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an interview with a Pattern Camper: Lizzie Clark

Over at Pattern Camp we’re working on a series of design challenges in partnership with Zazzle. Pattern Camper Lizzie Clark won the recent Cozy Home design challenge – designing cozy things like blankets and pillows – and I thought it’d be fun to interview her here!

Here’s one of her winning designs:

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So lovely, right? Check out Lizzie’s Zazzle store here, and read more about her + see more of her lovely patterns below!

Hi Lizzie! Tell us about yourself. Who are you and what do you do? Do you have a background in art?

My name is Lizzie Clark. . . artist and pattern passionate. I feel I’m in a transition phase – I was a (mostly self-taught) graphic designer (for 15 years), became an art show vendor, and then came to the wonderful world of surface pattern design. . .though I’m currently doing art shows and surface pattern design in tandem. . .at least until the end of December . . .I’m finding the mix a challenge to be managed.

For the first two thirds of my life, I was an artist wanna be and crafter run amok. . .taking random classes in disciplines including painting, pottery, encaustic, sewing, knitting, crocheting, etcetera, as well as undergraduate minoring in art and architectural history. Then, my husband fired me from his firm, we bought a printer, and he encouraged and supported my journey in pursuing art as a profession, complete with some college classes… so, a bit of an art background and a lot of self directed learning.

What is your favorite piece of your early art / writing / etc? 

This cream and sugar set is my favorite piece of “early” art (made over 20 years ago) :

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We met through Pattern Camp, my online pattern design course. Since you took the course your creativity seems to have exploded! What does your creative life look like for you these days? Has your work changed a lot since learning how to create patterns?

So, are you looking for “a day in the creative life” kind of thing (lol)? The schedule I’m currently working is something like this – daily sketching on a theme from my list, scanning and cleaning up the images, creating color palettes, and producing between 1-5 patterns a day. It feels like I’m beginning to find my “style.” As my sketching evolves, so do the patterns. . .(guess that’s kind of a forehead slap, right?!) To round out my days, a bit of time on care and feeding of my web site, some contact research, and social media posting. This is dramatically different than my pre-pattern days. . .I’ve gotten more disciplined and focused, and rely more on my son (when he’s home from college) and my husband for errands and chores, which is freeing!

My goal is to have at least 150 patterns by March of next year. . .so that I can do the scary thing I’ve committed to. . .

What have you done recently that scared you?

I committed to a booth at SURTEX! (Ack!) SO scary some days. Totally doable on others. And I didn’t want to find myself saying, “You know, what if . . .”

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What’s your favorite color?

Can I say grey? I used to ask my mother that question when I was a child, and when she said grey, I would say, “THAT’s not a color!” And now, it’s official. I’ve become my mother. (LOL) I love all colors. I’m especially drawn to blues/purples/reds.

What’s your favorite part of your work day?

When I come to the studio, and open Illustrator, ready to start playing with the motifs and pallets I’ve created. . .all sense of time is gone and I’m immersed and obsessed. . .sometimes I sit for so long I’m not sure I’ll make it to the bathroom in time. (HA)

What job would you most like to try for a week?

Hmmmmm. . .I think I would really like to try interior design. . .it feels like a different kind of art to me – I love making spaces beautiful and functional.

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What’s your BIG DREAM?

. . . my BIG DREAM is to have a pattern on a product or products. . .and if I’m REALLY dreaming big, the products would be with the home decor and stationery/gift market for places like Garnet Hill, Anthropologie, Paper Source, Crate and Barrel, Papyrus . . .

What’s one simple pleasure that brings you a ridiculous amount of happiness?

Sitting on my patio on a Saturday morning, with a cup of coffee and my sketch book. . .heaven!

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What’s next for you? Any exciting plans or projects in the works that you want to tell us about?

Hmmmm. . .besides SURTEX? (HA!) That’s pretty all consuming and the To Do lists go on for days!. . . I’m eagerly awaiting a birthday delivery from Dick Blick with some new art supplies. I’m thinking about a working in new medium that will lend itself to original art, patterns, or prints. . .we’ll see how it goes, and new media is always SO much fun!

I want everyone to know how incredibly generous and encouraging you are. . .I would not be where I am at this moment if not for your support. Thank you, thank you!

That’s so sweet, Lizzie, thank you! And thanks for taking the time to share a bit about yourself and your work with me. :)

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About Lizzie Clark – surface pattern and mixed media artist

A resident of Annandale, VA for almost 20 years. Crazy supportive husband and college student son – both of whom are stained glass artists.
In the Elizabeth Gilbert hummingbird way, I feel like I’ve finally found my passion and tribe, after working as a museum curator, event coordinator/program manager, admin director for engineers, a graphic designer, and art show vendor. . .SO looking forward to the coming year and what it will offer.

Where to find Lizzie online:

Website
Instagram
Twitter
Facebook

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