You have to give Lara Cameron a lot of respect. After finishing up college at Swinburne University in Melbourne, Australia, Lara went to work for herself… and hasn’t stopped since.
Chalk it up to her creativity and artistic talents, but Lara never saw herself working in an office cubicle as a drone. She eventually started a blog called Kirin Notebook on textiles, and that has since blossomed into Ink and Spindle, a textile business she started with two other friends. That labor of love has been Lara’s focus for some time now, and she was kind enough to take a few minutes out of her busy schedule to talk to us today.
Lara creates what YOU need in order to create. Huh? She’ll explain below, so please read on. After that, please stop by her websites and pay her a visit! On to the questions…
1. Hi Lara, thanks for allowing us to interview you today. Please take a moment to introduce yourself and tell us all about your blogs, websites, and services that you offer.
Hi! My name is Lara and I’m a Melbourne based textile designer and screen printer. I have a range of screen printed textiles that we print in-house at Ink & Spindle.
2. Our readers are mainly interested in home decor and ideas to beautify their homes. As a textile designer, what would you say are the most popular uses for the textiles you design for your customers, and in what ways can they enhance a home’s natural decor?
My textiles are often used for items like cushions, lamps and also lightweight upholstery projects.
Although I like to think of my designs as having long lasting appeal, I like the idea that a splash of pattern on a cushion or lamp can complement a room’s decor and be changed easily when desired.
3. Please take a moment to tell us briefly about your newest venture, Ink and Spindle.
Ink & Spindle is our new yardage screen printing table! It is a joint venture between myself and fellow textile designers Bianca van Meeuwen and Tegan Rose. Bianca and I were previously designing and producing textiles through another print house, and we decided why not do it ourselves? We now have a greater control over the process, the quality of output, and it’s so nice to have a hands on involvement in the process!
4. It is apparent from your blog posts and photographs that what you do is a lot of hard work, both creatively and physically.
Do you enjoy what you do, and what is it that keeps you going every day?
It is indeed a lot of hard work! Bianca, Tegan and I hand screen print all the fabrics ourselves on a 10m table. There’s a lot of physical work involved – printing, mixing inks, washing screens, rolling out fabrics, hoisting fabrics to dry, etc etc etc.
And then there’s the business side of things – all the hard work involved in making sure we stay afloat! Sometimes it feels like we never really have enough time to create new designs.
But, it’s definitely worth all the hard work, it’s so satisfying to have your own creative space and be involved in the process on all levels. And it’s great traveling to markets and shows where we get to engage with our customers face to face. It’s a lot of fun.
5. Some of our readers may be intrigued by the idea of using textiles to decorate their homes, but may not know where to begin.
What general advice would you give someone who is interested in ordering from you, but first would like to know some ideas about where to begin to educate themselves on textiles?
Hmmm, I’m not sure what advice to give here! I would just say choose from the heart. Start simple with cushions or lamps or make wall canvasses. Choose designs that resonate with you and fit well with your colour scheme. And where possible choose organic or sustainable textiles and alternatives to mass produced textiles (of course I’d say that!).
6. Lara, thanks again for talking with us. For the last question, we always like to ask our guests how they first got into their line of work and what initially interested them in it. In your case, you fell into it almost by accident.
While studying graphic design, what was it about textiles in particular that made you want to pursue it as a career?
It does feel a little like I ended up here accidentally. I found I had an interest in designing patterns, and then when seeking an application for my designs textiles was actually the most viable. Although when I think back I’ve always had a keen interest in textiles and screen printing, so I think it was a case of all these pieces subconsciously coming together.
And, there’s nothing quite like designing something you can hold in your hand, or give to other people who turn it into beautiful things. I think that’s my favourite part.
There you have it. Lara can provide you with the tools you need to make wonderful creations. All it takes is your brain and her textiles, and the rest is up to you!
We want to send our sincere thanks to Lara Cameron for granting us this interview. Please take some time and check out Kirin Notebook and Ink and Spindle, and always remember the work that people like Lara do whenever you see something beautiful in the store. Without textiles, there’s not much. Thanks Lara!