Featured Designer: Kristen Doran Design

FK talks to Sydney based creative mum, Kristen Doran about her textiles business.

Tell us about your self title label, Kristen Doran Design.
Kristen Doran Design produces hand printed textiles, sewing patterns and embroidery patterns. I started the label as a creative outlet while staying at home with my children. What first began as designing and selling bags to friends and family quickly turned into producing my own fabric designs.

What was your background and what lead you to textiles?
I studied fashion design at East Sydney Tafe. On completion I worked in the fashion industry for many years before re-training as a graphic designer. The combination of working in both fields was the perfect precursor to starting my own textile design business. But really it was all just a happy coincidence of circumstances that led me there… Designing bags to fill in time while changing nappies and going to the park, wanting my bags to stand out from the crowd, but not sure how. Dinner with a friend who owns a screenprinting business, having a few designs printed up for my bags and selling them at a local art gallery, stumbling across a blog about craft. And finally falling into the world of blogs and eventually starting my own and people asking me where to buy the fabrics on my bags. I also discovered that selling fabrics was much more achievable than bags with the little time I had available.

Who or what inspires your work?
Many things; sometimes a walk to school with the kids can reveal a new idea, creative friends getting together, my kids, my childhood story books, Art Nouveau and spare time to think and draw.

What do you love about working with fabric?
I love the endless possibilities of working with fabric and also the feel of hand printing. It’s fantastic to see creative people using your fabrics in projects you may never have thought of or had the time to do yourself.

Describe your style of working & creative process
I generally have a few ideas bumping around in my head. They hang there for a while, waiting for late night inspiration to hit before I sketch, scan and get working on the computer. I probably procrastinate for so long about my designs as I  like to create from start to finish in one sitting. So waiting for the time to be able to do that seems like forever. I also like to print out the designs and sticky tape them around the lounge room to live with them for a while and see if I like the size and scale. I also have two little critics (my sons) who like to throw their two cents worth in as well.

What areas would you like to explore more in the future?
I’m having a lot of fun designing backstitch patterns of dolls and robots. I would love to do more of these and maybe even venture into cross stitch patterns.


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