I am a formally trained designer and artist—turned textile designer—with over 20 years experience in commercial graphic design and publishing. After receiving a Bachelor of Arts in Fine Art from Montana State University, I spent many years doing in-house design, advertising, and high-end publication work as well as several years owning my own design studio with a small staff.
Over the years, I have lived and worked in Nashville, Tennessee where I did music album design; Boise, Idaho where I was the designer for three, high-end, outdoor publications—Summit, Paddler, and Eco-Traveler; and my hometown of Helena, Montana where I was the art director/designer for Montana Magazine and the owner/creative director of my own studio, Identity Design. Along the way, I was honored to receive several local, regional, and national awards for my work.
– My sense of style, design, and color has developed and matured during the course of my graphic design career.
– Experienced design skills are universal and can be applied to various mediums and final products.
– I have extensive technical, CAD, and pre-press/printing expertise which transfers over to fabric, textiles, and other substrates.
My studio, pictured here and located in Laramie, Wyoming, is where I love creating original artwork, patterns, and designs to beautify and enrich our everyday lives.
Chris knows what she needs and what she is asking for in a print job. She provides all of the information up front and can answer any questions I have about the job. Her files are always prepared correctly, which saves so much time and effort.
— Jennifer Korst, Advanced Litho Printing
My love of fabric began in 2003 when my mom—a quilter—convinced me to try it. The queen-sized, traditional, star quilt pattern I chose was quite the task for my first quilt but while working through the process, I fell in love with fabric—the colors, the patterns, the energy—and yes, I started hoarding a small stash of my own fabric.
My interest in becoming a fabric designer was born in 2004 along with my daughter, Gracie. After receiving our first of several, beautiful, Project Linus quilts (pictured here) for Gracie during our stay at Seattle Children’s Hospital, I was convinced I had to become a fabric designer. In addition to the colors, the patterns, and the energy I was attracted to, I became very aware of the love, the care, the nurturing, and the giving of one’s self and time that a quilt can represent. Right then, I looked into textile design while I was in Seattle with Gracie—unfortunately, I was unable to pursue it at the time.
Fast forward ten years: I became very aware of the fact that I was longing to use my creativity for something that resonated more with my heart and my journey. Life with Gracie was a bit more accommodating and this lead me on a path that included graduate school for art education (which wasn’t a good fit for my schedule and life with Gracie) and then finally revisiting my desire to do textile and fabric design—which I began to seriously pursue.
In 2014, I discovered the Make it in Design – Art and Business of Surface Pattern Design online school and successfully completed the program. I also took various fabric design and textile repeat courses through Pattern Observer’s Textile Design Lab. And, in 2016, I attended Surtex in New York as a first time exhibitor and new-to-the-industry surface and textile designer.
I found that textile design was the perfect way to mesh my fine art ability with my many years of graphic design expertise.
Spending time in nature feeds my creative spirit and provides endless inspiration for me. I was born and raised in Montana, I currently live in Wyoming, and I have spent most of my life enjoying the Rocky Mountains—they are home to me. I am inspired by spending time in these mountains (and the outdoors in general)—the sights, the sounds, the textures, the smells, and how it all makes me feel while I’m experiencing it. It can make me feel energized, centered, and soothed all at the same time. The majority of the artwork and collections I create are my unique interpretation and expression of these experiences.
A mechanical pencil. Every piece of art and design I do begins with sketching designs and layouts with a pencil. From there, I move to paint or other mediums, and finally the computer as my final tool to bring the pattern/collection to life and ready for printing.