Today's Fabric8 finalist interview introduces Brooklyn-based designer Cody Scarborough. Stay tuned to hear from the last four of our eight finalists before voting on their final Cosmic Voyage-themed fabric collections next week!
My design process is a little bit different every time I start a new project. Sometimes I have a very clear mental image of what I want to produce. But most of the time it starts with only a seed of an idea that I let evolve as I go. I usually have so many ideas crowding my thoughts that I can never hope to realize them all! Sometimes instead of sketching out my plans, I’ll write down a verbal description of what I’m thinking because it’s faster than drawing.
Inspiration usually finds me in the form of a color scheme. I love browsing design blogs, Pinterest and Etsy for unusual and exciting color combinations that I collect as little color palettes in Photoshop. Just a walk around a diverse city like New York spurs my creativity, too. I feel incredibly lucky to live in Brooklyn!
How did you come up with your Fabric8 design?
I’m a huge Star Trek fan, so this year’s Fabric8 theme, Cosmic Voyage, was a fun one to participate in. For my design, “Distant Galaxy”, I wanted to do something playful and vibrant. I thought about the bold colors of a nebula and the interesting textures of planetary surfaces. I tried to arrange the motifs in a way that would feel like they were moving to give the design some rhythm.
What's your favorite art medium?
I do my main design work in Adobe Photoshop and Illustrator, incorporating some hand-drawn or painted elements as well. Sometimes a texture overlay in a digital design can really bring the art to life.
Who is one of your favorite visual artists, textile or otherwise, and why?
There are so many artists I admire. I’ve always been fascinated with Chuck Close’s painted portraits. Each colorful “pixel” of his paintings is a work of art in itself. I’m fond of quirky illustrations by artists like Oliver Jeffers, Sarah Walsh, Hsinping Pan, Suzy Ultman and Yunmee Kyong. I’ve always loved the folk arts of Mexico, too. You can’t help but feel joyful when you see the mixture of all those bold colors and patterns.
If you could meet any character from a film, who would it be?
Since I’m a Trekkie, if I could meet any film or TV character it would probably be someone aboard the many Enterprises, Voyager or Deep Space Nine. If I had to choose just one character to have a conversation with it might be the Data. Even though he is an android, he embodies some of humanity’s best qualities.
Where would you go if you could travel anywhere, and what is one thing you'd most like to see or do there?
If I could visit anywhere in the US it would probably be the annual art licensing show, Surtex. I hope to someday show my work there! I would also love to go somewhere with rare endemic species, like Madagascar or Costa Rica. When I was little I used to dream about studying primate behavior like Jane Goodall.
What do you think next year’s theme should be and why?
As far as next year’s Fabric8 theme, I’d love to see something along the lines of “Everyday Objects” or “Diverse Collections of Everyday Things”. The things we use everyday can be very interesting design subjects when you see their diversity collectively. One of my favorite drawing exercises is to choose an object, like a toothbrush, and draw as many different varieties or versions of it that I can think of.
What are your plans if you win?
Winning Fabric8 would be a huge step for my design career. Creating this fabric collection has given me a fantastic opportunity to stretch myself as a designer. I’m so honored to be part of the top 8!