Rachael is a surface pattern designer who lives in the Samford Valley, North West Brisbane. Author of Pattern Pulse, Rachael turns her amazing watercolours into repeatable patterns that make stunning fabrics.
Here's a little more about Rachael and her style.
I was that child who lorded over the craft table at preschool. It was my domain. If you wanted to sit at the craft table it would only be because I let you and even then there were certain things you couldn’t touch!
Amongst many things, my mother was a seamstress so my earliest memories are of watching her sewing clothes for me and my siblings. I was so interested in how the patterns repeated out over the fabric she used. I would sit and study them and try to work out where they started and ended. It was soothing for me. Mum ended up owning a fabric shop in which I worked and I resolved to find out how to get my own ideas on to fabric one day. Looking at pattern on people’s clothing amazes and delights me daily.
Roll forward and art has always been part of my life but it was on the fringes. I thought I had to do a business degree when I left school but all I wanted to do was a visual arts degree with the cool arts kids. Life and family happened and eventually I got the opportunity to return to study Graphic design when I turned 42. I had a defining moment that led me to truly engage in what it was I wanted to do.
After this, I did the ‘Make It In Design’ Modules, created a portfolio and was fortunate to be represented at Surtex, NY by Nerida Hansen. This is when I secured my first licensing agreement with the Australian fabric company, Spotlight, and started my career as a Surface Pattern Designer.
Where does your inspiration come from?
I have a stack of Australian flora and fauna books that are constantly being mined for ideas. I feel that I need to be true to the glorious colours and shapes of my natural environment by including them in most of my designs. I am keen however to do modern interpretations to keep it interesting and progressive.
What motivates you to pursue your creative passion?
I am very aware that life can change in a heartbeat. I am driven to suck the marrow out of every day by turning up, making art and making connections so that I will leave behind my mark on the world. Fully immersing myself
in my art practice brings me so much joy. It staves off low moods, makes me optimistic and I get the feel goods from knowing that my art has made someone smile.
What are the top three things, or 'rules' you choose to live by?
1. To create every day. I read a book about Kikki K (stationery queen) that mentioned that the first 45 minutes of your day should be carved out for your creative time. That way it doesn’t matter what happens for the rest of the day because you will have something positive for yourself to reflect back upon.
2. To stay close to producing work that comes intuitively and easily, that way my style will always come through as being authentic.
3. To foster connection through community. We need each other for support and guidance and it is also our job to help others when starting their career.
What is the one thing you cannot wait to have in your very own fabric?
I have always wanted to have my own quilting range of Australian flavoured classic designs. On a luxurious cotton lawn of the quality that Liberty’s of London produce. That’s my dream!
Another dream came true last year! I released my book Pattern Pulse which showcases the artwork on 100 Australian Surface designs who work in fashion, homewares, stationery, illustration and interiors. It is the book I would have loved to read when I started out on my journey and it has been a great joy for me to work with and promote the talented artists that are featured within. I am now keen to share my knowledge and inspire young people to express themselves through their art, especially now that digital technology has made getting your artwork out into the world so much easier.