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083: Intersection: Caroline Duffy, Textile Designer


In the previous episode, we met Sareka Unique who reminded us that inspiration is present all around her, the way her current mood dictates her final product, how she knows when a piece is complete and the special community she’s created for other artists online. She also reminded us of the wonder of colour in her work and today’s guest agrees.


Allow me to officially introduce you to today’s guest: Caroline Duffy.


Caroline Duffy is an artist and textile designer living in Dundalk, Ireland. While studying at the National College of Art & Design in Dublin, she fell in love with textiles and patterns. After graduating from NCAD, she spent 10 years creating surface and textile design for Textile Houses in New York, Sydney and London. On her return she launched her own design and art business, back here in Ireland. With Caroline’s Art her signature colourful pieces are all inspired by nature – whether it’s a floral or abstract painting, printed silk scarf, notebooks or cards. “I create colourful art, textiles and patterns for people who want to connect with the joy of nature in their home and on the go!” Everything comes down to nature for her. Her mission is to make and design colourful pieces that create vitality, happiness and intrigue to her and those who see them.


In our conversation, Caroline and I discuss the textile design industry, how her involvement in an artistic community is life-giving and the joys and challenges of working for oneself.


Key Ideas Discussed:

  • She's worked all over the world, settled back in Ireland about 10 years ago

  • She fell into textile design by accident - a happy accident!

  • Textile design touches on all the things she loves including painting, use of fabrics and seeing the design transform into a product

  • She's travelled the world, working in different textile houses (USA, Australia, UK)

  • She's had bosses who were hard on her and she takes everything to heart, which was a challenge (developing a tough skin was a necessary skill)

  • There's no place like home!

  • She's known for painting flowers

  • Seeing her designs in the wild never ceases to be special

  • Wearable art is her new passion in the last year

  • Art is not just for your walls, you can surround yourself with it

  • It's about the energy and good vibes it brings

  • Multiple uses something can have (ex: scarf as art - hang or wear)

  • There are lots of crafts people that go into a single product

  • Everything can be art - the lines of art and design are blurred

  • Caroline was always surrounded by blooms from the garden as a child, she spent her weekends in nature (beach or the mountains on the coast)

  • Colour always makes her happy

  • She loves green and pink

  • Her art and creative practices crosses into her family life and her community

  • She belongs to a local artist community (skill share, etc.)

  • Art and creative work bonds families and communities

  • Art and creative work can elevate and shift our energies, which translate to our home life and those around us

  • She has to reminder herself to take the pressure off

  • It takes constant work to be balanced

  • Both an analog painting process; she uses Photoshop to tweak, change colour ways, etc.

  • The final material affects the way Caroline approaches the design

  • Testing always happens between the design stage and the final print

  • Variations in textile mills and printers make this a constant work in process

  • The most challenging part is fitting all there is to do in a week

  • Planning and sticking to it - she suffers from the 'shiny object syndrome' - managing this is a constant challenge

  • She turns off her wifi and puts music on to work

  • She loves working for herself because of the flexibility

  • One of the challenges working alone is not having someone to bounce ideas off of; doubt starts to creep in

  • Even if it looks and feels like you've got it all figured out, there's value into diving deeper into discovering your purpose

  • Satisfying herself creatively and bringing this passion for creativity and art to others - bring joy; bigger studio, program for courses or tutorials in art; immersed in art, colour and nature


Among many insights gained, Caroline reminds us to get out into nature for a healthy dose of inspiration. In the next episode we meet Shen, an animator who shares Caroline’s feelings about the importance of the natural world in her work.


Stay tuned…


Secondary podcast episode art that contains the text ‘Episode 083 Intersection: Caroline Duffy, Textile Designer’ on a blue background and half of a yellow paper boat.

This image depicts Caroline’s painted textile design of colourful pink followers on a green silk scarf worn (called ‘Be Fearless Scarf’) on a model’s head.

A picture of Caroline working on her painting of flowers that became the ‘Be Fearless Scarf’.

Blue and pink painted flowers are depicted on a silk scarf draped around a model’s waist (called ‘Flourish Etole Scarf’).

A work-in-progress painting of pink and purple foxglove flowers.

A picture of blue and white painted blooms.

A digital illustration that depicts Caroline Duffy’s point of intersection between ‘bright colours bring joy’ and ‘immersion in nature’. There are two overlapping circles connecting these themes and a straight line connecting her to the place where these circles meet. When connected with the 16 other artists these circles form a map.

The complete map of the colourful, intersecting circles that represent the 17 artists and their connections to one another.

About Our Guest:

A photo of Caroline Duffy standing in front of her art hung on a wall, happily looking down at the paint brushes in her hand.

Caroline Duffy is an artist and textile designer living in Dundalk, Ireland. While studying at the National College of Art & Design in Dublin, she fell in love with textiles and patterns. After graduating from NCAD, she spent 10 years creating surface and textile design for Textile Houses in New York, Sydney and London. On her return she launched her own design and art business, back here in Ireland. With Caroline’s Art her signature colourful pieces are all inspired by nature – whether it’s a floral or abstract painting, printed silk scarf, notebooks or cards. “I create colourful art, textiles and patterns for people who want to connect with the joy of nature in their home and on the go!” Everything comes down to nature for her. Her mission is to make and design colourful pieces that create vitality, happiness and intrigue to her and those who see them.

https://carolineduffydesigns.com/



Music (public domain via Free Music Archive): Chad Crouch - Rainbow


Talk Paper Scissors Theme Music: Retro Quirky Upbeat Funk by Lewis Sound Production via Audio Jungle


Boat Origami Photo: Boat Origami Photo byAlex onUnsplash



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