Spoonflower Spotlight: Student Project Grantees

APR 13, 2020 updated May 3, 2021

From fashion designers using Dogwood Denim™, Sport Lycra and Satin to a photographer using Peel and Stick Removable Wallpaper, these Student Project Grant recipients used Spoonflower to level up their thesis presentations. One of these students’ work was even spotted walking the red carpet at the Grammys!

Now that their sketches have come to life, we’re catching up with these three talented women to see their final projects and hear what they have been up to since graduation. We’ve also asked them to share any tips they have for other students working on end of the school year projects.

Anna Van Gheem, Savannah College of Art and Design, fashion design
annavangheem.com | @annavangheem

“I had the opportunity to apply my Spoonflower Student Project Grant to my Master of Fine Arts Thesis Unisex Ready-to-Wear capsule collection. I have been an admirer of Spoonflower’s custom prints for years. As an independent designer I strive to create clothing that is unique and exemplifies my own vision.”

Anna: I chose to work with Spoonflower’s Dogwood Denim and Sport Lycra because my designs were inspired by utilitarian and performance wear. The texture, weight, print, and color of both fabrics were hugely influential to how I approached my designs. It was a really rewarding experience to be able to work with materials that reflected my concept. My custom prints with Spoonflower made my collection stand out and inspire future collaborations with other independent artists and designers. 

After completing my MFA and interning with a large sportswear company for over six months, I am excited to begin designing my next womenswear collection that is set to debut mid June.

If you could give advice to other college students working on a large creative project, what would it be?

Having experience in both the Fine Art and Design worlds, I have found that the most successful students and designers are those that stick with their own intuition and vision.


Megan DeSoto, University of North Texas, photography
megandesoto.com | @megandesoto

“The Spoonflower Student Project Grant was used for my Masters of Fine Art thesis exhibition in April of 2019. My photographic work expanded the confines of the picture frame and spilled literally onto the walls. I had a vision of photographs seeping into the chairs of dining rooms and into the walls that they might have adorned. Through this grant, I was given the ability for that to become a reality.” 

Megan: With this support, I created a fully wallpapered art installation that continues to be the topic of conversation at my university and beyond. The material I used was the Peel and Stick Removable Woven Wallpaper and the Celosia Velvet. I created a wallpaper using photographs and then installed them on the wall in a fully wallpapered floating wall within the gallery space. There was also a “soft hanging” of wallpaper that was secured to the wall and rolled up onto the ground. I created a coordinating photographic design and printed on the Celosia Velvet and then hand re-upholstered four dining chairs. These chairs were displayed to mimic the visual connection of those who sit together for dinner, more specifically, my family dynamic of a mother, father and two children. The dining chair installation was set up directly in front of the wallpapered wall to create tension and a form of communication and conversation.

The use of non-traditional materials to challenge the meaning of a photograph continues to excite me. The next step is figuring out a way to use fabric, wallpaper and other materials that will fit into my budget moving forward to talk about domestic roles of women and how they have changed over time.

If you could give advice to other college students working on a large creative project, what would it be?

My advice would be to seek mentorship, take any and all constructive criticism (there is too much to gain from the positive and negative opinions of others) and seek out funding opportunities to help bring your visions come to life.


Estefania Galvan, Columbia College Chicago, fashion design
estefaniacwtdesign.com | @estefaniacwtdesign

“Since I wanted to focus on my prints and design, Spoonflower crucially helped me to transmit my ideas and illustration in beautiful wearable pieces. For this project I used Satin. I wanted to highlight the luster on the colorful prints.” 

Estefania: I’ve been working on my own brand. And guess what? … It is focused on PRINTS! I love sharing my designs, but also the textiles play a main role in the brand. I will be launching a suits line with fun and personalized lining.

Fun fact: one of my dresses made with Spoonflower fabric got to go to the 2019 Grammys. Grammys nominee Mary Mazurek contacted me and wore two of my dresses—one for the party and the other one for the ceremony.

If you could give advice to other college students working on a large creative project, what would it be?

Sketch a plan with deadlines, look around for resources, partners and collaborations and DON’T limit your creativity.


Interested in applying for the Spoonflower Student Project Grant?

Full-time undergraduate and graduate students worldwide are eligible. We begin accepting applications for each school year in August with an application deadline of October 1.
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