Julie Paterson is a printmaker, painter and surface designer for her own textiles firm Cloth, based in New South Wales, Australia since 1995. Julie established the company with the simple goal of producing modern fabrics locally and sustainably. 20 years later she is still committed to her original vision. All of her designs come from her own art, which is derived and inspired by the diversity and strength of the natural Australian landscape. So we are proud to bring you the Designer Insights of Julie Paterson.
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1) In your own words describe your unique style and creative aesthetic?
Earthy and relaxed. Contemporary, informal and imperfect. Bold and confident. Authentic. Direct. Real.
2) When starting a new project, what is your creative process?
I carry a small sketchbook everywhere. I observe and listen to the world around me recording details of the ordinary everyday things I see. These books act as my filter, distilling my experiences, preparing my ideas and kick starting my creative process. They link my life experiences and my work as a whole.
3) Out of the creative people you have worked with, who is it that you respect and admire the most?
For nearly 15 years I had a shop where I sold my fabric. I worked in that shop every day. The people I admire the most are the people who would come into my shop, drawn in by the colour and pattern and creative chaos I like to make. These people would often say they were not creative but they wanted to be. I would spend time with them and together we would encourage their own creativity to blossom. These people would buy my fabric and use it with confidence. They would return to my shop many times over the years, happy that they had tapped into the creativity that was there within them all along.
4) When looking for inspiration is there a particular thing you do to get inspired?
Nature always works for me. The tiny details and the big landscape - I love all of it. Im lucky, I live in two homes - one is a flat by the beach in Sydney and the other is my studio up in the Blue Mountains, 2 hours away. I walk and draw in these landscape every day and am inspired every time.
5) What has brought you to this point in your career? And what is your advice for people looking to follow in your footsteps?
Hard work, resilience, determination, honesty and a sense of humour has got me to this point, I think. 20 years of very hard but rewarding work. And doing it for the sheer pleasure of doing it rather than any need for fame or fortune. For those who want to do the same – find your own voice, keep it fresh and authentic and don’t stop. And remember to stay humble and thankful. It helps.