Meet Rachelle Holowko: Jam-Packed Tool Kit That Blooms
Hooked on florals and nature, Australian designer, Rachelle Holowko, has a few tricks up her sleeve – she is an artist, surface pattern designer, podcast host and teacher. A few years ago she quit her day job and decided to dedicate herself to learning all she could about the textile industry and we are thankful that she did.
Recently, Rachelle spoke with Nerida Hansen for her podcast, Design & Shine, and this time it is our turn to find out what makes Rachelle tick, inspires her with her designs and sets her work apart from the rest. Read on to learn more.
Hi Rachelle, let’s start with your career as a surface pattern designer and artist, when did it commence and how did you get to where you are now?
I actually started my career as a radio microphone technician in musical theatre but I always had a calling to do something more art based. I decided to do a short course in screen printing which led me to discovering surface pattern design. I loved it so much that I decided to do a BA in Textile Design. From there I went on to work in the Textile Design industry where I not only got to design but was involved in the production process as well.
When I had my first daughter, I wanted to be able to work from home so I decided to set up my own design practice and at this time I was also approached to teach surface pattern design at a college and later at a university. From there my love of teaching developed and I created my business Pattern and Design where I not only get to create pattern designs myself but I get to help others do the same.
Let’s delve deeper into your creative process. How do you start? What is your process?
My process usually begins with photos. I’m really drawn to creating botanicals particularly florals so I tend to take a lot of photos when I’m out and about and use those as inspiration for my designs.
From there it depends on what medium I’m using. These days I like to mix up how I create my designs. After creating designs exclusively on my computer for years, I now really enjoy the meditative process of painting and also being away from my computer. My process is either to paint my motifs in watercolour or use my iPad and Procreate. From there I always bring the elements into either Photoshop or Illustrator (usually Photoshop) to create my pattern repeats.
What inspires you the most with your art?
I’m most inspired by botanicals, flowers and Australian flora and fauna.
What has been your greatest achievement with your designs and career?
I’m finding it hard to answer this as I feel like so many things have led me to where I am today. I’ll never forget the first time I walked into a store and saw my artwork on products so that would have to be a stand out.
Tell me about your upcoming collection for Nerida Hansen Fabrics. What is it called and what was your inspiration?
My collection is called Sofia’s Garden and it is inspired by my grandmother who passed away recently. She had such a huge love of gardening and it’s something I’ll always remember her for. I wanted to create something special in her memory
What would be your dream job?
I’m doing my dream job! But my dream client would be Anthropologie.
Give me three words to describe your style.
Botanical, organic, colourful
What advice would you give artists starting out or anyone keen to explore textile design?
Just get started. Do something small every day. Let yourself make mistakes because that’s how you will learn and remember that we all started not knowing
Lastly, apart from a fabric launch what is in the pipeline for you?
Oooh, I have lots of great things in the pipeline. I will continue to work with my amazing Pattern to Product mentoring students teaching them how to create pattern designs and build their creative businesses.
I have some projects with some amazing clients (which I can’t mention yet) and I’m wanting to start selling a few of my own products such as art prints and cards.
To shop Rachelle's collection visit www.neridahansen.com.au.
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