Surtex Feature: Michele Pulver Feldman


It was a pleasure to meet Michele Pulver Feldman at the 2018 Surtex and I’m thrilled she is back as an exhibitor! Her work is creative and fresh—a perfect fit for home decor and kitchen products.

Michele is a graduate of Parsons School of Design, and I was curious about her thoughts on design. This is what she shared: “I am a mixed media artist who loves color and is not afraid to use it! I believe in “serendipitous creativity.” Since the beginning of my career, my work has never been tied to a specific artistic style. Instead, I use varied media to create my art. I create artwork that expresses my love of art history but also celebrates and reflects modern life. Inspired by Matisse, Picasso, Monet, Tiffany, and Hockney, the pieces I create are often unexpected and whimsical.”

The application of different mediums is one thing quite distinct about Michele’s work. When I asked her about it, she said, “My vivid hand painted mixed media art has been used in a wide range of applications, including editorial illustration, home furnishings, giftware, and paper goods/greeting cards.”


So inspiring! Speaking of which, Michelle “enjoys living in colorful Southern New England with my family and my dog, who is my studio companion and reminds me every day to go out and the smell flowers, or the snow, depending on the season.

“The inspiration behind the designs is quite simple. I always see hearts and peace signs in nature. One day I was drawing a pineapple and I realized there were so many inverted peace signs in its skin. From there, I looked at other fruit to see what else I could see. I used a variety of techniques, gouache, watercolor, and paper cuts.”

When asked about this year’s plans for presenting at Surtex, Michelle said, “I am bringing a wide variety of work. I have been creating focal point illustrations for my greeting card line for many years, so I will have a mixture of focal point illustrations and my new surface texture designs. Showing at Surtex is a wonderful way to expand my horizons. After working in the stationery market for many years, I want to try to sell my work in different markets. There’s no better place than Surtex to begin this process!”

Remember, this year’s Surtex is February 3-6, 2019, at the Javits Center in New York City. Make sure you stop by Michele Pulver Feldman’s Booth #3980 to enjoy her amazing work. If you can’t make it to the show or want to see more of her great work, visit her website.

Sarah Von Dreele


At last year’s Surtex, I saw Sarah Von Dreele’s work and instantly fell in love with her lovely watercolors. They are light, airy, dreamlike, and gorgeous!

When it comes to training and experiences, Sarah shared this with us: “I studied Graphic Design at Rhode Island School of Design and have been a creative director for various design firms, including my own brand consultancy, onethread design, since 2003. Three years ago, I began painting in gouache as a counterpoint to my corporate career. About 800 paintings later…. here we are!”


There is clearly so much inspiration in Sarah’s work and we wanted to know how she connected with that. She says, “While spending the summer at our beach cottage, my daughter and I spent a lot of time along the water. Living on a barrier island several miles out to sea, I am aware of sudden and subtle shifts in landscape, be it a shift in the wind, the arrival of fall light, or an approaching storm line. Many of the pieces presented this year reflect those observations.

“Additionally, this year’s body of work encompasses a greater focus on modern abstraction and fluidity. While I continue to explore graphic form and patterns inherent in nature, the majority of the collection at Surtex includes simpler geometric repetitions and softer color palettes.”


Sarah’s work promises to be just as amazing this year! Remember, this year’s Surtex is February 3-6, 2019, at the Javits Center in New York City. Make sure you take the time to visit Booth #3775 so you can see Sarah Von Dreele’s work. If you want to see more work before or after the show, you can also visit her Instagram page.

Surtex Feature: Katy Dika


Something distinct you’ll notice about Katy’s work is her beautiful artistic style which is expressed through wonderful colorways and yummy painterly textures. The Surtex crowd is going to love it!

Katy Dika is a New England based surface and soft goods designer who trained at the Rhode Island School of Design, where she earned a BA from the Apparel Design Department. She also teaches there to this day and is the curator for the Edna Lawrence Nature Lab, a Natural History Museum at the school.

Her influences for her design work are drawn from many areas, including mid-century surface design, as well as patterns that occur in nature. Katy has long been fascinated by insects. One memory she shared with us is this: “As a young girl in the woods of Pennsylvania, where the Appalachian Trail ran through my backyard, I learned to morph an initial fear of insects and spiders into a healthy lifelong curiosity. Today, this has passed down to my young daughter.”


One thing that has captured our attention is Katy’s current body of work, which is titled #itscomplicated. We asked her about her inspiration for this line and she shared, “This body of work reflects back to my travels in Australia and New Zealand in 2003 and 2004 as a Thomas J. Watson fellow. During this time, I studied with entomologists across both countries, diving deeply into topics such as sexually deceptive orchids and the wasps they trick into “mating” with them, and tiny micro Lepidoptera— moths whose larvae create gorgeous patterns on the leaves they feed on.” We can see these topics visualized in Katy’s pleasing repeating patterns, which offer more than aesthetic appeal alone. They give us a peak into the complex lives of insects and the plants they love.


At this year’s Surtex, Katy will be bringing tropical fruit, mushrooms, moths, butterflies, beetles, eggs, moons, and more! We asked Katy about her thoughts regarding her first time showing at Surtex. She said, “In my past life I used to buy art at Surtex, Printsource, and Premierevision. I’m super excited to be on the other side of the table this year!”

Remember, this year’s Surtex is February 3-6, 2019, at the Javits Center in New York City. Make sure you stop by Katy Dika’s Booth #3278 to enjoy her amazing talents. If you can’t make it to the show or crave seeing more of her work, you can also visit  her website.

Surtex Feature: Nicole Miller


It was easy for me to be drawn in to Nicole Miller’s subtle color palette, beautiful watercolor illustrations, and distinct style. They really give her an edge for standing apart.

When asked how her journey developed, Nicole shared: “I grew up drawing and painting on anything, constantly dreaming up my perfect garden, and spending hours baking all sorts of cookies and treats. Creating has always brought so much peace to me.


“After I graduated from a small Christian school, I went to my hometown community college in Sarasota/Bradenton, Florida, where I learned all about graphic design and art. My last semester of college I interned with Shannon Kirsten, where she taught me so many valuable skills and lessons. I loved working in her studio and learning from her, and once I was done with college, I realized I wanted to work for myself.”

We had to know, why was working for herself so important to do right away? Nicole said, “There’s a freedom in being able to create artwork for other people to enjoy and I couldn’t wait to get started. In the Spring of 2018 I created my business, Cole Dawn Designs. Since then, I have had the opportunity to create wedding invitations, a line of greeting cards, watercolor art prints, custom projects, and a line of watercolor patterns I will be showing at Surtex!”


A lot of Nicole’s work is watercolor, and we wondered why. She said, “I mainly use watercolor to design my prints and patterns. I’ve included some patterns, paintings in progress, art prints, fabric patterns, custom cards for a client, and me in my little studio I like to call my home. At this year’s Surtex I will be bringing a variety of patterns, most of all which are watercolor and floral. There are some monochromatic patterns, succulents and cacti, florals and polka dots, and animal inspired patterns, as well.”

It’s obvious Nicole’s been very busy, to which she adds, “Honestly, my goal this year is to never stop creating, even if it is just for myself. Sometimes it’s surprising what happens when you least expect it.”

Remember, this year’s Surtex is February 3-6, 2019, at the Javits Center in New York City. Make sure you stop by Nicole Miller’s Booth #4081 to enjoy her beautiful work. If you want to view more of her work before or after the show, visit her Instagram page.

Surtex Feature: Pink Light Studio


Today we are honored to feature the work of the Pink Light Studio. This studio is one of the top art licensing agencies in this business. Their studio represents a celebration of life, with rich stories, gorgeous florals, and interesting stories created through illustrations.

When asked to describe what Pink Light Studio does, Mary Beth Freet explained: “Pink Light Studio is a licensing and design agency. We license, sell, and work on custom projects. We represent 30 AMAZING designers from around the world and we look forward to helping your products SHINE!”


What type of patterns do they work with most? This is what they shared: “Pattern and illustrations for all seasons! Baby, Juvenile, Tween, Christmas, Spring, Valentine’s Day, Mother’s Day, Father’s Day, Birthday, Wedding, Nautical, Lake and Lodge, Western, Halloween, Fall Harvest, and more!


Remember, this year’s Surtex is February 3-6, 2019, at the Javits Center in New York City. Make sure you take the time to visit Booth #3479 so you can see Pink Light Studios amazing work. If you want to see more work before or after the show, you can also visit their website.

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At Pattern Observer we strive to help you grow your textile design business through our informative articles, interviews, tutorials, workshops and private design community, The Textile Design Lab.