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Weaving Narratives: Exploring the intersection of Art and Textile Pattern Design (Part 2)

Working in the studio on the new project Tactile Textile: Dance Forms in the Streets. Creating costume puppets for stop-motion animation.


I am sharing the second part of the interview I posted last week. In case you missed the first part, here's a quick introduction. In 2023, I received an invitation from the cultural center "Colombo Centro Americano" in Colombia to speak about my art practice and its connection with pattern textile design. As we begin 2024, I am excited to share this interview, which explores the origins of my art brand and practice, Juliana Silva Studio, and my goal of bringing together two worlds I enjoy.

In what way has art transformed your life?

Personally, art has always been a part of me. It has shaped me into a more compassionate and mindful person, allowing me to acknowledge my privileges and care for others. 

Even when it is challenging to devote to an art project, I find myself drawn to creating - whether drawing, painting or taking pictures. It's a meditative experience that helps me relax and unwind, and I've found that it has been a constant source of comfort throughout my life. 

What is the most rewarding aspect of textile design? And the most challenging aspect of it? Do you have any artist rituals?

The most rewarding part of working on an art project is seeing the pieces come together and realizing that it will work. With textiles, I am fascinated by the first printed meter of fabric because the fabric's texture and quality can change the patterns's entire visual experience. 

I sometimes struggle to remember the functional aspect of textile design when creating patterns. I get carried away with colours and images, forgetting that the design has to serve a purpose. Finding the right balance between aesthetics and functionality can be challenging, but it's a crucial design aspect.

A ritual I have is that when I begin a new project, I look at as many books as possible for reference and then create a mood board.

Details of the fabric designs for "Tactile Textile: Dance Forms in the Streets" art project. 


Could you talk a bit about your most recent projects? How do you see yourself and design career 5 or 10 years in time? Any dream collaborations, projects or ideas that haven’t come to life as yet?

I am working on a project titled Tactile Textile: Dance Forms in the Streets. This project explores the cultural significance of street carnivals and festivals through textiles, sound installations, and stop-motion animation. It is inspired by various carnivals and celebrations in Colombia, highlighting the connection between dance, music, costuming, and the collective joy experienced during these festivities. The project is still in its first phase, which involves researching and creating prototypes.

Next year, I plan to move on to the project's second phase, realization, which will take me at least two or three years to complete. During this phase, I will collaborate with artists from other disciplines, such as a sound artist, a dancer, a stop-motion animator, and an electronic engineer. If this project takes me to where I expect, it will allow me to design costumes for dance performances in the future.

My art practice will also reflected in my store, Juliana Silva Studio. The Studio will be like a living organism transforming as my practice evolves. I will also look for collaborations with other artists who are a good fit for the Studio.


 "Dance Forms", stop-motion animation, 2023.


What would you recommend to someone who is starting, and aspires to live of their art? 

It's important to remember that everyone has unique journeys and experiences. However, it's worth noting that financial struggles are a common challenge for many artists. That's why it's essential to consider developing alternative sources of income while pursuing your artistic goals. If possible, leverage your creative or art/tech skills to generate income by selling your services or artwork. I also recommend travelling because it is a great way to cultivate empathy toward others and learn to appreciate differences. I believe this is a crucial skill we all need to work on.

What kind of commissions do you enjoy the most? Do you remember your first sale?

I find great satisfaction in tackling creative commissions that require problem-solving. 

One of my earliest experiences selling my artwork was when I was around 10 or 11 years old and sold a watercolour painting to one of my dad's friends. I didn't understand the meaning of that transaction back then. The first sale in my adulthood was after graduating from art school. Some fellow students and I organized an art sale showcasing our student artwork. During this sale, a collector friend was interested in one of my paintings, a patterned piece with ceramic objects. Interestingly, years later, I created a larger version of that painting and sold it to another collector.

How to deal with artistic frustration?
I wish I had a foolproof solution, but I don't. What I've been doing lately, and  I started practicing a few years back, is taking a break when things aren't going well. I switch activities, step out of my studio or workspace, and allow myself some time to come up with a solution. Sometimes, it can be difficult, particularly when I'm under pressure or a deadline is approaching. As I've grown older, however, I've come to realize that this is what works best for me.


I hope you have enjoyed learning about my art practice. Next month, I will discuss a different subject related to contemporary art and its diverse intersections. Now that you know more about me, I invite you to browse my site and join me for more blog posts. Please subscribe to stay connected and be notified about my future posts.