Meet Bindi, the ultra-talented creative who will be teaching our Adobe Creative Cloud short course! Bindi is a freelance textile print designer and an absolute Adobe whizz. Read more about her below.
How would you describe your job?
I am a freelance Textile Print designer who works with a handful of Australian-based fashion labels on seasonal prints and embroideries. I also do a range of other digital-based work for my clients, such as look books in InDesign, technical fashion drawings in Illustrator, and photo retouching in Photoshop. A real mixed bag!
What did your creative journey look like and how did you begin designing textiles?
I moved from New Zealand to Australia when I was 18 to study Visual Communication at Monash University, followed by my Honours at RMIT in which I did a fashion-based thesis. I was always interested in merging fashion and graphic design. I have been sewing ever since I can remember, but I wanted to gain the universal technical skills of graphic design through studying it. After saving up a bit of money after uni, I made the spontaneous decision to move to New York for three months to pursue some fashion internships, which would set me up with some great experience to return to Melbourne with. I worked a lot in the Adobe Creative Suite in my internships, and at one particular label, my skillset aligned well with creating textile prints digitally and landed me a full-time role. The three months away turned into four and a half years of travelling and working across the US and Europe!
What does an average day look like for you? Do you have a strict design routine or do you work in a more ad hoc way?
Being a freelance designer, every day is different, which I love. I'm currently freelancing full-time for one company, so I do have a bit of a routine; but this also means squeezing in other freelance work after hours—busy times!
If I am not full-time in-house, I work from my studio space in Fitzroy, which I share with a mix of other creatives. I try to adapt a '9-5' routine when I work from my office as it keeps me accountable and productive. If it's a lovely day though, I usually try and get to the pool for an afternoon dip—you need to take advantage of the freelance life when you can! I'm a big list person so I usually map out my day over breakfast and work my way through everything with most urgent client tasks first.
What do you love about digital textile design?
Anything is possible! I have worked in the Adobe Creative Suite for 15 years, which means I can visualise how a clients brief will work and create it using a range of techniques across the programs.
Digital design makes designing prints much easier and quicker than solely manual techniques. Creating a range of elements by hand and then 'organising' them in photoshop to create a beautiful print is my favourite thing to do. Also, if you accidentally make a mistake when painting, it's very easy to retouch once you are on the computer!
You've worked with some amazing brands and designers, how did you land such high profile roles?
I think a lot is based on good timing! Moving over to New York, I had my eyes set on the type of brands I wanted to work for. I made sure I put myself out there as much as possible, always following up on emails and meeting as many people as possible in the industry. Once I was interning at 3.1 Phillip Lim, I made sure I worked super hard and was open to helping with anything (I was initially employed as a fashion intern but always I put my hand up for all the graphic-based work). I was lucky that my hard work didn't go unnoticed and started full-time freelance in Print and Embroidery after a few months of working there. Keeping in touch with previous employees is also really beneficial for future prospects. I have gained so much work from old friends I worked with at The Fabric Store many years ago. Once again, a good work ethic and a positive attitude doesn't go unnoticed when you are applying for a job!
How important are digital skills in the fashion industry? I.e., do you think doing a short course on Adobe is just for designers, or would people in other roles benefit from it as well?
In this day and age, in my opinion, digital design skills are absolutely essential. Even having the core skills—which the short course teaches—will allow you to know your way around the programs, and if something interests you or is beneficial for the work you are doing, hone in and get better at it! Adobe is certainly not just for designers; the skills you learn in the programs can be adapted into many different careers or passion projects. The world is becoming so digital—whether it's self-promotion through creating email-outs in Illustrator, retouching photos in Photoshop, or setting up a folio of your work in Indesign, there are so many possibilities for all different fields.
What tips do you have for others interested in exploring digital design?
Be curious. Start questioning how things are made and test your skills as much as you can. Set yourself projects and challenge yourself by picking up new skills.
What are your go-to online resources for textile design and trend/inspiration research?
Pinterest is a great tool for researching and categorising what you find. It's such a rabbit hole, so it can be fun to see where you end up (and a great procrastination tool, as I know well!)
Panteek.com have great vintage references. For my print design work, Patternbank is cool and I love keeping up to date with all the new runway prints via Vogue.com.
Never underestimate hitting the library either and taking photos of your research.
Are you feeling inspired to learn the basics of the Adobe Creative Cloud? It's not too late to enrol in our Intro to Adobe Creative Cloud short course!