FriYAY at last, dear ones!
HollyAnne, Sr. is in town this weekend for the first time since Jem was still a cute little potato, and I'm practically beside myself. It feels like she should be here all the time. She's such a wonderful part of our family, and I'm pleased as punch for the boys to be around her for a few days.
As promised, I have another wonderful maker to share with you today-- and how perfect is it that I interviewed Stacie Bloomfield of Gingiber who designed the stunning Thicket fabric that I used in the Here Comes the Sun Quilt that I shared about last week??
I first heard about Stacie through Paige Meredith's Hear Motherhood podcast and something about her voice and spirit drew me in. Then, when I looked up her work, honestly, I fell head over heels in love. Stacie is talented, skilled, and dedicated as well as authentic, charming, and witty. I hope you enjoy learning a little more about her-- and I recommend Paige's interview with her as well!
1) Tell us a little about yourself-- your family, other hobbies, when you started creating, and your favorite mediums. Did you draw a lot as a child? Do you have any formal art education?
My name is Stacie Bloomfield, and I have called Springdale, AR home since 2008. That is also the year that my husband began his PhD in Mathematics, and our first child was born! I love to draw. I would say I began as a doodler, drawing pictures on napkins and church bulletins as a child. I entered art contests during grade school, designed shirts for our high school, and then studied design and fine arts at a liberal arts college in Springfield, MO. My favorite mediums are pen and ink, along with vector art. I have a strong desire this year to carve out some time to develop my embarrassingly low skill of painting. When I am not working, I watch a lot of TV and occasionally cook! Oh, and if coffee is a hobby, I do coffee ;)
(Note from HA: Coffee is definitely a hobby. It is also one of my hobbies. Also, when the time is right, I really would love to see your paintings!)
2) What inspires your drawings day to day? Are there artists and makers whose work you find inspiring?
What inspires me? Well, animals and textures inspire me. Patterns, textiles, just anything that you can find beauty in. As I child I would sketch the shapes of shadows on the floor or walls. I feel like there is this balance daily between creating art that sells, and also maintaining my unique voice. I do feel inspired by other's work that are far more cohesive than mine. I love Ashley Goldberg, Leah Duncan, Emily Martin, the list could go on!
3) I seem to remember that you stitched all the Gingiber pillows yourself in the beginning. When did you learn to sew? What do you like to sew? How is your creative process with sewing different from or similar to your creative process with drawing?
Well, I did used to sew all of those pillows myself in my living room. I have sewn thousands of them. About 3 years ago, I hired some help with the sewing via local seamstresses. Now, I only sew when I have the time or for a project that is purely for enjoyment. I am a largely self taught seamstress. I been sewing decorative pillows, toys, and clothing since I was about 10 years old. I used to make these little beanie baby types of toys (drafting the patterns from my own stuffed animals) and fill them with rice since we didn't have any polyfil around! With sewing, I am not a professional by any means, but I've always been able to imagine a finished piece in my head, and cut the fabric and sew it to fit. It feels like a giant puzzle that I already know how to finish. I have NEVER sewn from someone else's pattern!
(From HA: I wish my brain worked in 3D like this!! Do you still have any of those toys? Sounds like a perfect #tbt!)
4) Thicket, your first fabric line with Moda, just shipped out. How did that collaboration come about? Are there more lines coming? What did you learn about textile design that you didn't expect?
Well, YES! More lines are coming out! I am so excited to do some colorful lines with Moda. Thicket has been such a success and I am so proud of it. I must say, Moda is AMAZING to work with. They saw my work and the crossover potential between my indie audience and the quilting world. I actually approached Moda myself. A friend of mine currently works with them and was kind enough to pass along my information to them. So, when I sent the email to Cheryl at Moda, she was so kind and encouraging! She had the vision for starting with a Black and White line based on my black and white screen-printed products. It just grew from there. Seeing all of my line work expanded into this medium was just a dream!
(From HA: YAY! Also, speaking of approaching Moda, in another interview, you referred to yourself as basically the queen of cold calls. That is some of the best creative advice I've ever heard in my life. And, I'm thrilled to corroborate that it works! I've received so many fabulous YES's recently!)
5) As an artist who works with both paper and fabrics, how do you think visual artists and quilters would benefit from increased interdisciplinary conversation? How do you see these two arts as similar and different?
I see both of these mediums as means of visual communication. For instance, my brand, Gingiber, is definitely the same style whether on paper or on fabric. I feel, though, where as my paper-goods may be more decorative or given as gifts, the fabric is something that is very utilitarian and can be used creatively by whomever is holding it. And, it feels like a great privilege to be a small part of someone's personal sewing project.
(From HA: I love this-- visual communication. I want to be part of artists of all mediums learning how to listen to one another better, and I see brands like Gingiber being a key part of that because artists like you, Stacie, are "multilingual" which is so very amazing and important!)
6) What word of advice would you give to other creatives as they develop their style and discover what inspires them?
I would say that these things, developing your voice and style, take time. I have been illustrating for nearly 8 years, and it only gets stronger as I have more time to dive into what I am doing. I would say, be patient if you want to have a successful line of projects or a great portfolio. So much of this business is building relationships and nurturing what you have. Take the time to learn your skill, and be the best at what you can do.
Stacie-- Thank you! I know you are incredibly busy with your kiddos and hubby and shop and art! You are an inspiration to many people, but I think you hold a special place in the hearts of us mamas who love watching your journey of integrated, beautiful, messy motherhood and making. You do it so well and honestly and delightfully. I enjoy following along!
All of the images in this blog are from Stacie's Instagram, which you should definitely follow @Gingiber. You can find me on Instagram @stringandstory.
Finally, as you head into the weekend, I hope creativity is on your schedule! I'd like to give you some quilting tips for your weekend. "3 Easy Tips to Improve Your Free Motion Quilting" is a free PDF to jump start your journey to quilt with confidence!
Happy Weekending, my friends!