Aiming now to make my mark in the world of surface pattern design feels like a culmination of things. Maybe it’s the culmination of everything.
You might trace it back to a window display I created sometime around 1983 — during a more innocent era when window dressers had free reign.
The display involved the typically slender mannequins wearing the latest styles, but this time I created a bold, graphic backdrop using a pattern from the clothing, replicated by hand, on large swaths of paper.
I enjoyed the process so much that I eventually enrolled in the Ottawa School of Art, where I studied part-time from 1990 to 1999, a sequence of years that were, as it happens, some of the happiest years of my life.
Near graduation, I did a series of paintings and drawings based on chemical symbols. When an advisor remarked that the work would make fabulous textiles, the observation stuck with me.
Fast forward to 2020, when I digitized images of those very same paintings and had the patterns applied to masks and articles of clothing. I received encouraging feedback, and just like that, all the storylines merged: 5ive-On Design was born.
I draw upon everything I’ve done in my evolving creations as a fashion merchandiser, boutique owner, gallery director, and passionate art maker.
By rooting everything in my paintings and drawings, I strive to design in a way that’s authentic, original, ethical, colourful, amusing and showing clear evidence of a personal touch.
Because five is my favourite number — I was born on the fifth of August as a Leo, the fifth sign of the Zodiac — I’ve incorporated it into the business name.
This nod to my origins feels appropriate because 5ive-On Design is more about me than anything I’ve ever done.