Calica Studio: Soft Studies from Start to Finish

As a collaborative creative duo, we're always working through design challenges and business decisions together. Though there are tasks that we tend to divide up when it comes to other aspects of our practice, the creative work is always shared, with designs passing back and forth through Google Drive and text message as each of us makes changes and suggestions. Some ideas lead to dead ends, ideas put to rest for another time. Other designs come from unlikely places and end up being some of our favourite prints. 

We begin with analog work created with our hands. Things go digital later, but we always start with paint, ink, collage or stitch. For the upcoming Soft Studies collection we began with inspiration provided by my kitchen backsplash. 

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In all honestly, I was drinking wine at my kitchen island and watching Beyoncé videos on youtube when I started to explore the positive and negative spaces on the midcentury tiles in front of me. This exploration with acrylic paint on heavy paper produced a few different compositions:

The second image was not so much inspired by the tile, it was one of those dead ends, but the other two were very connected to the source inspiration. I was sending iPhone snaps to Rebecca as I went and she started working with her favourite digitally. 

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She began by creating a vector file of the painting and then worked into the small sections of each tile, filling them with colour. This allowed her to try out different colourways and isolations. 

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The print was feeling right and we were both really in to where it was going. At first we'd planned to use the whole design on one scarf, but when we began pulling individual rectangles from the overall composition we got very excited by the possibilities. 

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From these little cropping experiments, we chose 10 compositions and worked on the colour palette until we were satisfied. We sent the designs to our digital printer to sample on the wool and cashmere blend that we love. 

From those kitchen tiles comes a new collection of scarves that we're excited to share with you. Soft Studies is a reflection on home and the things that bring us comfort.

- Meghan

Calica Studio