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Creative Family Ideas in the Pacific Northwest

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Behind the Scenes with Matilda Jane Clothing Artist Maggie Szott

Some of the best things are inspired by childhood; twirling in a dress, eating strawberries and playing in the sunshine. Matilda Jane Clothing transforms these happy ideas into adorable clothing designs for girls and women, whimsical accessories, lunch gear and even bedroom decor. We had a chance to catch up with Matilda Jane Clothing CAD Artist Maggie Szott. Her sketches and watercolor designs are used to make fabrics for twirly dresses and ruffle tops for happy and adventurous little girls.

Maggie Szott shares how she got started designing prints for Matilda Jane Clothing and where she finds the inspiration for her designs.

My journey at Matilda Jane Clothing began in Fall 2014. During that time, I worked at another company and I was seeking to expand creatively and feel more fulfilled. When an opportunity came up at Matilda Jane to help with some freelance work I jumped at the chance. Knowing I had found my dream job, I completely fell in love with the company, its mission and people.

Where do you find inspiration for your designs?

The inspiration is everywhere. Botanical gardens, farmer’s markets, museums, travel, social media and our trunk keepers.

Which are your favorite patterns to design and why?

I love them all! Florals are our staple patterns and its always great to create new and different interpretations of them. Whimsy patterns are a fresh and fun way to tell an emotional story. With geometric prints, I enjoy taking a simple motif and seeing how it can create a very interesting pattern.

Matilda Jane Artist Maggie Szott watercolor florals

Take us through the design process. How do you start a new design?

My print/pattern process begins by determining if the final piece will be more graphic or painterly. If graphic, I make preliminary sketches either freehand on paper or on an iPad and then I use a computer to create a repeat pattern. If the pattern is to be more painterly, then I hand paint the elements on watercolor paper, scan it, and create a repeat pattern. Finally, I tweak the colors to match the color palette of the season.

What has been your all time favorite design and why?

My all time favorite design is the “cameo girls” print. It is our interpretation of all the little girls who wear our clothes. The print came alive with our “cameo dolls” which was one of my highlights here at Matilda Jane!

Matilda Jane Cameo Girls flutter topPhoto Credit: Matilda Jane Clothing

Describe your personality; how does it influence your designs?

As an ambivert I try to balance both introvert and extrovert characteristics within me. I think its the same with our prints. Each season has a very emotional story and the prints have to convey it for our audience. Some prints are whimsy and bold while being supported by simpler polka dots, stripes or geometrics. My personality has a nice balance of both that works quite well.

How do you balance work and life?

I’m definitely a morning person and I try taking advantage of inspiration and creativity during that time. After work I focus on a balanced life with cooking, yoga, my loved ones and exploring Connecticut as a recent resident of the state.

Matilda Jane Artist Maggie Szott painted strawberries

What are some of your favorite things?

Art will always be number one. Spirituality, meditation, and helping people are definitely favorite pursuits as well. They keep me very humble and in a state of gratitude. Music and driving are up there also. Good tunes help get the creative juices flowing to create prints. And since I had to learn how to drive in CT, I absolutely love it and the freedom it brings.

Maggie Szott was born and raised in Poland. Her beautiful artwork is very influenced by the Polish culture, its traditions and folklore. Keep an eye out and you may spot some of her designs in Matilda Jane Clothing’s latest collection.

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