Interview: Lara Cameron, Textile Designer

By Tess McCabe Coming up with the pre-order packaging designs for Conversations with Creative Women: Volume Two has resulted in a some pretty exciting collaborations, one of which is with much-loved Melbourne textile designer Lara Cameron of Ink & Spindle. Lara has generously donated one of her designs to be digitally printed onto fabric and will adorn pre-ordered copies of our new book.

Lara Cameron and the fabric wrap she has designed exclusively for the release of Conversations with Creative Women: Volume Two pre-order

Recently I caught up with Lara to ask her a bit about her design, process and what remains her trickiest business challenge...

This textile design is a step in a different direction from your Ink & Spindle collection and is an extension of your Proteaflora large format prints on paper. Do you have plans to develop the Proteaflora series further or release another range of prints?

Yes it's a bit different isn't it! It was fun to design something for a completely different medium. The designs I do for Ink & Spindle are very restricted, and in some ways I really love that - we need our designs to cater for hand printed repeats and limited colour separations - and those limitations are always informing my design process. Since the Proteaflora prints were being digitally printed the sky was the limit. It was fun to break free of those boundaries for a little while. I definitely have plans to do more - I have another set of three slowly brewing, but they might take a while to become a reality!

Framed digital prints by Lara Cameron

What materials or programs did you use to create this design?

Initially the shape of the Leucadendrons were hand drawn with pencil in a geometric style. I then scanned them in to the computer and worked over the top of them using Illustrator. I tried to restrict myself to geometric shapes only: rectangles, triangles and semi-circles. I found some interesting textures to apply to some of the shapes to give it a more organic feel - there's only so much crisp digital perfection I can handle!

Where are your favourite places in nature to find inspiration for your designs?

We are very lucky to have a house in our family down at Fairhaven, on the Great Ocean Road. I love that it's only 1.5 hours drive away and a total departure from daily live. The flora down there is quite coastal but my grandmother planted some interesting natives in the yard a long time ago - my favourite is the Pincushion Hakea which is spectacular if you catch it in bloom.

What is your biggest challenge as a creative running her own business?

Two things - managing cash-flow and making time to create! I think there's a lot of misconception about what running a creative business is really like, especially if you're truly sticking to your values, producing locally and in an ethical manner. It's hard! There's a lot of time spent doing book-work and managing the production side of things and very little head space or time to create. That's why I really have to get out of town to allow myself that mental space.

Bolts of screen printed textiles by Ink & Spindle. You can customise your own colourway at their brand new website!

Can you share any details of exciting new products or projects you have in the works?

We *just* launched our brand new website which was an epic project in itself. To be honest I'm just happy to sit back for a bit and recover from that mammoth effort before tackling the next thing :)


Thanks, Lara! If you would like to receive your copy of the book wrapped in Lara's gorgeous design, visit our shop before 30 September 2013 and place your order. And why not have a play around with a textile-design creation tool on Ink & Spindle's new website? So fun!