Thursday, March 14, 2013

Designer Tidbits: Studio K


Spring is certainly in the air, and the flowers have begun to bloom. The Chinoise collection captures the essence of Spring, with a nod to Asian decoration and a dash of whimsy. Johnny Karwan, the talented artist behind Studio K, is here to talk to us about his latest fabric collection, Chinoise.

Q: Tell us a bit about your background as an artist and designer.
A: I have a fine arts background and have worked painting background scenes for feature length and television animation. Following that, I spent a decade creating custom paintings, sculpture and assemblage for commercial and residential clients. One of the more memorable being an 80 foot painting of a row of 25 foot tall sunflowers in California’s wine country. I still design for commercial and residential projects and also design, sell and license textiles and surface designs out of my studio in San Francisco’s historic Haight-Ashbury neighborhood.


Q: What projects do you hope to see using Chinoise?
A: Chinoiserie, or "Chinoise" as this collection is called, is a French term meaning chinese-esque, and is characterized by fanciful and imaginative florals and whimsical birds and cages. The colors are bright and happy and I hope this collection will be applied in any creative manner where one wants to convey a feeling of happiness and whimsy through bright florals and birds in this contemporary nod to Asian decoration.

Chinoise Quilt Kit by It's Sew Emma
Q: Where did you find your original inspiration for this collection?
A: My inspiration in general comes from my passion for all things natural, whimsical, colorful and exotic. When designing Chinoise, I drew inspiration from Asian decoration, bright colors and whimsical floral motifs.

Q: What TV show or movie does your collection fit best in?
A: ...at the risk of sounding cheeky, "Chinatown" of course!


Q: From what aspect of your life do you draw creativity?
A: I draw creativity from virtually every aspect of my life. Wild parrots flying over my yard in the morning, driftwood sculpted and distressed by the surf, the shadow of a flower in the grass, a smile from a stranger on the street, colorful vegetables and fruits at the market, the twinkle in a friendly eye, the beauty in all I behold!


Q: What is the most challenging part of the design process?
A: The challenge isn't so much to conceive pleasing designs or meaningful creations or to find a palette that resonates with the concept; rather, it is to bring what was created in my imagination into tangible form. This means hours of relative solitude at my table in my studio where I mix and fine tune colors, lay out designs into harmonious compositions and paint furiously to meet deadlines!!

For more cool art, visit Studio K's website and to shop the Chinoise collection head to Fat Quarter Shop! Don't forget to check out the Chinoise Quilt Kit, designed by none other than It's Sew Emma! What do you think? Are you inspired by the whimsical nature of Chinoise?