Tell us about your workspace.
VF: I now have my studio set up in an alcove inside of our house in Palos Verdes, CA, but I have included photos of my studio in Crystal Cove in Laguna Beach, CA. It was mine for 25 years, and was the most wonderful studio ever. It is now included in the Crystal Cove State Park, just across from the house where we lived for 25 years, which is now the Beachcomber Restaurant. The turquoise building in the photo above was my studio.
What are you working on at the moment?
VF: I started out hand-painting designs, then went to classes to learn how to design on the computer. I love Adobe Illustrator and will soon be releasing an interactive iBook with instructions on creating repeats. When I retired, I promised I would write a book to pass along my experience. It has turned out to be quite a project with interactive pages and demo videos. It has been a tremendous amount of work; however, it feels good to get all that I have learned down so that I can share with others.
What got you started in Surface Pattern Design?
VF: My husband started a patio umbrella business years ago. He made the "Look" umbrellas for the 1984 Olympics in Los Angeles. I began by re-coloring the fabrics from our supplier, and then started designing exclusive designs for Falzetti Umbrella.
What's your favorite medium to work in?
VF: I started out making etchings and then sculpture. Once I became hooked on textile designing, I found that I actually love using Adobe Illustrator to create designs.
What’s your process for going from a gem of a pattern idea to a fully realized final design?
VF: I just like to start playing with the design elements. I will fill my art board with design elements and just see how it evolves. When I worked for a company in the infant bedding industry, we always had an end use in mind -- a complete bedding set, including a comforter, sheet, bumper, and dust ruffle. Often there were accessories such as wall decor, lamps, blankets, rugs, wall borders, diaper stackers, etc. The keystone was always the comforter. Once the comforter reached a point where "The Powers" and I were satisfied, it was easy to expand out to the other items. The color story was set. Most of the design elements were established in the comforter, or at least the "story" was set. As far as when a design is done...hmm, that one is difficult...I believe every artist and designer knows you can kill a design if it is overworked. Sometimes that is inevitable when there are many hands involved. I always thought it best to leave an obvious flaw so that "The Powers" could make that change and be happy and the integrity of the design could be maintained...and, well, sometimes it worked!
Tell us about your ideal client or dream design job.
VF: Hmm...One that gives you direction, so you will have an idea of their needs, but gives you the freedom to be creative. I believe the dream job would be designing for Pottery Barn. They have their own outlets and offer the most creative products because of that. I have enjoyed working in the infant bedding industry. There is something about designing for babies and children that keeps things light and playful.
What are your favorite design blogs, websites, or magazines?
VF: Pinterest and TED -- I can spend hours looking through these two sites. I generally am not looking for anything specific. On Pinterest, I just browse through and pin anything that looks interesting. It is also a great place to keep interesting things that you come across, ideas, inspirations, color combinations, places you want to see, recipes, just anything. On TED I recently came across a presentation by Milton Glaser on using design to make ideas new -- very inspirational and well worth the time. My husband has recently become interested in 3D printing, so we have been watching some interesting presentations on TED. Wow! What a concept.
What’s one favorite item that you have in your studio?
VF: It is difficult to name one favorite item...I have a thing for paintbrushes -- I have quite a collection. There is such a variety of brands, shapes, and sizes. I just like the look of having an interesting container filled with various sizes and shapes many tall bushy ones and sleek pointed brushes. I rarely use them any more -- just like having them! I also have a container full of feathers. I collected them off the beach and used them to brush bubbles from etching plates when they were in the acid bath. It always fascinated me that the acid would eat away the metal, but the feathers would be untouched. I have not done etching for years but still have my collection of feathers and a huge container full of peacock feathers. In this area the peacocks run wild and drop their feathers seasonally -- who could resist those! I also love having photos of my grandchildren, and the artworks they have given me. Oh yes...and my Mac!
coming soon: www.falzettidesign.com