Project Selvage Finalist Profile: Ine Beerten
Dragon Boy by zesti, Ine Beerten
I live alone in a tiny apartment in Hasselt, a small town in the east of Belgium. I've been living here since I came back from traveling in Asia and Australia. It's a great little town but I'd like to move to Antwerp or Brussels soon, both very interesting cities, or maybe another exciting city.
I've been working as a graphic designer for a large company for nearly five years now, but it's a job where I can't really express myself creatively as much as I would like to. So a little over a year ago I started screen printing and block printing at home, just for fun, to let my creativity flow a bit. My designs quickly progressed to what easily could be fabric designs. Around that time I discovered Spoonflower and decided to give it a try and I'm extremely happy that I did. Not only is it fantastic that I can get fabrics with my own designs, but the SF community is so encouraging and I find it absolutely amazing that people are buying my designs and making all kinds of beautiful things with them.
I love all aspects of the design process to make patterns for fabrics: it's about color, illustration, balance, repeat, and it just feels so good when all these elements come together perfectly in a design. I would absolutely love to do this for a living, but it seems like a difficult field to get into. I haven't found many job vacancies for surface designers yet, especially here in Belgium. So of course when I read about the Project Selvage competition I jumped at the chance. To have a whole collection of fabrics produced by a fantastic company like Michael Miller Fabrics seems like a dream come true!
Of course I make things! I've been sewing a lot lately. My stash of Spoonflower fabrics had slowly been growing bigger and bigger, but I wasn't quite sure what do with them. I always find it a bit scary to cut into beautiful fabrics, worrying that I might ruin them. But a few weeks ago I started making little baby dresses from them and I'm extremely happy with the result. They will make some wonderful presents for some friends and family members who are having babies in the near future. I'm even working on a little collection of dresses to sell to some local shops.
I love movies with not only a good story, but also beautiful cinematography, amazing costumes and that take you to a completely different world, whether fantasy or simply a different culture or time, for example, Where the Wild Things Are, Memoirs of a Geisha, Alice in Wonderland, Le Fabuleux Destin d'Amelie Poulin, O' Brother Where Art Thou?...
There are a few fantastic fabric designers from the last century that really inspire me. For example Tammis Keefe, I love her handkerchiefs, the illustrations and the colors are so great, and Lucienne Day, her designs are more abstract but equally great!
I tried to find a subject for my collection that would be original, a subject for which hardly any other fabric designs exist yet, and also a subject that little boys themselves would really like (and their parents too of course). It also had to be a subject perfect for babies, but also for children just a little bit older, so the things made with the fabric can actually be used longer than just during the baby stage.
So I ended up with “Dragons & Swords” as a subject. A subject that could be quite scary, but with a dreamy forest and beautiful castles, a cute little Dragon Boy who is fighting friendly dragons with his best friend the wooden horse. With the soft blue and green colors the design feels friendly and safe. I love it when there is a little story in fabrics designed for children, it gives it that little extra. I can already imagine bedtime stories being told inspired by the little Dragon Boy on the quilt...
For the other designs of the collection I decided to take elements of my first design, the little wooden horse, the castle, the dragon and the forest and give them their own space to shine. I also tried my best to see what works best color-wise, thinking of how the different fabrics would work together when making a quilt or something else.