An Interview with Textile Designer Amy Butler

An Interview with Textile Designer Amy Butler

Cambria Bold
Aug 3, 2011

Amy Butler is one busy lady: she recently launched a new home decor fabric line, Soul Blossoms, and is planning an upcoming organic version of that line (Organic Soul). Always colorful, always brightly patterned, Amy's textiles are a staple for many home decorators and DIY'ers. (And we've always liked her organic bedding.) We caught up with her for a quick interview on what inspires her, what a typical day looks like, and what's next. Check out the interview below:

We took a cue from our Creative People, Living Green series for our interview with Amy:


Name/Occupation: Amy Butler, Designer

How did you become a textile designer?
I went to Art School and majored in fashion with an emphasis on surface and textile design. A few years after art school David (my husband) and I decided to start our own design studio – Art of the Midwest. We had a unique variety of great clients and we began doing editorial work for Country Living Magazine writing and producing stories. I designed a few sewing patterns for the magazine and started receiving requests for more. Eleven years ago I went out on my own and started with a booth at the International Quilt Market selling my sewing patterns. From there I was approached by several companies to design a fabric collection and the rest is history!

What does a typical day look like?
My days are rarely ever the same! I work from a studio at my home so after getting up and spending a few minutes with my cats and hopefully stealing a moment or two in my garden, I head down to my studio to get to work. I spend some time catching up on emails, facebook, and then get straight into design work for the day. Some days I am creating new designs some days are filled with meetings and sample approvals. My design days are definitely my favorite. I love long blocks of time where I can just focus and get immersed in my art and inspirations.

The term "green living" can be so generic. What does it mean to you?
It's just the way I choose to live! I'm inspired by nature, so I consider it my responsibility to preserve and protect my inspirations. I use organic practices in my garden, my home and at our studio because I feel that being conscious of how you affect the world and your surroundings gives you a perspective of appreciation and respect—not taking things for granted and being grateful for what we have, knowing we have to protect it as well. It makes us all more peaceful and keeps everything balanced. You stay focused on what's really important.

What inspires you?
Everything! Nature, gardens, travel, architecture. I'm incredibly inspired by my recent travels to Indonesia, England and India. The culture and colors in these beautiful countries is mind blowing and I love going back through my hundreds of photos and getting reinvigorated. I've been busy creating new artwork for several fabric and product lines and it's been interesting for me to translate my experiences through print and color. It's like an international travel log filled with luscious florals and ethnic graphics!

The one thing you can't live without?
My iPhone. Now that I've started Facebook I have been documenting everything!

What's on your life bucket list?
So many places I'd love to travel too. Turkey, Morocco, Great Barrier Reef, Vietnam, oh I could go on all day! I've already seen so much, it leaves you hungry for more!

Favorite quote or personal mantra you live by?
Do what you love, love what you do.

What's next?
The business is evolving and new projects and opportunities seem to find us around every corner. I love the direction my life is going and I couldn't be happier with the new adventures. I am continuing with new fabrics and sewing patterns and branching out into some other cool new projects. We're trying to progress with a balanced life, a happy studio, and sustainable values at the forefront of everything we do.

Thanks, Amy!

• Don't forget to keep following Amy's blog tour by visiting Ecofabulous on Tuesday, August 9th for more exciting photos of her organic fabrics.

(Images: 1-3. David Butler / Apartment Therapy; 3-5. Amy Butler)

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