Textile Design Lab Member Spotlight: Sonya Percival
“I was born to a family of artists, so art is really in my blood, but I am largely self-made. It’s interesting though that no matter what you do, the road always brings you home, which in my case is textile design.”
It is clear that textile design is home for Sonya Percival! Sonya has been an important part of our Textile Design Lab community for years and is incredibly focused and dedicated to her craft. Her creativity and unique approach to design continually floors us and is the reason we have over a dozen of her patterns represented in the Pattern Observer Studio collection.
Take, for instance, this gorgeous collection Sonya developed inspired by different types of pasta. Who would’ve thought pasta would make such a beautiful subject for a pattern collection, but if anyone could do it, it was Sonya!
She writes, “I was aiming to create a textile collection for kids’ apparel that would have simplicity, boldness, distinct character, one of the trends for 2020/21 and it occurred to me that I have never seen any pasta images on kids’ apparel (that I could remember), so Macaroni, all different types of pasta were on my mind. I always start with ink on paper, very old-school approach…I find that I operate best when I have a very limited color palette and when I succeed in capturing the very character/essence of what I am designing… and because I have a daughter I automatically think in terms of a girl’s dress, hence the mockups.”
We as designers know how hard it can be to do simplicity well, but Sonya executes it masterfully, much like the brands she admires and aspires to collaborate with for “their global design thinking, atmosphere creation and overall coolness: Marimekko, Mina Perhonen, Gudrun Sjoden, to name a few.”
As a long-time Textile Design Lab member, we asked Sonya what keeps her engaged in the community and what courses have been most impactful for her: “I keep taking the Sellable Sketch because I really like the structure which helps me dig deeper and discover myself time after time. It’s really amazing how one is not what one expects… very interesting to observe how my style evolves, and note the direction, preferences, etc. So this is a great instrument of analysis and self-discovery, very cleverly developed. The brand workshop has been an eye-opener for me, for this is a part of business I haven’t given enough consideration before. Last but not least, Chelsea’s Challenge is my all-time favorite, very focused collection exercise I never grow tired of.”
Sonya is one of hundreds of surface pattern designers from around the globe who make up our growing Textile Design Lab community. Now more than ever the Lab provides a creative refuge to foster your passion for print and pattern, learn new design skills, and find camaraderie and connection in a supportive online environment. We hope to see you in the Lab!
At Pattern Observer we strive to help you grow your textile design business through our informative articles, interviews, tutorials, workshops and our private design community, The Textile Design Lab.