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HELLO 2017!

WHAT'S YOUR STORY?

diane sullivan

Gone Fishin'

Gone Fishin' 

I love storytelling.  I love thinking about people's stories and how they influence who they are, how they work, what unique and wonderful things they bring to the world, especially in the creative realm.  

 It's that time of year when I do a re-assessment of where I am with my personal and professional goals, where I want to be going, what else I'd like to examine, and where I would like to grow in my journey as a creative.  And this year, I am asking myself, that very question.  "Who am I", "what's my story?" and how does it influence my work as a creative?  

I am one of 6 children, born to a carpenter and a seamstress, both with very strong work ethic and the craft of creating objects of beauty for others.  My mother sewed most of our clothing, wedding gowns for friends and family, and was a huge influence in my desire to learn to sew for myself.    It was 4H that gave me the confidence to show some of my first pieces, and I won my first blue ribbon for a plaid apron and matching potholders at the State Fair.   That was the beginning of my love affair with sewing and cloth.  I began making most of my own clothing and wore it proudly. 

My grandmother hand sewed quilts for from old clothing scraps.  Her quilts were embellishments in our home,  cherished for the history they held,  but not to be used.  At age 20, I took my first quilting class with Eugenia (Genie) Barnes, who lived a few towns away, before she became well known in quilting industry.  Again, another love affair began and grew into a full blown relationship.  My own quilt collection and my fabric stash grew quickly.  Sewing and creating with fabric have been a constant.  Clothing, home decor projects, and quilting, all part of my story. 

Fast forward to more recent years.  I have been working as a clinical social worker and spending my days hearing other's stories and the influences they have in people's  personal and professional lives.  It is fascinating work.  But the desire to create has become a bigger voice and I have been making more time and space for this and reducing my time working as a social worker. 

My entry into surface pattern design felt, at the time, like a simple curiosity.  How to take a simple photograph and get it on a piece of fabric to make a pattern and then create a piece of clothing, or some home decor product that I could own and admire in my own home. 

 You see, I am a very curious creature.  I grew up in a rural area, and spent most of my free time in the outdoors, exploring, making adventures out of simple tasks, creating my own fun with anything and everything I had available.  Daisy headbands, tree forts, bark boats, skipping stones in the pond, catching fireflies, and pondering the wonders of nature and how things worked.  Curious questions.  And the search for answers.  I had this desire to put a photograph on fabric as a repeat pattern, but I had no idea that it truly could be done.   I had no idea clue about the world of surface pattern design. 

When I created my first repeat pattern, I immediately knew I had found something that felt like home.  It suddenly felt a little bit like getting back to my roots.  Designing and creating a piece of  artwork that would embellish many types of surfaces made my heart sing. 

Most of my surface designs have a story.  I am deeply influenced by nature and the changing seasons.  I am still very much a curious creature, enjoy a challenge and love an adventure,  and weave all of that into everything I do. 

This pattern is called "Gone Fishin'.  It was designed for a Father's Day tie contest, and was influenced by my father's love of fishing and his strong desire to share that with me as a child.  It was one of my early patterns and I still love it. 

Looking ahead, I will be working on some new fabric collections, and continuing to build my home decor portfolio.  Hoping to have a web site overhaul soon!!  

You can still find me running barefoot in tall grasses and getting my hands dirty in the garden, wearing daisy headbands and asking curious questions.  

IN MORE WAYS THAN ONE

diane sullivan

It's been a couple of weeks since Surtex and I have finally caught my breath.  I met my goals and came away with so much more than expected.  Three days of incredible networking, making new friends and learning so much!!  With greater clarity and an expanded heart, it's back in the saddle to nurture these new connections, working on some brand new goals, and designing new work!  

STEPPING STONES

diane sullivan

100 days of pattern challenge is complete!  It was a fun exercise in patience, persistence, and play.  I used the challenge as an exercise in having no agenda and allowing myself to play and learn new things for 100 consecutive days, both of which I loved doing.  The last two months have also been a lot of Surtex prep, most of which is coming to a close because I have been working diligently at being on top of my game and checking things off the list.  

The plan is for a few days of rest and refueling, and setting new intentions.  I have some new ideas in store for where I would like to devote my energy in the coming months.  I'm super excited about adding an INSPIRATION page to my site, which will be all about my process, which I like to call "the unfolding" - how and where I gather inspiration, how I take an idea and turn it into a pattern or illustration.  Every pattern has a story.  And I can't wait to share that with you.  

I will also be back in my clay studio and taking some of my pattern ideas and bringing them to life on my clay forms.  Can you say - LOVE!!!  I can not wait to marry two things I am most passionate about together to create beautiful pieces of art.    

As always, I will be sharing on Instagram and would love your feedback about what you'd like to see more of!  Until then, I'm off for some gardening and refueling my creative soul.