All the way from Brooklyn, New York, our Featured Designer of The Week is the bold and colourful surface designer, Lillian Farag! We find out about living and working in Brooklyn and how Lillian was able to turn her craft into a business…
So, introduce us to Lillian Farag…
Hi! I’m Lillian Farag, a Surface and Print/ Textile Designer living in Brooklyn, New York!
What is it like working and living in Brooklyn? Is there a good Art & Design scene there?
Oh yes, there is a great community of artists living and working out of Brooklyn these days. There are a few new shops and studio spaces popping up around my neighborhood. Most of them carry handmade goods and I am always so impressed with how much of that is actually produced in Brooklyn. It’s very inspiring to know that so many successful artist start off here and run hugely successful businesses out of their apartment or studio.
When did you first get into painting and surface print design, or has it always been a passion of yours?
I’ve always worked in print design in some way or another. When I was in High School I used to experiment with printmaking and screen printing on fabric and various materials. I also used to hand paint purses and sell them to friends and family. So, I guess you can say that I’ve been a maker for a while now.
I graduated from Savannah College of Art and Design (SCAD), majoring in Fibers Arts where I obtained a Bachelor of Fine Arts. That is where I really started to get more involved with dying and printing fabrics, surface design in general.
I really started to pursue turning my craft in to a business about 3 years ago, After moving to New York and working in the fashion industry for 6+ years creating prints for big brand retailers, in my heart I knew I wanted to get back to creating work by hand and focusing on my own ideas. I had a decent amount of knowledge and wanted to see how I could use it to make a business out of what I loved to do most.
Describe your artistic style in 5 words or less…
Colorful, organic, graphic, free form, nature Inspired and .. weird at times!
Was it difficult to discover and refine your own artistic style?
I feel developing one’s own style is super important. I guess the main thing that sets me apart is the looseness in my hand and the hand itself. Its not something I really paid too much attention to growing up, it sort of just developed over time.
For me its been super important to have a sketchbook going at all times. A place where you can play with different mediums and scribble nonsense without thinking too much about it. It helps to come back to those pages later and work in a much larger sense if I feel I need to work further into that idea. I start to grow an attachment or liking to certain shapes, motifs and ideas in my work and that can also bring a sort of cohesiveness to my overall style.
Your work is bold and lively, where does your inspiration for pattern and colour come from?
I find inspiration in almost anything around me. I’m really inspired by nature’s texture, color, shapes and motifs. Color relationships or color stories can really bring a piece together- that is a really important part of my work as a whole.
I often look to other artist and pull inspiration on how they are using different mediums in their work. Fashion and self-expression are hugely influential in my work as well, which living in New York has really made me realize.
Your surface designs work beautifully on clothing, textiles and leather goods. Is this the direction you would like to pursue going forward in your career?
I hate to live in absolutes but I will say, before I was ever a designer, I was an artist. Designing patterns for clothing and accessories is really just part of what I am doing these days. The process of combing my love for painting, illustration and making products that people can wear is really gratifying at the moment so, I think I will continue to expand of this idea for a long time coming.
That being said, I love to collaborate with other artist and makers of all sorts. I rarely turn down an exciting opportunity to try something different.
Thanks so much for your time Lillian! Any last minute words of wisdom for our readers?
Try to break boundaries with your ideas! Allow yourself to move forward and grow, don’t get too hung up on a bump in the road. It’s really hard to stand out in this age of Instagram and Pinterest where you are exposed to so many amazing things. I often get intimidated by all the talent that I am exposed to. It’s important to remind yourself that if you truly enjoy what you do, the art begins to speak for itself.
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