"Largely seen as an online textile resource and community, The Patternbase is also a burgeoning textile-design studio based in Chicago. Founded by designers Kristi O’Meara and Audrey Victoria Keiffer in 2011, the community has grown from a tumblr blog to an online community that is blossoming further towards physical interaction, the first step being a book published by the founders by Thames & Hudson this year. Although The Patternbase uses the term “collective” loosely, and although it was born out of similar origins to most collectives, with a DIY start-up mentality and peer pressure to lead a movement and enjoy the financial benefits of working as a group, there is a hierarchy and business ambition about it that puts The Patternbase firmly in the camp of community over collective."
NSS Magazine | 10 Instagram Accounts You Should Follow in 2014
"If even the Oxford Dictionary, noting the increasingly growing phenomenon, elected "selfie" as the keyword of the year, we should note that this was only possible thanks to the advent of a social network that has changed the everyday approach about photography, Instagram.
If 2013 has seen its boom, 2014 is undoubtedly the year of its global success. It's important in this regard, as well as on every occasion, to follow the right people.
Are you fashion's lovers? Do you grew up reading i-D Magazine? So, take your smartphone and click follow on these accounts.
Here's the most fresh instagram profiles to follow this year.
Patternbase, as the name implies, is a source that produces inspiration for all designers and lovers of the pattern. Here you will find a collection of original artworks and images collected by the visionary Kristi O'Meara."
CS | Modern Luxury | Best Product Design Firm // The Patternbase
"Local designers Kristi O'Meara and Audrey Victoria Keiffer of The Patternbase are shaking the dust off the textile industry. In under three years, their innovative studio has released dozens of hand-illustrated, hand-painted and digitally rendered pattern and print designs for the fashion and interiors industries. The girls are inspired by everything from fine art to '90s fashion and a few favorite film animations. With countless collaborations under their belts this year-BucketFeet, Appliq and more- and a book with Thames & Hudson to launch in June 2015, O'Meara and Keiffer are planning their next moves. The recipients of the 2014 Propeller Fund grant plan to open their first gallery space in the city this spring, which will offer limited runs of high-fashion garment designs by both local and international designers, pattern-inspired visual art, vintage textiles and handmade art objects."
Publishers Weekly Review: The Pattern Base: Over 550 Contemporary Textile and Surface Designs
"This collaboration between textile designer Kristi O’Meara and several contributing artists is equal parts inspirational guide, reference title, and visual feast. It presents a plethora of textile patterns by a wide range of present-day artists. The book is divided thematically into geometric, florals, representational, digital, abstract, and illustrative, concluding with a section of fabric swatches. Some patterns are conventionally appealing, while others push boundaries, such as Kelly Parsell’s “Rupture” (a representational design repeat in browns and pinks in which images of a girl, a piñata, a tree, and a log all work together to create a weird, beautiful whole) and O’Meara’s own “Quetzalcoatl’s Coat” (a colorful, complex conglomerate of overlapping shapes and textures). The most interesting part of the book profiles 13 contemporary textile designers from around the world. The book, which began as a website, artfully showcases the creative work produced in textile today and serves as a solid resource for aspiring designers. (June 2015)"
Cool Hunting | The Pattern Base, a comprehensive new book, showcases the future of patterns and beyond
"To demonstrate the sheer creativity and vision of over 150 designers across the globe, Kristi O'Meara and Audrey Victoria Keiffer—founders of Chicago's The Patternbase design studio and online archive—have partnered with publisher Thames and Hudson—and "The Pattern Base" book was born. This impressive volume contains over 550 high-resolution images of pattern designs—from abstract and illustrative to geometric and floral. It's equal parts sourcebook, guide and inspiration, and its applications are numerous—from fashion design to surfacing and beyond."
People of Print | The Patternbase - Open Call to Artists
The Patternbase is a leading textile design studio located in Chicago, Illinois and the website reached thousands of readers, designers, artists ￼and relevant members of the international textile and surface design community. The Patternbase has opened it’s pattern archive to the public submissions, so that they too can be included in the archive. Simply visit the website and click on the “Submit” button to upload you images for review by The Patternbase team. If accepted, the designs will be added to the pattern archive.
They ￼specialize in hand-illustrated, painted, and digitally rendered pattern designs for the ￼apparel, beauty, paper goods, and interiors industries. Their pattern archive is a resource and place of inspiration for designers and pattern lovers around the globe. Their goal is to bring creative minds together into a community where they can interact and learn from one another through a series of projects and discussions, and to offer opportunities in which friendships and relationships can be built through creative collaboration.
Thames & Hudson Spring 2015 Catalogue
"The Pattern Base Over 550 Contemporary Textile and Surface Designs by Kristi O'Meara
Showcases over 550 designs organized thematically: an invaluable visual reference - and a glorious visual feast.
The Pattern Base presents textile and surface design by some of the most exciting up-and-coming designers worldwide and points to the way ahead for this vibrant field. It includes illustrative, abstract, geometric, floral, representational and digital designs; and knitted, woven, hand-dyed and digitally printed fabrics, all drawn from the author's online archive and blog, www.thepatternbase.com, which she co-founded with Audrey Victoria Keiffer. In tandem with the rise of exciting new technologies is a renewed appreciation of the traditional craftsmanship and the handmade; of tactility and construction of fabrics of all kinds. Illustrated biographies profile thirteen of the most significant textiles designers working today, who share new ways to communicate, experiment and become inspired.
The future possibilities of print, pattern and apparel are endless and will surround us everywhere we go - this book leads the way into that future. It will be essential reading for all students, professionals and enthusiasts of textile and fashion design."
Selvedge Magazine | Pattern Boks: Inspiration In Print
A round up of some of our favourite pattern books around…
Thames &Hudson presenta il nuovo libro “The Pattern Base” di Kristi O’Meara che contiene oltre 500 fantasie di tessuti e di superficie provenienti dai più bravi ed affermati designer di tutto il mondo. Include fantasie illustrative, geometriche, floreali, digitali che sono create attraverso diversi metodi quali il lavoro a maglia, la tessitura, la tintura a mano ed infine il disegni digitale. Tutti queste fantasie e disegni sono ripresi dall’archivio digitale dell’autrice del libro e dal suo blog www. thepatternbase.com che ha fondato insieme a Audrey Victoria Kieffer. Una grande fonte di ispirazione per tutti gli studenti, professionisti ed appassionati dei tessuti e del design di moda."
A review of new book on pattern, The Pattern Base, and a look of upcoming show PATTERNITY
Hampton's Art Hub: Design Book List – July 2015
Looking for new books about design? Then consider adding some of these releases to your summer reading list! Books on landscape design, architecture, textile design and more are included in this month's list. All are new to book shelves and are sure to enlighten and entertain.
Included in this month’s list of design book is “Saving Place: 50 Years of New York City Landmarks,” “Women Garden Designers: 1900 to the Present,” “The Pattern Base,” “The Good Garden: The Landscape Architecture of Edmund Hollander Design,” “Thomas Heatherwick: Making,” “Andrew Geller: Deconstructed: Artist and Architect,” and “Frida Kahlo’s Garden.”
“The Pattern Base” is a beautiful sourcebook of inspiration for international textile and fabric design by the founders of the Chicago-based design studio and tumblr, The Pattern Base. Textile design has been liberated and democratized by digital media, according to the authors. With new technology allowing for more precise manipulation and larger variation of materials and patterns, textile designers have found new ways to create ambitiously, experiment, and be inspired. At the same time, the rise of digital processes has led to a renewed appreciation of traditional craftsmanship, the handmade, and of the tactility and construction of textiles and surfaces.
In “The Pattern Base,” Kristi O’Meara and Audrey Victoria Keiffer, showcase over 550 textile, surface, fashion, and print designs from over 150 designers working around the world.
Part One is a sourcebook of these designs, organized by type of pattern: Geometric, Floral, Representational, Digital Abstract, Illustrative, and Fabric Swatches. Part Two presents profiles of fifteen artists, constituting the hottest up-and-comers in the field. The book includes 697 illustrations.
BASIC FACTS: “The Pattern Base: Over 550 Contemporary Textile and Surface Designs” is written by Kristi O’Meara and Audrey Victoria Keiffer. Published by Thames & Hudson. Release Date: June 16, 2015. Paperback; 368 pages; $35.00.
Liberated Surfaces: The Patternbase is Not Your Grandma’s Design by Toni Nealie
A girl clutching a toy rabbit in one hand and removing a tampon with the other is one of the more provocative and intriguing images in “The Pattern Base,” a design sourcebook by Kristi O’Meara and Audrey Victoria Keiffer.
The girl, surrounded by a pink piñata, a red cardinal in a tree and a green snake is a repeated motif called “Rupture” by Chicago artist Kelly Parsell. It is one of 550 textile, surface, fashion and print designs featured in this razzle-dazzle book of 697 crisp photographs showcasing work from 150 designers from around the world.
The first six sections of the book highlight illustrative, abstract, geometric, floral, representational and digital designs. They include vivid tessellations, squirmy amoebas, bright kaleidoscopes, monochromatic cityscapes, tumbling lilies and dreamy hummingbirds. There are startling patterns that play upon ethnography, such as O’Meara’s rows of Kachina dancers and drawings of Mesoamerican idols, and “China Girls” by Bebel Franco.
Some are risqué, like the naked pinup redheads; some mesmerizing, like the digital images of Ian Addison Hall’s “All That Trash Goes Somewhere.” No two designs are alike, even though they may have elements in common. For example, three patterns feature mushrooms—one a sensuous black-and-white line pattern, one has mushroom caps dancing on Barbie legs and another features colorful magic mushrooms interspersed with giraffes.
The seventh section of the book focuses on fabric swatches, photographed to show texture, weave and detail. The final chapter features design artists from the United States, Spain, Iceland, Finland and China. Included is the genteel work of Abby Thomas, who studied at the Art Institute of Chicago, and Ohio artist Jonah Jacobs’ recycled creations, which look like delicate coral reefs.
Authors O’Meara, a painter and graphic designer, and Keiffer, an interdisciplinary artist and writer (and occasional Newcity contributor), are the founders of the Chicago-based textile design studio, The Patternbase. They curate an online pattern archive, allowing artists and designers to promote themselves via Tumblr and other social media. With the support of a Propeller Fund they are translating their virtual presence into a physical gallery space this year, where they aim to encourage collaborations between textile and fashion designers and fiber artists.
Below is an excerpted transcript from an email interview with the authors.
What was the impetus for the book? Why did you feel it was needed? We created this book because we are fascinated by patterns and passionate about their creation. The use of pattern within the fashion and interiors industries is particularly of interest to us, as it is all around us and is constantly evolving with the progression of technology.
Who is the audience and how will they use the book? The publication is intended for anyone interested in the study of pattern and textile design. It is a resource that caters to and can be used by design enthusiasts, emerging and established designers, and by students of art, fashion and design.
How did you select the designers? The pattern designs selected for inclusion in this book were chosen with a very specific set of factors in mind. We were looking for designs that were on point with current trends in fashion and textile design. They had to show a keen sense of how digital technologies today are influencing the way that designs for print are being created. They had to demonstrate originality and imagination in subject matter. The designs needed to be thought-provoking, in that they reveal something about their creation and construction process. They needed to exhibit a complex understanding of print construction and the layout of repeats.
The thirteen designers spotlighted in the book were artists that we discovered on Tumblr. We felt their work was pushing the boundaries of textile and fashion design, and held a similar aesthetic connection to our own. Many of the designers had already received many awards and publicity in various magazines. We wanted to connect with them so that we could learn more about their practices and journeys as designers, while helping to push their careers further, by spotlighting them in our publication.
“The Pattern Base: Over 550 Contemporary Textile and Surface Designs” By Kristi O’Meara, edited by Audrey Victoria Keiffer Thames & Hudson, 368 pages, $35
Chicago Loop Aliance | Artist's Corner: Talking "PLAY" with Chicago Design Museum
ELLE (NL) | May 2015 | Printmania
CULT Chicago | The Patternbase Interview
Country & Town House | BEST BOOKS FOR LOOKS | FIVE FAB DESIGN TITLES
FROM SHAKER’S UNSHAKEABILITY TO PIMPED UP PATTERN, WE CHOOSE FIVE OF THE BEST DESIGN BOOKS FOR SPRING.
4. THE PATTERN BASE BY KRISTI O’MEARA
This purely visual treat of a book, featuring textile, surface and print designs from around the world, will appease lovers of colour, texture and print from young to old, whether in the design industry or not. Read interviews with artists working within the textile and fashion industries today and gain inspiration for your own personal projects.£19.95, published by Thames & Hudson,
Cover Magazine / Spring 2015 / Issue 38
Appreciation of traditional craftsmanship and the handmade has risen as a riposte to our increasingly digital age. In the new Thames & Hudson publication The Pattern Base, Kristi O'Meara, designer and creative director of the design studio The Patternbase, showcases over 550 textile, surface, fashion and print designs from more than 150 international designers."
Terry's Fabrics | Designer Insights with The Patternbase
The Patternbase is a leading textile design studio, co-founded by designers Kristi O’Meara and Audrey Victoria Keiffer, and based in Chicago, Illinois. Their studio specialises in painted, hand illustrated and digitally rendered surface designs for interiors, paper goods and apparel. The Patternbase also offers the design community valuable resources and inspiration, as well as educational tools relating to the art of surface design. Their ultimate goal is to bring creative minds together. So we are proud to bring you the Designer Insights of The Patternbase.
WGSN Homebuildlife | The Patternbase: Tumblr, Website, Book
Founded by Kristi O’Meara in May 2011, The Patternbase website stemmed from the success of her personal Tumblr blog of the same name. Both outlets aim to provide inspiration for designers, featuring a broad range of photography, products, textiles and printed surfaces - as well as a wealth of coverage of the patterns found in nature.
Sherwin-Willams Stir Magazine | Color By The Pixel
Color By The Pixel By Lynn Bronson
How a Chicago digital textile design studio is creating new ways for designers to work with color.
From coral-patterned wall coverings to op art sneakers, The Patternbase has become a go-to destination for those seeking the freshest patterns in a kaleidoscope of colors. The Chicago-based textile design studio specializes in hand-illustrated, painted and digitally rendered pattern design for the apparel and interior design industries. Co-founders Kristi O’Meara and Audrey Victoria Keiffer share their story, their inspirations and their take on the brave new world of digital color. (Their forthcoming book, Patternbase: Over 550 Contemporary Textile and Surface Designs, will be released by Thames & Hudson Publishing in June 2015 and is available for pre-order at www.thepatternbase.com.)
STIR: So how did The Patternbase begin? Kristi O’Meara: It started as a Tumblr blog in 2011, right after I moved to Chicago. It was initially set up to be a blog of collected patterns for personal inspiration, but after a couple of months, the blog quickly gained a large following, and I realized people were really interested in what I was doing. So I built a website, conducted interviews with textile artists and fashion designers, and focused all my energy on learning about the textile and fabric design industries. I explored this collective interest in patterns that seemed to be emerging.
After seeing the success of the pattern archive, I knew I wanted to see a version of The Patternbase in physical form, and decided to produce a book, focused on how a creative digital aesthetic has emerged as a defining characteristic of the surface and pattern design industry. About midway through laying out the book project, I realized it was too large to undertake on my own, so I invited Audrey to join me. Now we are going to open a gallery space in Chicago. We will invite artists and designers who work with patterns to come in to share and sell their work.
STIR: How has digital technology opened up color possibilities? Audrey Victoria Keiffer: Digital printing is such a good way to experiment with different media and color palettes. We start out by hand-painting or drawing many of our designs. After they’re scanned and we work with them digitally, a new series of colors appears. We can experiment with shape, blending and collage using digital techniques.
KO: When we first started to work digitally, we mainly focused on how to create designs that would work as technical repeats. We’ve learned a lot from experimentation with different layers, compositions and colors. Over the last three or four years, multiple online platforms provide emerging designers with access to digital printing services for fabric, garments and household items. These platforms have allowed us to test our designs on digital mockups and experiment with the way colors affect our designs when used on physical products. Working digitally has also taught us a lot about the difference between CMYK and RGB, the ways colors are rendered differently through different kinds of printers, and how color translates from the screen to print.
STIR: Where do you find inspiration? AVK: I look to avant-garde interior design and textile design. I like bold prints, brush strokes and lots of texture. I am really into the Memphis group right now. They’re a design collective of furniture and textile designers who were active in the 1970s and 1980s. They’ve made a big comeback in the fashion industry. They used a lot of contrasting colors and futuristic patterns, and drew inspiration from pop art and art deco. Their work was very subversive and against the prevailing design aesthetic of that time.
KO: I come from a painting background, and find that much of my inspiration comes from contemporary and modern artwork. Josef Albers is still one of my biggest inspirations. I learn a lot from studying his paintings and how colors are perceived and how they change when grouped or placed next to other colors.
STIR: What materials do you work with most? AVK: I love to paint with watercolors and then scan them into the computer and work with them digitally. Sometimes I paint on canvas, then photograph it and use the image in Illustrator or Photoshop to adapt it. Acrylic paint scanned in can result in some very cool textural effects. We use all kinds of materials and methods, and these are just a few.
KO: I tend to start with ink or pencil drawing first. Then I move on to painting on canvas. Afterward, I scan the images into the computer and edit them within Adobe Photoshop and Illustrator.
STIR: Tell us about some recent projects. KO: We’ve just finished a collaboration with a custom wallpaper company called DesignYourWall. We’ve provided them with about two dozen designs, which they translate into a variety of wall coverings that customers can view and purchase on their website.
AVK: We’re also working to launch our first physical clothing collection this spring. We work with a company called Print All Over Me, and will create a beach collection with some of our most vibrant prints. It will include women’s and men’s swimwear, oversized linen beach towels and chiffon kimono-inspired wraps.
STIR: What are your personal favorite color schemes? KO: There’s lot of turquoise and green that surrounds me in my life and my artwork. I tend to be drawn to bold, graphic patterns that allow you to see the hand in the work — geometric prints, brushstrokes especially.
AVK: I love the color red. It’s my power color. I have a giant piece of red lace on my desk, and usually have some red-inspired lip color on at all times.
THE PATTERN BASE: UN LIBRO CON OLTRE 550 PATTERN CREATI DAI MIGLIORI DESIGNER DEL MONDO
"How much has changed textile design thanks to the advent of digital media? It has been democratized, right? Now there are many more than able to manipulate materials and models and designers have increasingly ways - perhaps the simplest and least expensive - to experience.Maybe. It retains that role in all of this craft? While you questioned about all this, I dream to get your hands on The Pattern Base .
Kristi O'Meara and Audrey Victoria Keiffer are the co-founders of a design studio based in Chicago and online archive The Patternbase . The two have recently given birth, in collaboration with the publisher Thames & Hudson , the book I mentioned a few lines ago: The Pattern Base , which includes more than 550 drawings between tissue surfaces, fashion and design printing of more than 150 designers from all over the world.
Part One is a "sourcebook" of these drawings, organized by type of pattern: Geometric, Floral, Representational, Digital Abstract, Illustrative and Fabric Swatches. Part Two instead presents profiles of fifteen artists who - in the opinion of the authors - are the most hot "upcoming designers" in the industry. We found Lorenzo Nanni , "whose delicate work beads combine flora and fauna of the natural world"; Anita Hirlekar , "which felt, velvet, lace create variations lush texture"; and Kayla Mattes , "lover of aesthetics kitsch and experimentation with materials."
Make-Space | The Birth of The Patternbase + Their Upcoming Publication
"After two months of hard work slaving away in Photoshop, developing rewards, and overcoming stage fright jitters, The PatternBase has launched a Kick Stater to help fund their upcoming publication, PATTERNBASE: A Book of Contemporary Textile + Surface Design!
A little over a year ago, I discovered the wonder that is Tumblr and thought it would be a great place to build an archive of inspirational images to refer to within my own work. Starting out, I had no idea how to upload images, include tags or links, or customize themes- and I basically dumped half of my iPhoto archive into the vacant womb of The PatternBase Tumblr, before realizing the perks of a queue. After a few weeks I started to grab hold on how the site worked within the Tumblr community and realized that when used properly it was an amazing way to connect with so many different kinds of people.
Since that very first post which happened just over a year ago, The PatternBase been placed in Tumblr’s ‘Design Spotlight’ and has gained over 11,000 followers. Since our audience was growing so rapidly, we decided to build a more interactive website at www.thepatternbase.com where our audience could go to learn about the art and industry of textile & surface design, enjoy interviews and discussions with current and upcoming designers, and participate in many creative projects.
Our current project is a publication titled, PATTERNBASE: A Book of Contemporary Textile & Surface Design. It will the first publication to be self-released by The PatternBase. This book will contain 250 full-color pages and showcase a collection of textile, surface and print designs from contemporary artists and designers around the globe. It will also include spotlights and interviews from individuals and small businesses working within the textile and fashion industries today.
As with most large ideas that are pursued by small groups and individuals, this project relies on outside support to become fully realized. We have 4 days left of our campaign, and are over 94% of the way to our goal!!!During the tail end of this campaign, we need you help to spread the word about the project in order to reach our target.
Please endorse the publication of this book and share it with your peers, friends and family; every donation is immensely appreciated and will help turn an idea into a reality. YOUR involvement, however small or large, will be a priceless contribution to its success and will help many contemporary designers have their work published"
MESH Magazine | Digital Textiles: How The Patternbase makes the tactile clickable
"Even the most tactile art can be made digital.
That’s what The Patternbase, a website founded in May of 2011, is out to prove. Originally started by painter/graphic designer Kristi O’Meara as an archive of her favorite patterns, the Patternbase is now a growing creative community with a huge gallery of featured artists and a near-encyclopedic textile archive. Their goal is to build an online space that gives artists and designers access and resources they never had when textile design was strictly analog.
It wasn’t just that the materials for textile design could be expensive - the community used to be roadblocked to amateurs. “The textile design industry had a reputation of being hard to break into for artists. If you didn’t live on either coast, it would be harder,” Audrey Victoria Keiffer, a Patternbase co-founder, explains. Now that everyone has a computer and a pirated copy of Photoshop or Illustrator, the field of textile design has been opened up, or “democratized”, as Keiffer says.
Physical location means less than ever now and tactility is not a requirement to experience impactful pattern design. The only thing most designers can’t create for themselves is the platform by which to get their work noticed. The Patternbase’s pattern archive solves that problem by creating a Tumblr network of designs from around the world that reaches over 80,000 followers.
The archive is equal parts research tool and trend forecaster. It’s a nonstop eclectic stream of glitch motifs, colorblocks, and abstract patterns traditionally and digitally created. The variety of the archive’s curation is a measure of how much the textile design community has grown and changed in the last decade.
”New technologies have allowed for more precise manipulation and larger variation of materials and patterns, and textile designers have found new ways to create ambitiously, experiment, and be inspired," Keiffer says. The aesthetic is changing, she points out, to reflect the internet's influence - digital culture now affects not only color palettes, but also shapes and angles, increasingly drawn from digital glitches, text, and spacey GIFs.
Those glitch motifs have become mainstream now, trickling through the internet’s design community right into the hands of fashion designers and major retailers. T-shirts with digitally-made patterns of databent analog static sell. Digital textile design unquestionably dominates what was once a completely tactile industry.
If anything, the creative communities that helped build that dominance, like the Patternbase, have made textiles even more interactive: we might not be able to touch them, but they’re infinitely more shareable.
Let’s be honest - the top features on the Patternbase blog won’t ever be loom patterns. But with more designers than ever able to communicate, collaborate, and produce work through digital platforms, are analog processes even competition any more? "
The OneSheet - August 2014 /// No.1 | The Patternbase
The OneSheet is a monthly publication showcasing a creative, maker,mover & shaker through a Q/A, Top 5 and a OneSheet of their design.
The Patternbase is a leading textile design studio located in Chicago, Illinois. It was founded in 2011 by designers, Kristi O’Meara and Audrey Victoria Keiffer, who specialize in hand-illustrated, painted, and digitally rendered pattern design for the apparel, beauty, paper goods, and interiors industries.
The Patternbase serves as a resource and place of inspiration for designers and pattern lovers around the globe. We strive to provide our community with a plethora of valuable resources to help inspire and educate them throughout their creative endeavors. These range from inspirational interviews and discussions with artists whose work revolves around the use of pattern to exhibitions and publications focused on presenting the work of emerging artists to a wider audience. Our goal is to bring creative minds together into a community where they can interact and learn from one another through a series of projects and discussions, and to offer opportunities in which friendships and relationships can be built through creative collaboration. The Patternbase currently reaches over 70,000 readers, designers, artists, and relevant members of the international textile and surface design community, and continues to grow daily.
What inspires you to design? When did you start designing?
Haha, that’s a tough question because there’s so many possible responses. Vintage textiles, work from emerging fiber artists and fashion designers, patterns seen in everyday life, nature, science, and mathematics. Honestly it changes daily based on what we’re surrounding ourselves with.
How often is the overlap between your own practice and the website?
The idea of separating my personal work from what I do for The Patternbase is something I've been conflicted about from the beginning. But as time has passed, I've found that the two are deeply connected and are beginning to blend into the same thing organically. I believe that once we establish a physical space that allows us to interact with the community more, the divide between our personal work and the work we do for The Patternbase will disappear.
Was The Patternbase developed organically while you were designing or did you always want to have a Pattern encyclopedia / catalog?
I started The Patternbase in May of 2011. I had just fallen in love with Tumblr, and had originally planned for the site to be an archive of inspirational patterns that I could reference for use in my own work. But after few weeks of obsessive posting, I noticed that my followers were rapidly increasing, and that there was a growing and collective interest in patterns that could be explored. At the time, I was also helping my friend, Lynnette Miranda, set up artist interviews for her Chicago-based art blog, Make Space, which taught me many priceless lessons about how to connect and engage with other artists through the Internet.
Over the course of The Patternbase’s first year of existence, I realized that it was gaining momentum very rapidly, and that there was a real possibility to turn the archive into something much larger than it was. I began thinking about how I could further inspire and educate our viewers, while turning it into a community of my favorite creative minds. I wanted it to become a platform where artists could learn from one another through a series of discussions and collaborative projects. So I began conducting interviews and discussions with artists whose work revolved around the use of pattern and textiles, and put out a call for submissions to The Patternbase’s first publication.
Since its inception The Patternbase has been an online platform, with a very curated selection of physical products. Now you are printing an actual book, how did that come about?
After seeing the success of the pattern archive, I knew I wanted to see a version of The Patternbase in physical form. I began searching for books on textile design, specifically contemporary publications that were released in the last five years. I snatched up every one I could get my hands on. To my surprise, I wasn't able to find as many as I had expected to, and most of the ones I found either weren't really suited to my taste, or weren't recent enough to accurately portray the huge transition that pattern design was going through. So I decided that I wanted to produce my own book, which would focus on how a creative digital aesthetic has emerged as a defining characteristic of the surface and pattern design industry.
I started by releasing a call for artists on multiple websites, and from that, received thousands of images to consider for inclusion. After the entry deadline arrived, I set up a Kick Starter for the book with the help of friends, and was able to successfully raise a fair sum that I could apply toward the costs of production.
From there, I started the curation process and began designing the layout of the book. About midway, I realized that this was too large of a project to undertake on my own, so I invited my friend and fellow designer, Audrey Victoria Keiffer, to join me as the second member of The Patternbase team. She took over all the editing responsibilities associated with the publication, which allowed me to focus fully on the design and layout. After about a year of work, we had a solid draft of the book.
Initially, I had planned on self-publishing, but because we received so many wonderful designs that I wanted to include, the book ended up being too large and image heavy too self-publish affordably. So after what seems like endless research, Audrey and I put together a hefty book sample, which we began sending out to traditional publishing companies. Fortunately, we captured the interest of one of our top three favorite traditional publishers, Thames & Hudson Publishing. Currently, their team is in the process of redesigning the format of the publication, and we are hoping to have a release date soon.
The book showcases a collection of over 600 designs from 150 contemporary textile, surface, fashion, and print designers from around the world, and includes spotlights from 13 professional artists working within the textile and fashion industries today.
The curation of the publication blends art and design to create a collection of work that offers something new to the industry. The images have been carefully chosen, and the featured artists are up-and-coming. The book is a showcase of how artists and designers envision the future of the industry, and it will challenge the viewer and designer to push more innovation in the market. The goal of the book is to showcase the fresh and innovative work of contemporary designers, spread knowledge of their talent to a further audience, and to help open new avenues for their designs and motifs. The collection of designs featured include: illustrative, abstract, geometric, floral, representational, and digital designs. It also showcases knitted, woven, hand-dyed, and digitally printed fabric swatches.
Where do you see The Patternbase in the future? Any upcoming collaborations or projects?
Currently we are working on a clothing line that will be launched in Spring 2015, that consists of hand-painted and digitally printed, multipurpose, unisex garments. We are also making preparations to establish a physical space within the Chicago artist community in 2015.