We are in the home stretch of this year's Fabric8 Contest! Over the past few weeks, our 8 finalists have been busily working on their botanical sketchbook-inspired collections for a shot at signing with Moda Fabrics, and we've been getting to know each of them a bit more in a series of interviews (head here to see them all!). To close out the series, we're catching up with Ceri Staziker (Cerigwen on Spoonflower), the Fabric8 veteran behind the beautiful Edith's Garden entry.
CERI: I’m a home bird — born and brought up in Wales. Even though I love travelling and have lived abroad, I’m happiest here in this beautiful little country with its rugged coastline and mountainous scenery. I live with my husband and ten-year-old daughter in a rural village just outside our capital city of Cardiff. I get the best of both worlds!
I enjoy sewing, all kinds of crafts, and most days (UK weather permitting) I love to get outside to walk and take photographs, either in the countryside immediately outside my front door, or down to the beaches where we have coastal paths with the most amazing views.
My star sign is Aquarius (I have no idea if I am a typical Aquarian!) and my favourite colour, hands down, is green.
How did you get started in design? Is this your full-time gig?
My father (who was a talented amateur painter) always encouraged me with any artistic interests I had, and when I was at school I wanted to be an architect. Unfortunately I turned out to be pretty rubbish at math and physics so had to revise my ideas. I did a degree in Typography & Graphic Communication at the University of Reading and have enjoyed working as a graphic designer ever since. I’ve always sewn and loved fabric, and wanted to be able to design some for my own use. When I discovered Spoonflower and taught myself how to create repeat patterns, I never looked back. I would love to make it more than a hobby one day.
What inspired your Fabric8 design?
I was given a copy of The Country Diary of an Edwardian Lady when I was about 8 or 9. The book was a beautiful facsimile of Edith Holden’s nature diary for 1906 and I loved it. Edith was an artist and teacher but she tragically drowned in the river Thames while collecting flowers on the riverbank at Kew Gardens. The book was filled with delicate watercolour paintings of the plants and creatures Edith observed and wrote about every day. It was a publishing phenomenon, and I remember seeing Edith’s flower paintings reproduced on everything from calendars to curtains over the next few years. I don’t believe the book is still in print but I’m sure it would be possible to pick one up second hand quite easily. When the theme for this year’s contest was announced, I thought about the diary immediately. I decided to make a modern design inspired by my own garden and nature walks, as a kind of tribute to Edith.
What has been the biggest help in promoting your work?
Entering the Spoonflower weekly challenges and getting to know the creative community here has helped no end in getting my work seen. I also enjoy engaging with other designers and crafty people on Instagram.
What is your best advice for fellow designers?
Keep doing what you love and perfecting your technique. Ask for advice and opinions from those you admire, and listen to what they have to say (thank you Ottomanbrim and PennyCandy). We never stop learning and improving.
What inspires you now?
My walks, the online creative community, and travelling.
Illustrator or Photoshop?
Both, but the control freak in me loves the endless tweaking opportunities I get from designs created with Illustrator.
Cats or dogs?
I have a soft spot for cats.
Stripes or Polka Dots?
This is an impossible question! Spots. No, stripes. SPOTS!