We had the pleasure of meeting a budding textile artist earlier this year at NC State’s annual Art2Wear fashion show. Meredith West, a graduate student studying design and textiles, caught up with us to discuss how she started her journey exploring textile design and what she hopes to do after graduation. 

Meredith West Textile Design

What sparked your interest in pattern design?
A surface design course with Susan Brandeis as an undergraduate at North Carolina State University.

Where do you find inspiration? 
My home town, Wilmington (I love everything ocean!), and recent travels.

Sketch Details

What is your favorite medium to work with? 
Watercolor currently. I enjoy hand drawing or painting my own motifs to then scan and manipulate digitally.

Meredith West Textile Design

How long have you been creating textile designs?
Since senior year of college…so a few years now. Still so much to learn! Up until this point, I have primarily studied and created repeats for printed textiles but I have just started learning more about patterns in knits and wovens. I am really interested in the overlap and fundamental differences in pattern designs for fashion versus pattern design for home furnishings.

Why did you decide to study design at a graduate level? 
To continue to develop my own visual language, learn new technical skills and technology, and make myself more marketable for the industry.

Meredith West Textile Design
What are you plans after graduation?
I plan to graduate next December (fingers crossed!). I hope to pursue a career as a textile designer for a company. Eventually, I’d love to have my own product line and business.

Who is one of your favorite visual artists, textile or otherwise, and why?
Florence Broadhurst- her patterns feature bright, bold color combinations and luxurious, over-sized repeats. Her wallpaper designs are my favorite- they were hand printed and high quality. I always find myself drawn to hand work in patterns.

Meredith West Textile Design
How Spoonflower has impacted your work?
Spoonflower has made my pattern dreams a reality! I have been using their services since I started designing repeats; it’s awesome to see your own designs printed on a potentially functioning material. I love the array of fabrics offered as well. I participated in the Art 2 Wear trunk show at NC State last year; I was able to create and sell a variety of small products because of Spoonflower’s professional services and high quality printing.

Meredith West Textile DesignPhoto Credit: Juli Leonard for Walter Magazine