My pattern design collaboration

apparel collaboration inspiration interview kids press small business textile design

Recently I had the pleasure of collaborating with a very cool brand called Princess Awesome & Boy Wonder that focuses on creating kids' clothes unbound by the usual gender stereotypes.

If your little princess wants a dress with a dinosaur, space or construction trucks, Princess Awesome got you! That goes the other way around with unicorns and other "girly" topics. Plus, they have lots of designs devoted to science, technology, adventures, animals and the list goes on!

I created a design called Dino Tracks that will soon grace a new dress!

Dino tracks Darya Karenski surface pattern design

I did a little interview with Eva St. Clair, the Chief Creative Officer of Princess Awesome, where I talked about my inspiration and working process. 

What style of art do you feel most comfortable in?

For the past 2 years, I have been mostly focused on watercolor painting. However, they call me a pattern ninja for a reason – having designed home décor for 4 years in a big retail company, I acquired a wide range of skills that I love putting to use. Any possible way of making repeating patterns – I’ve done it and do it from time to time!

What themes or topics spark (what you feel to be) your best work?

I live in the beautiful New England countryside, never short of inspiration. I’m obsessed with flowers as well, and it shows in my work. I also enjoy including playful and unexpected elements – one of my recent pieces is guinea pigs on a Paris vacation! I love books and anything book-related, so I have quite a range of designs inspired by medieval manuscripts and the academia aesthetic. I love blending sophisticated and quirky when I can.

Is there a project you are most proud of?

One of my favorite designs is called Incredible Beasts, done for the Cryptozoology design challenge.

It’s a field of study of unknown or legendary animals. I deliberately included both mythological and real animals that just look too unusual to be real - for example, black rain frog, shoebill and axolotl.

I was inspired by ancient books and manuscripts where creators drew things they might have never seen, the way they imagined!⁠ I dedicate such designs to people who love natural history, reading and a touch of mystery!

How do you work? Digitally? On paper? AI/iPad with AI or sketchpad?

I always prefer to start on paper. There is certain magic in the “old school” ways. Later I take my drawings and paintings to my Mac and finesse the design and color there. While I appreciate the modern technology, I haven’t brought myself to do everything digitally (I tried!). I love having ink on my hands, I feel like it makes me a real artist!


You can read the full interview in Princess Awesome blog:

And find Incredible Beasts wallpaper, fabric and home decor in my Spoonflower shop. 4 colors available!

 As well as the Dino Tracks design:

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