The Design Studio Blog

Designer Spotlight: Heather Rosas

January 12th, 2018 by Camelot Fabrics

This week we are talking to Camelot fabric designer Heather Rosas about her work and her inspiration. Heather has designed many Collections for Camelot over the years: From Whoo’s Cute and You Are Dino-Mite to her most recent collections, Window Garden (Dec 17 launch), I Believe in Unicorns and Ahoy Matey (Sept 17 launch). Read on for a view into Heather’s creative process!

Camelot Fabrics: Please introduce yourself and tell us what you do!
HR: Hello! My name is Heather Rosas and I’m an illustrator and surface designer. I license my artwork for many products such as greeting cards, wall art, home and holiday decor, tabletop, party paper, stationery, and of course, fabric.

 

Heather through the ages:

a few of her many collections with Camelot

one  |  Ahoy Matey, September 2017
two  |  It’s a Bird’s Life, July 2014
three  |  Flutter & Buzz, January 2017
four  |  Oh What Fun, April 2017
five  |  I Believe in Unicorns, September 2017
six  |  You Are Dino-Mite, September 2016

 

CF: What inspired you to design your three most recent collections: Window Garden, Ahoy Matey and I Believe in Unicorns?

HR: Window Garden features container gardens and succulents, which are very popular where I live in Southern California. It’s very dry and hot here, so many homeowners have replaced their front lawns and rose gardens with eco-gardens that feature container gardens, native California plants, and succulents. We did this to our front yard about 8 years ago. It saves a lot of water, but still gives a home to our native wildlife such as lizards, bees, butterflies, dragonflies, snails, and birds. I even feature a little lizard, snail and other little creatures throughout the collection.

 

Ahoy Matey was inspired by my childhood vacations to Cape Cod and Rhode Island. I grew up in Massachusetts, so that is where we went on vacations in the summer when I was little. There were always lots of shells to find on the beach, and lots of seagulls of course! Beaches in Massachusetts have a very different feel from beaches in California. In Massachusetts it’s more about the sailing and whale watching, more nautical themes and in California it would be more about surfing.

 

I Believe in Unicorns was inspired by my nine-year-old daughter, who loves unicorns, rainbows, and all magical, girly things. Her room is full of stuffed animal unicorns, little unicorn figurines, her bathrobe is a unicorn, she has three shirts and one sweater with a unicorn, lots of notebooks and journals with unicorns… you get the idea! And after every birthday and Christmas, there are more unicorns to add to her collection. So being surrounded by unicorns when I walk into my daughter’s room was my inspiration!

 

CF: Can you tell us a bit about your creative process? What do you most enjoy?

HR: I always start a collection with lots of research. I’ll gather reference photos to sketch from. Sketching from reference gives a lot more to work with than sketching from memory. You’ll see more detail and texture if you look at a real object or a photo of it, than if you just try to remember it.
I’ll also do research on choosing a color palette. I’ll look at home decor or fashion magazines and blogs to see what’s trending in color. Some of my favorites are design-seeds.com, colourlovers.com, decor8blog.com, and printpattern.blogspot.com.
Sometimes I’ll make Pinterest boards or sometimes I’ll print out photos and reference them while sketching. I keep my reference photos in a file folder. I have all kinds of subjects like flowers, plants, animals, butterflies, birds, teacups, kitchen items…. the list goes on and on!

 

After gathering reference, I’ll do lots of sketching. Sometimes I start with a realistic sketch and then I might work in a more stylized way, once I understand the object I’m drawing.
For example, I had to draw lots of horses before I was able to stylize the unicorns for I Believe in Unicorns. For the florals in I Believe in Unicorns, I painted the flowers in gouache to get the organic shapes that I wanted.
When I’ve gathered a bunch of sketches that I’m happy with, I’ll scan them in and then digitize them in Illustrator by either using Image Trace or redrawing them with the pen tool. Then I’ll start choosing colors and building my repeats. My favorite part of the process is the beginning stages, the painting and sketching are the most fun for me.

 

CF: What is your creative workspace / studio like?

HR: I work at my home, which has a very open floor plan, so I’m in an area off of my living room. We have French doors that look out to the backyard and pool, so it’s very inspiring. I have a big dining table out on my patio and the weather is almost always nice, so sometimes I’ll take my reference photos, paints, pencils, and sketchbooks and draw and paint outside.

 

CF: Which creative medium would you love to pursue, but haven’t yet?

HR: I would like to experiment more with cut-paper and gouache. You can get all kinds of unexpected shapes that you might not get with a pencil. It’s much looser and freer, which can give a lovely result. I’d also like to learn how to use Procreate on my ipad. I spend a lot of time at my children’s sports and dance lessons, so it would be nice to add that to my usual sketching with pencil and paper.

 

CF: Your newest collection – Window Garden – is all about potted plants and succulents. What is your favourite plant (to grow and/or admire), and why?

HR: I don’t really tend a garden right now, but I think all plants have their own unique beauty. Someday I would love to have a veggie garden. There is nothing that can complete with the taste of fresh fruit and veggies, but right now, I’ll have to settle with visiting our local farmer’s market!

If you make something with one of Heather’s fabric collections, please tag Heather @heatherrosasart #heatherrosasfabric and Camelot @camelot_fabrics #camelotfabrics on Instagram. We’re always amazed by what you create and love to see your projects!
Heather can be found online at:
Website: heatherrosas.com
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/heatherrosasart/
Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/heatherrosasart/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/heatherrosasillustration
Twitter: https://twitter.com/caligirlblossom

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