Awhile back I did a post about Australian print designer Lara Cameron of Ink & Spindle, the artist behind the Doie Lounge Bonsai Print used in several of our robes such as the Lilian and the Gemma. I’m pretty much obsessed with all of her prints and I wanted to find out more about her and her process as an artist, so I was pretty excited when she agreed to be interviewed.
Doie Lounge: When did you know that you wanted to be a graphic designer/print maker?
Lara Cameron: Early in my childhood I always loved to be creative, but during my school years I honestly didn’t think I had the talent! It wasn’t till after I completed a Bachelor of Multimedia and started working in web design that I realised that design was my true passion! But digital design didn’t feel tactile enough, so I started to experiment with surface design and eventually started designing for textiles & stationery about 6 years ago!
DL: How long have you been printing textiles?
LC: My first yardage print run was in March 2007! At that time I was outsourcing the printing to a company literally around the corner from my apartment. A year and a half later and we started Ink & Spindle and began printing the designs ourselves!
DL: What is your favorite print, that you have done? (please attach a photo)
LC: Ooh that’s a tough one! I think perhaps my Leuca print, because I love native Australian botanicals and botanical illustration.
DL: Where do you find your inspiration?
LC: Mostly from our local flora and fauna, my hometown of Melbourne and surrounds.
DL: Do you try to create prints that are “on trend” or do you just do what feels right to you?
LC: Definitely what feels right to me. I’m pretty anti trend generally. I don’t believe people should be consuming anything that isn’t designed to last. It’s ethically wrong on so many levels. When I design a print and choose colours for it I’m trying to design something that I feel will fit in someone’s life for many years to come!
DL: What was your inspiration and thought process behind the print (the bonsai print) that we used for Doie Lounge?
LC: I was particularly inspired by Japan at that stage, and I loved Japanese woodcut illustrations. I remember seeing an image vaguely similar to the Bonsai print in a little Japanese book that I bought, and interpreted it in my own fashion.
DL: If you were not making prints, what would you be doing?
LC: Good question! I can’t imagine doing anything other than what I’m doing right now! I guess if I had to pick something I’d like to experiment with lighting design. Or as a complete contrast I’d also like to have a go at living in a sustainable and self sufficient manner and raising a family in that environment.
DL: What is your “process” like? Meaning, do you start with a pen and paper sketch, do you go straight to the computer?
LC: Often yes it starts with a pen and paper sketch. I used to design in a more digital fashion but as I’ve learnt more about the screen printing process I’ve learn what sort of designs are more harmonious and sympathetic to the medium. Designs that are a little more organic and sketchy and less perfect are much easier to print and give the textiles a much more organic and tactile quality.
DL: Have you ever thought about doing textile prints for wallpaper, duvets, or other home design products?
LC: Definitely! Wallpaper is hard for our setup (we have a sticky table to hold the fabric, which would tear the paper!) but I’d love to do more bedding. We can actually make duvet covers from our fabrics at the moment which we do from time to time.
DL: Where is your favorite place to travel to?
LC: We have a beach house that’s been in our family for a few generations on the Great Ocean Road. It’s pretty basic but it feels like a home away from home. It’s only 1.5 hours out of Melbourne so my partner and I can just go there for a weekend for some head space, relaxation and creativity.
DL: It seems that your company cares a lot about the environment– what do you do to make your good more eco-friendly?
LC: Pretty much anything we can do. We print only on organic or sustainable fibres, use recycled and biodegradable packaging, reduce and treat our waste water, use solvent free, water based inks, and alsomost fundamentally, we design products that last!