Pattern and Story

For many years I have had one foot in the world of picture books and another in the world of textiles.

Question: Is this a textile design or a children’s book illustration?

Answer: This is part of a new line of textiles called Hey Diddle Diddle, designed for In The Beginning Fabrics.

Question: Is this a textile design or a children’s book illustration?

Answer: this is the dedication page from my upcoming picture book Vivid: Poems and Notes about Color (I’ll write more about Vivid next month).

I studied weaving in college at the School for American Craftsmen. I was a pretty bad craftsperson – my selvages were always crooked.  I wanted to tell stories with my fabric, but the emphasis was more on technique.

Magpie by Yuri Vasnetsov

I also took a drawing class where the teacher dinged me for excessive pattern and flatness in my work. He asked if I really needed to draw every leaf on every tree. Yes, I did.

I felt like a misfit in all arenas. But luckily I had one class where the teacher told me to consider the things that made me different as strengths and not weaknesses. I was ready to hear that advice, and he helped me find my own direction. 

Since then my patterns have been full of stories and my stories have been full of pattern.

I like to play with the balance between the decorative and narrative, and to search for new directions.

Here is a piece that I made in 2016. Question: How was it made?

Answer: The black was stenciled onto 4 pieces of paper. The colors were painted on. The papers were rotated and stitched together.

Recently I designed some cotton scarves for my webshop Julie Paprika: Menagerie, Be Mine and Yum. The original drawings were ink on paper, painted at full size. I rotated the paper while painting.

Question: Can you tell which side is up? Can you make up stories for them?

In addition to balancing pattern and story, I try to balance having a creative life and making a living. Julie Paprika is my attempt to do both things. It would be peachy if you visited the shop.
Thank you.

P.S. I am currently selling a Zero Tolerance poster at Julie Paprika.
Question: Why is our government treating immigrants with such cruelty?
Answer: There is no good answer.
A small action: Buy this poster and 1oo% of the proceeds will go to United We Dream. Click here. Thank you.

7 responses to “Pattern and Story

  1. Julie, thank you for your wonderful contribution to the art, design and illustration world! Your incredible use of pattern sets you apart and is inspiring to me as a fellow illustrator. As one who tells stories in unconventional ways, I relate to your frustration with the constraints of art training. I also was saved by a teacher, who encouraged me to explore in ways that were true to my soul.

    • Julie Paschkis

      Thanks for your message. That encouragement from a teacher can be just a few words. If they are the right words at the right time they can make a difference over a lifetime.

      • laurakvasnosky

        Julie — check out Sally Mavor’s work. It is wonderful. I remember you once saying something about how your decorating motto is ‘more is more,’ talking about pattern on pattern. She has a kindred aesthetic

  2. Thank you for sharing your work, and your path on this post, Julie. I am especially grateful to hear the words of your drawing teacher who suggested that you consider the things that make you different as strengths rather than weaknesses!

  3. Love this post! xo

    On Fri, Jul 13, 2018 at 6:49 AM, Books Around The Table wrote:

    > Julie Paschkis posted: “For many years I have had one foot in the world of > picture books and another in the world of textiles. Question: Is this a > textile design or a children’s book illustration? Answer: This is part of a > new line of textiles called Hey Diddle Diddle, des” >

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