in Dwell Magazine’s The Best of New York Design Week.
When you ask Molly about her work she lights up: “I am endlessly inspired by the Op Art movement; I love emoji language and Inuit printmaking. I have a true enjoyment of patterns and love all the rhythms and repeats I see, hear, and feel in my surroundings and myself. I aim to design with this appreciation in celebration.”
Molly studied textiles at the Cleveland Institute of Art and worked in a textile mill where she learned all about textile production and design. She began working as a textile design consultant after she left the mill and then launched DittoHouse, her brand of home textiles.
I’m confident that you’ll love the Q&A that I had with Molly.
What inspired you to start DittoHouse?
When I had my son Malachi in 2014, I wanted to make everything so special for him. I designed a graphic, as well as a cute black and white polar bear blanket and put a picture of my new baby laying on it on social media. So many people wrote me to ask where I got the blanket from that I thought ah-ha! A year later, when Malachi turned one, I launched my first collection of bold graphic blankets and pillow covers that feature textile designs that are engaging and interesting; designs that will look at home in any modern house!
With my background being in textile manufacturing, it was important to me to make my products ethically. I found a family run mill here in America that could work with me to make beautiful products. To date, I have released 5 collections since my 2015 launch and am working on a new collection to release early next year.
What has been the most challenging aspect of having your own product line?
My product line came as the third facet of my business, after my existing textile design consulting, and textile design licensing businesses, so there was so much to learn! Figuring out everything from shipping internationally to selling wholesale to marketing has been interesting, but the most challenging aspect for me is staying organized. I have many projects in motion and need to meet tight deadlines while dealing with the everyday details of owning a product based business—like packing and shipping orders and answering emails.
How do most of your clients find you? How are you currently marketing your client services?
Most of my clients and customers find me on Instagram, which is one of my strongest marketing tools. Not only do customers of my product line find me there, but the platform is also wonderful to find like-minded brands to collaborate with on custom textile designs. I also delight in any opportunity to be featured on blogs and in magazines to get more eyes on my products! I take many different photos of my products every few months so that I always have fresh content to share on social media, and with blogs and magazines.
You can see more of Molly’s beautiful work at http://www.dittohouse.com/ and http://mollyfitzpatrickstudio.com/.
Pattern by Molly Vizesi
I confess, I am sooo excited to dive into the holiday season, but I am trying my best to live in the moment and enjoy this downtime before the festivities begin. That’s why this week we are taking the time to celebrate Fall – in all its glory – both here and on the blog and social media. I have chosen a stunning collection of Fall inspired patterns from our #patternobserver feed and I am excited to share them with you throughout the week.
I really love this pattern by Molly Vizesi. The yellow and orange motifs are classic fall colors, however, the addition of the soft pinks and blues make this a more memorable colorway. The layering and overlapping of motifs also brings such a nice energy to the pattern.
Pattern by Jenny Edwards
I was also drawn to the color palette and layering of motifs in this pattern from Jenny Edwards. The play between the orange, pink, red, and green is so intriguing. In this photo, she is showing us a doodled, tropical print, which started on the iPad and later became a featured fabric swatch for her Surtex booth.
Illustration by Kate Blairstone
This show stopper of an illustration is by Kate Blairstone. Kate is an Illustrator, Wallpaper Designer, Colorist, and Mom based in Portland, Oregon. The luscious color palette was the first thing to catch my eye, but I was really attracted to the bold scale and illustration style of these Fall-inspired motifs. The usage of the various motifs and colors that are so well balanced also brings a lovely movement to the layout.
Pattern by Amanda Kay
Amanda Kay is a lovely illustrator who I just started following on Instagram. Her illustrations and patterns are slightly abstract and heavily detailed and layered with various motifs, marks, and textures. I was drawn to the color palette that she used and the added details, which give the pattern a slightly more festive holiday vibe.
There I go again…back to the holidays. I just can’t help myself, I am ready for them! If you want to shake up your design process and bring new sources of inspiration to your work I encourage you to get started with our free 5-Day Design Shake Up. Get started here.
Patterns by Sophia Frances
This week’s Repeat Downbeat is inspired by the final product that so many of us textile and surface pattern designer’s spend hours envisioning—fabric yardage. As we design our patterns it is hard not to envision the yards and yards of printed fabrics that will someday be turned into a beautiful product that will bring joy to someone’s life, inspire, or delight.
I love seeing yards and yards of patterns. By this time, there has already been endless time and energy invested into the design by the textile designer and printer, but there are still questions about what will become of the yardage. Will it be a dress that’s worn on the first day of school? Or maybe a quilt that gets passed down for generations?
This week I am excited to share a few photographs of fabric yardage that were recently shared in our #patternobserver Instagram feed. What future products or uses do you see for these fabrics? I see endless potential!
Pattern collection by Krista Engler
The first photo to catch my eye was this collection by designer Sophia Frances. Sophia is a London-based surface pattern designer who designs bold and colorful fabric collections and stylish homeware products. Sophia’s painterly designs are created using watercolors and inks. Her signature style is colorful, confident, and has intricate kaleidoscopic details. When I saw this collection I was struck by the simple motifs paired with the sophisticated use of texture and color. Each pattern is simply stunning and I can see these patterns being used in a variety of home decor products.
I was then delighted to find this amazing collection by Krista Engler. Krista Engler is a designer and artist living and working in Charleston, SC. I love the powerful story that this collection tells, despite the fact that they all appear to be two color patterns. It’s tempting to keep adding more and more colors to our work, but I think this is a great example of a strong collection that uses colors in a minimal way. Krista will soon be selling this collection on fabric by the yard, pillows, towels, and more so keep an eye for more to come!
Pillows by Sue Henry
This magical piece is by Artist Sue Henry. Sue opened her first home goods business after years of working as a ceramic artist building life-size (and larger) figurative work and fountains in California. I was drawn to the rich and regal color palette used in the pattern, which has been sewn into a pillow. The combination of the stamped texture with the thick and textural embroidery make me want to scoop up yards and yards of this fabric and run away to create a magical space in my home.
If you are a fan of hand crafted textiles in yummy colorways, I highly recommend following Yetunde Rodriguez.
Pattern by Yaytoonday
Yetunde is a prolific designer who creates a seemingly never-ending supply of prints, patterns, and printed accessories. And I love them all! Her work has such a wonderful energy and rhythm to it and it is uplifting in a subtle and gentle way.
Thanks to all of these designers for sharing their work and process with us on Instagram. I’m curious, do you think about the final product as you are designing your patterns? In the Textile Design Lab we try to think about the final product when we feel overwhelmed by too many design ideas, or when we are lacking direction and don’t know how to get started. It’s a great way to break out of design overwhelm and get inspired. I look forward to reading what you envision as you are working through the design process in the comments below.
I discovered Sable&Soul’s work on Instagram a month or so ago and instantly fell in love with the gorgeous textiles and emotive brand that Hayley McCrirrick & Bronagh Tesch have developed. Hayley met Bronagh when their creative paths crossed one year ago.
“Through working together and sharing ideas we began to realize our taste in style and artistic capabilities were closely linked. This prompted the birth of our brand Sable&Soul, with which we want to create timeless, distinctive home textiles, reflective of our partnership. Meeting someone with whom you can work so closely and creatively with has allowed us both to grow and become more confident in where we want Sable&Soul to go and also who we want to be as designer makers.”
The images included in this post “feature the natural, earthy aesthetic that runs throughout all of the designs and branding of Sable&Soul. The pieces are created from combining dyeing and screen printing methods, working on laundered Irish Linen – meaning the handle of the fabric is very soft with great drape.”
Hayley is often inspired by “the materials I use, whether it’s leather, linen or fibre paper. I inspect the surface of the raw materials and look at ways to add subtle texture and colour through printing, painting, stitching and dye methods. All the pieces are completely unique, with the base cloth looked upon almost like an art canvas, which is built upon with surface pattern.”
Sable&Soul is currently working on the launch of their first online collection, but I encourage you to follow their journey on Instagram.
Wishing you much creativity and inspiration—Michelle
Sketchbook pic by Julz Nally
One of the best ways to grow as a designer is to continually sketch, experiment with new design processes, and have fun with your work. Finalized patterns are beautiful, but a designer’s process and creative journey is what I find to be truly inspirational. Being able to take a peek into a designer’s sketchbook, or getting a glimpse into an artist’s studio or process, is magical. Luckily for me, many talented designers shared these visual gems with us last week. Here are some of my favorite sketchbook and process shots from our #patternobserver Instagram feed.
This sketchbook shot from Julz Nally caught my eye immediately. The bright and bold background motifs really grab your attention, but the detailed linework adds a really nice playful touch to the design. If you check out Julz’s Instagram feed you will see that she has a knack for these really bold, colorful patterns, which she creates with Prismacolor markers. I haven’t used Prismacolor markers since college and I think it might be time to grab a couple and start playing!
A peek into the creative process of Tania Rodamilan
Take a look at this shot from Tania Rodamilan, a jewelry designer and maker out of Chicago, Il.. Similarly to Julz’s work, Tania has used bright colors in the background with black and linework, and texture in the foreground. I love the contrast between these two pieces she has highlighted. The bear is bold, textural, and heavy, while the black leaf is wonderfully delicate and seems light as a feather. If you have been feeling a little stuck in your design process, playing with stamps and layering of motifs and textures might be a fun technique to try.
Sketchbook pic by Cathy Cosgrove
Speaking of layers and textures, I am smitten with this completely gorgeous pattern by Cathy Cosgrove. Cathy shared that it was created “…using an original deli paper stencil and acrylic paint with water. I scraped the paint on to the journal using a credit card and let it dry. Then I applied white paint over the stencil with a sponge to achieve the hard edges.” The movement of the motifs and the layout are a perfect complement to the layers upon layers of colors that were created using this unique technique. As Cathy states in her bio: “I experience art as play. If it’s not a whole lot of fun, I won’t do it!” I believe this wonderful philosophy really comes through in her unique work.
Process pic from Katrin Meiller
This idea of play and experimentation continues into this piece by Katrin Meiller. Katrin consistently shares images of her beautiful sketches, painting experiments, and inspirational finds with her Instagram followers. I love the way that she thinks about her work and sees the big picture of her brand. She seems to be constantly exploring what the Katrin Meiller brand represents and it is a wonderful journey to watch.
Last but not least, we have this lovely sketchbook shot from Tonia Dee. I found this piece in our #patternobservershakeup feed, which is a part of our 5-day Design Shake-up Challenge. I was really drawn to the painterly wash in the jug motifs, which are then made stronger by the overlaid details and bolder leaf motifs.
Sketchbook pic from Tonia Dee
Tonia was inspired to create this pattern after having a conversation with her 3 year old son about how a jug is different than a jar. I love this idea of taking pattern inspiration from a conversation. What conversation have you recently had that might inspire your next pattern?
Without the proper creative explorations our ideas and visions fall flat, and we eventually grow uninspired by our process and final work. In our 5-Day Design Shake-up Challenge, I share the exercises and practices I use to stay creative. Even when life is hectic and busy with work, children, errands, and all the rest, the creative habits and techniques I share in the challenge keep me inspired and creative. I know they will do the same for you! Get started here.