We’ve had the pleasure of interviewing Jill Seale and asking her some questions to share with you.
1) How did you get your start in textile design?
Seale: My background is in product design where textiles was a minor part and I've always wanted to design textiles for home. It may be genetic...my mom studied textile design at the Cleveland Institute of Art but got married and that was the end of that! We joke she outsourced it to me. When I studied my passion of paper marbling in Florence I felt I found my unique voice in textiles.
2) We know you traveled to Italy and were inspired to create marbling which led to many of your designs.
What is your favorite part of Italy and why? How often do you get to travel back to Italy?
Seale: While I love all of Italy, Florence owns me. I can't say why exactly but I feel a deep resonance with SOUL. That's the only word I can come up with to describe the feeling. It's the birthplace of the Renaissance and every inch of the city and buildings and art carry an imprint of someone who created, carved, painted, architecturally designed, and built it. I am especially enamored with the tiny ateliers where artisans create and sell their work. In Italy art is given the proper time it takes to be created with care and craftsmanship. There truly is something about Italian-made quality and it reinforces my belief to honor the care and time good design deserves. I do an annual pilgrimage to immerse in that way of life and refresh my artist soul.
3) What do you love most about creating textiles?
Seale: I love: the process of exploration in creating art, the chance that is involved with that and being present to identify what would make a good design. I love hand-creating a repeat pattern, seeing a pattern come to life in other products such as wallcovering, trays, lampshades, tabletop. I love seeing how designers, furniture, rug, apparel and gift manufacturers envision uses for my designs, and I love bringing the ancient art of marbling and the human element of hand illustration and painting into the home in a prominent way. In other "word", EVERYTHING.
4) What do you find to be challenging and also rewarding about textile design?
Seale: I don't even recognize 'challenging' because everything is just part of the process and I roll. If I HAD to say, it's paring down the final selections for each release. Rewarding? By far the relationships with the wonderful people I've met in this industry. It's also rewarding to witness the delight in those who embrace my work and being able to work directly with designers and manufacturers to provide (sometimes custom) uplifting designs and solutions that people live with. It's extremely rewarding to be able to share this journey with my Mom, as her textile design ambassador!
5) Do you have a favorite pattern that you have created in your designs?
Seale: Each design was selected because I love something special about it, but a design that is extra special to me is Tuscan Sunset which was created in Florence and was my first design selected for my foray into furniture with Wesley Hall Furniture.
6) What major events do you love to attend to share your products?
Seale: High Point Market has been my launch pad and with two shows a year, it keeps me busy. It is the only show I currently do other than the occasional small gift show.
7) Do you have any new products on the horizon that you can share? (Melissa loves her pair of Banksy patterned pants) Seale: Go Banksy! With my product design background I can't help but always be thinking of new applications (spots on this leopard!) I'm deepening my home decor offerings and have some things in the works for outside of home! Stay tuned!
8) Any words of advice for designers who are just starting out in textiles?
Seale: Find your own voice. Tell your own story. Don't pay attention to trends - they come, they go. Everyone appreciates an original vision. Listen to what designers are asking for, but give the unexpected right along with it.