Typically, the only element of the creative process that the public sees is the outcome. We totally miss the essential and often rocky developments that bring a project to fruition. But here at CreativeLive, we like to see the process. Enter our residency program, where we get to look behind the scenes and try to get a little closer (and see ourselves) to the entire experience. In that vein, we’re excited to share the next steps that our artist-in-residence, Madeline Trait, is taking with her fabric plans.

Madeline has made a name for herself creating beautiful, unique cake toppers, but when she applied for the CreativeLive residency program, her goal was to carve out some time to grow her business — including her pursuit of textiles.

Last week, Madeline sketched out a scene she envisioned for a repeating fabric design. In keeping with her Milieu theme, Madeline drew multiple windows into other people’s worlds. She created an ambitious outline that would allow the scene to fit together like a puzzle piece so she could duplicate the windows and create a repeating pattern. The outcome was a festive tableau of people at home which she added to her inspiration wall.

Version 1 on the inspiration wall.
Version 1 on the inspiration wall.

This week Madeline picked up some new markers (yay, art supplies!) and went back to work on this whole fabric print thing. “I realized a block design could work well for fabric napkins and create a cleaner line for small batch fabric printing,” Madeline explained. So she scaled back her design to something a little more geometric.

Here is Madeline's latest version.
Here is Madeline’s latest version.

The scenes stayed more or less the same, but their positioning was reconsidered so they can all fit together in a easy-to-print square. The next step is the business and creative decision of settling on a printing process.

“Part of textile design is figuring out the best type of fabrication. There are many considerations – ranging from ‘how do I want the end product to look?’,  to, ‘how much of it do I want to do myself vs. having it produced?'” says Madeline.

She’s already looking into all the options – from vendors she can turn to for large and small runs, to  screenprinting it herself. We’ll keep you updated as the process unfolds!