As regular readers know, we're down to eight finalists in the Fabric8 contest, a competition from Spoonflower and Robert Kaufman Fabrics to discover a handful of the world's best amateur textile designers. Below is the first in our series of Fabric8 finalist profiles, an interview with Lucie Duclos, Snowflower on Spoonflower. Between now and June 7, the day the final voting starts, we'll publish a profile of each of the final eight.
Water Flowers by Snowflower, Lucie Duclos
I love to paint with acrylics and I also do beeswax collage and altered books. I'll really try just about anything! One of my favorite projects was these little paper purses I created for a friend’s birthday party as party favors. I used paper I had around the house so they were all different — vintage clip-on earrings for the clasps, and ribbon or trim for the handle. Those were a hit! (Now you know what to do with those old mismatched earrings!)
I love to take art classes, whether online or at art retreats, to learn new techniques and to be surrounded by creative people (as in the Spoonflower community). I am the happiest when I do art — any kind of art. I love to travel which is where I get a lot of my inspiration. I also really like to sew and I just discovered that I can draw with my sewing machine using the darning foot. That is so much fun to do!
I've always loved fabric as a medium. I love the texture and feel of it and I can spend hours in a fabric store. I took a fabric design class awhile ago where we learned how to design fabric using gouache on paper. That was really fun but very time consuming and hard to do color changes. I really got into fabric design when I joined Spoonflower a few years ago and started entering the contests here and there. I love the themes and the deadlines.
I saw the Fabric8 contest on the Spoonflower site but wasn’t planning to enter because I'd previously been a little afraid of watercolor. But I just took an online art class where we had to use watercolor and draw imaginary flowers and I really enjoyed it. I hadn’t realized before that watercolors could be so playful. Somebody on the Flickr group saw one of the watercolor exercises I posted for the class and said I really should enter the contest, and that’s kind of why I did it.
When I first heard the news that I'd been chosen as a Fabric8 finalist, my husband and I were driving across the country from Port Townsend, Washington to Montreal, Canada, and stopping along the way in little towns and national parks. We were in a little motel in Cody, Wyoming when I got the email from Stephen and I screamed, "NO WAY! NO WAY!" My husband was worried that something went terribly wrong because I was in shock. I just couldn’t believe it. I still can’t believe it! I am floating on air. We had to ask for a late check-out that morning because I was so excited I couldn’t do anything!
I wanted my design to be modern, playful and almost abstract, so I painted a whole bunch of imaginary flowers, scanned them, and used the best ones to create my design. I'm not sure what I want to do for my collection yet but I think I want to explore the water theme a little further.
When I'm not doing creative projects, I really enjoy reading Barbara Kingsolver, especially her early books like The Bean Trees, Animal Dreams and Pigs in Heaven. My favorite movie is still the French movie Amelie. There is an amazing attention to detail and color in that movie, it’s like a piece of art to me. I also enjoy listening to world music especially Brazilian and Gypsy music. There is something about those rhythms that I find very engaging and inspiring.
I love the quirky style of fabric designer, Rachael Taylor. I also admire Lucienne Day and Kim Parker. I love the luscious color palette of painter Flora Bowley, she is definitely on of my favorite artist. I also love glass artist Dale Chihuly. I love his vibrant colors. If you haven’t seen his Bridge of Glass display in Tacoma, Washington, it’s really worth the detour.
I'm also pretty good at playing the spoons. I guess it’s part of my French Canadian heritage.