carmel killin textile design: miniview

posted by the scholar on February 26th, 2008
filed under: art, design, home accessories, miniviews, textiles

i enjoy the work of sydney artist carmel killin, aka etsy seller feedthedog. there is something hopeful and inviting in the appealing limited edition and one-off screenprinted cushion covers and wall hangings she creates. i like her textures and earthy colors and simple art styles, and i like the natural fabric she uses. ever curious to know a little bit more about the brains behind the operation, i asked two quick questions…



q: how did you get into designing?
a: the truth of it is, i’ve been “seeing” and visually “re-imagining” the world around me since the dawn of time, or at least since the age of 12 when my parents (who have no taste whatsoever, god bless ’em) moved the family to a hideous new brick house in a freshly created suburb with no trees. the unbelievable ugliness of my interior and exterior surroundings at such an impressionable age had me begging my parents for years to follow my fabulously detailed design suggestions. to no avail. at the same time i was writing short stories and had a spurt of published fiction in my 20s. at university i dabbled in photography and film making, which led to many years working in the film industry. i’ve had no formal training as a designer, i have just always been attracted to the visual world and the desire to interpret what i see, give a common object a new visual story. as a devotee of DIY philosophy, i love doing short courses. knitting, sewing, screen prining, felting, welding, dyeing… done it. with a few non-design-related degrees under my belt i fell into tertiary teaching, but after learning the basics of computer design applications started teaching graphic design to university students. i still teach design, though these days it’s all studio-based and hand-crafted projects. which of course i adore.




q: what inspires you?
a: i think my love of story telling informs a lot of my visual work, though not in any obvious way. i’m also really captivated by the wonderful skewed shapes and lines of children’s drawings and their rough, scribbly colouring-in technique. i love odd creatures, plain creatures and silhouetted shapes. old national geographic magazines from the 60s and 70s have fabulous animals with wonderful personalities. a blank piece of highly textured fabric excites me with all the possibilities and challenges it presents. i love shapes and lines in the landscape, shapes and lines in common, plain objects. details, like stitching, shading, trims, buttons, are delicious to me. so too, unexpected combinations of pattern and texture, objects and things. oddness, whimsy, humour are very attractive to me.


well, after reading her answers doesn’t it all makes sense now!? two thumbs up!

if you’re a local, you can frequently find carmel at the paddington market in sydney. if not, see and purchase the available collection at carmel’s etsy shop, and be sure to check out her humorous, well-written blog too!

thank you carmel!

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10 Responses to “carmel killin textile design: miniview”

  1. technabob Says:

    Nice sheep. Bah.

  2. the scholar Says:

    hi bob,

    that sheep may be overseeing a room in our home soon. i love it!

  3. mikelite Says:

    love the texture in her work

  4. the scholar Says:

    hi mike,

    she has a way of layering that gives the backgrounds a lot of depth, which i really like.

    glad you like it too – thanks for stopping by!

  5. sosser Says:

    beautiful work and great interview. love the back-stories!

  6. the scholar Says:

    hi sosser,

    glad you are enjoying these fun things, and i know after reading carmel’s answers that you were probably howling with laughter – she is so FUNNY!

    thanks for the visit and for the feedback about this miniview too – i know i like to know what the artists (and the readers) are thinking!

  7. Kylie Says:

    i love feed the dog’s work! she’s a creative genius.

  8. the scholar Says:

    hi kylie,

    hurrah! isn’t her stuff awesome? there is so much warmth in her pieces; they put me at ease. i’m so glad you like them too!

    thanks for the visit and btw those dragonfly cards on your blog look great! 🙂

  9. paula Says:

    …I already have four of carmel’s dogs on my couch…every house should have one…may have to add a sheep

  10. the scholar Says:

    ooh paula!

    i am so jealous! good for you – they are so fun!

    thanks for popping over! 🙂

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