Artist Kirby Smith
TMFMA: What is exciting about your creative work? For me I love to see how the designs will be used in the end, seeing a print transformed onto a fabric or a product is always exciting. I also love to play with color and the way colors interact.
TMFMA: Is there a person or thing that has influenced you in your artistic efforts? What inspires you? I grew up on a family farm in Chester County, Pennsylvania. I was always encouraged to explore and go outdoors. I feel this has influenced me the most. My colors are very warm and natural like the colors I was surrounded with on the farm and I try to always leave an evidence of myself as the artist in my prints, such as a sketched line or hand drawn elements. I also look to artists for inspiration; some of my favorites are Katie Daisy, Lulie Wallace, and Luli Sanchez.
TMFMA: What project are you currently working on? Now that I've graduated from SCAD and have some more free time, I am planning on working on some pieces I've wanted to try for a while. I recently began creating these fabric collages that I use scrap fabrics and free motion embroidery to create - there is an example on my website. I would love to do more of those as well as continue to do more illustrative work.
© Kirby Smith
TMFMA: Tell us of your recent experience at the Surtex competition. Surtex was an amazing experience and unlike anything I had ever taken part in. I was overwhelmed by the scale of the show as well as the many different attendees from every niche of the design world. I spoke to manufacturers, designers, trend forecasting agencies, and a variety of other companies from around the world. I had no idea of all of the many ways to license and sell my work before coming to Surtex, but leaving the show I felt that I gained so much understanding of the industry and made so many contacts to help me out down the road. I also got great feedback on my portfolio work and to have my work reviewed by professionals in the industry was a great opportunity in itself. This experience helped me grow professionally and has been a great way to launch my career as a designer.
|© Kirby Smith
TMFMA: What are your future aspirations and goals? I have been offered a position as a Pattern Designer for Target Inc. where I will start this fall. I hope to continue my career in the surface design field and hopefully one day have my own line of designs.
Kirby Smith's website: kirbyleesmith.com