My transition from practicing Interior Designer and Showroom owner to writer, illustrator and product designer has not been long by industry standards ( I've been working on it for a little over three years now) but it sometimes seems like a eternity to me.
The financial payoff is still a ways off in the future and I have had to considerably scale back my lifestyle. There have been many days and late nights spent drawing when I have questioned my decision to switch gears and work at my new goals full time.
On the other hand, my new career has brought me friendships and associations that I would never have developed if I had not made the decisions that I did. It has also brought me fantastic opportunities that I never dreamed would be available to me.
As I was drawing the treatments for my first book it quickly became apparent to me that it would require me to design unique patterns and color schemes for each drawing.
This was no easy task and was probably the most time consuming step of the process but one that I also found very gratifying.
For each design I drew a fabric pattern and chose a color palette that I would have used if I where specifying the treatment in real life. I did not want to use plain colors or repeat motifs. I wanted the selections for each design to reflect its personality.
In my original designs I tend to use varying scales of pattern with large motifs highlighted by the shape of the treatment.
It is not uncommon for me to use five or six different fabric in one treatment if it is appropriate for the design.
Anyway, apparently my hard work and attention to detail did not go unnoticed! ( take this as a lesson kids - always do your absolute best and good things will come of it).
DRUMROLL PLEASE !!!!!! I have been given a fabulous opportunity to design a signature line of fabrics for a leading manufacturer of custom, print to order fabrics, Adaptive Textiles.
Adaptive Textiles was started by the talented husband & wife team of Larry and Jeanelle Dech. Jeanelle, herself an interior designer, master workroom technician, slip cover magician, industry innovator and educator, saw the substantial benefits of print on demand fabric production and was among the first to invest in the state of the art technology.
This method of printing is eco-friendly and is being embraced by "green" designers around the world because of it's no-water process and zero ink waste. ( honestly I don't know that much about fabric production but I plan to give myself a crash course - I'll share the highlights with you later.)
Designs can be printed on a wide number of different ground cloths giving you flexibility in fiber content, weave, durability, hand of the fabric, drapability, and finish. Their services are available to anyone who wants custom printed fabric in small runs. You can create your own designs or a complete private label collection.
My signature fabric designs ( that sounds so cool!!! ) will be available for use with the Jackie Von Tobel modules of Minutes Matter Studio which is anticipated for release beginning in March! I will be documenting the entire process here and how the fabrics will be integrated into the Studio modules.
To say that I am excited is a vast understatement. I am over the moon and I can't wait to get going. The plan is to introduce the first patterns of the collection at The International Window Fashions Expo in Atlanta in May so if you're in the area come on over - the drinks will be on me!
The success of my book and all of the subsequent opportunities that have come my way are all the result of a few very important people who have taken time from their busy lives and businesses to look at my work, give me advise and encouragement and welcome me into their worlds. Words cannot express my gratitude to: Christopher Robbins, Suzanne Taylor, my editor Madge, and everyone else at Gibbs-Smith, Debbie & Casey Green and everyone at Minutes Matter & Studio, Beth Hodges, Jeanelle Dech at Adaptive Textiles, Deb Barrett, Margie Nance, Susan Schurz, Joan Willis, Lavelle Pindler, M'Fay, Grace McNamara, Bruce Knott, Shannon Flaherty, Nika Stewart, Pate-Meadows, and the rest of the design and blogging community that I have come to know and love. (Sorry I'm getting sappy!)
Also, I can't forget the fam-dam-ily, My awesome and very handsome man of the house Arnie, my two sons - JT & Geordie, and the resident princess, Angelica. Oh yeah - the two most spoiled dogs in the world Peaunt & Marty.
I hope that the process will make for some interesting posts! Can't wait to see how it all turns out.