With my cat napping baby, the day is broken up into blocks of 5 or 6 chunks with 20 minutes to 2.5 hours in between where I have hands free. About a month ago, I wanted to start drawing again, and the opportunity to play with some ideas I had been thinking about during many hours of sitting on the couch feeding a newborn could start to take shape in a small, slow way. 


Digital print gives me a lot of opportunities for design that I haven’t had the chance to explore before. I am really interested in the tension between tradition and technology, and how a technique like etching can be translated into a digitally printed textile in a way that captures the essence of a handmade process. 

Etching many small marks into plastic and experimenting with applying different weights of printing ink.


These are then scanned at a high resolution to play with further in photoshop. The process is repetitive, sometimes meditative, and makes some really satisfying textures.

I really wanted to share this journey as a way to document things and connect with anyone else taking small, slow steps towards a project, bringing creativity into their lives or finding a new routine. It seems fitting after a year where many conversations are centred around change, whether that be personal, community based or a global view. 


A common conversation I have had with many an artist or designer: do you share your work in progress? 


In the past, I have really disliked sharing my work along the way. It felt like having someone look over my shoulder, and created a self imposed expectation and pressure to finish the design or idea. I don’t really enjoy work being commented on that is not finished. When something is in view or discussion, there are always bound to be comments, compliments, critiques or maybe worst of all - silence. These can be really contaminating to a process and affect outcomes and finished work in one way or another.


Being fully aware of my own sensitivities, I am going ahead and sharing work in progress anyway. So why would I do this now? It has to do with the kind of work I want to make, that is, digitally printed textiles. 


When printing something by hand, the making process is happening regularly, an ongoing part of creating beyond the design process. Working with digital printing, the making process is managed by a machine, but is often still present within the design process. The making that happens along the way sometimes gets a bit lost and overshadowed by the final outcome. 


By documenting this project, I wanted to capture the sometimes unseen artist/designers hand and traditional print processes that can be embedded in a digitally printed textile. 


I don’t couldn’t have gotten back into this mode of documenting and sharing without using a blog. I can’t quite put my finger on why just yet, but something about using instagram and other social media solely as a mode of communication for my studio with a community of great people I have met at markets, shops, socially or online over the years has me a bit burnt out and disinterested. I am really interested to know if other people feel this way and why (?). If you are reading this and want to share your own experience or start a conversation, feel free to email me personally info@yolandazarins.com or add your thoughts below.


For me, I think it comes down to the way I use social media. I am way to distractible to spend too much time on my phone. Even checking something quickly can turn into a time wasting vortex on news.com and instagram accounts of people accidentally injuring themselves in hilarious or drunken ways.

Box of sketches, collections and etchings from the past month. Have been keeping this on the table to dip in and out of during the day when Jannis naps.

Before I took time off to have Jannis and get used to our new life together, I knew it was high time to change my textile studio and the way I work. Since starting the studio, I have produced hand printed and dyed textiles in Tassie (or wherever else I was living) and also worked with PrintInk Studio in Melbourne to screen print a few yardage prints. Working solo and printing and dyeing everything by hand, on top of the general management of a small creative business and attending Salamanca Market every Saturday, was busy and became physically impossible towards the end of pregnancy. Although I have a love for the hand made and one of a kind textiles that I was making, it meant there was no time whatsoever for my main love - designing and drawing. 


When I was 38 weeks pregnant and going a bit stir crazy from covid restrictions and not being able to make anything, this problem was looming over my head more than ever. I ended up spending a heap of time working and finalising a grant application to reframe and pivot my design process and move towards working with digital printed textiles. Unfortunately for me, I was unsuccessful in the grant round, but undertaking writing and planning, talking to people, along with a lot of dreaming about the future has led me to start working in a different direction in the past month now that I feel moved creatively again that the postpartum fog has cleared.


With funding, the textile collection I had planned to launch was quite generous, which I have had to scale this back for the time being. Now I have the view to launch 2-3 designs in a few colour ways to start this foray into digitally printing textiles. During this time I hope to also start digitising the hand printed and dyed collection to give more


Turns out, these limitations are much more motivating to me at this point than having the pressure of a big project to undertake. Exploration of new techniques, mark making and digital print technology is a big enough journey to be on for the time being, and I’m looking forward to sharing along the way, and personally, having some documentation to reflect on.

Some initial mark making using etching on plastics to translate into digital prints for textiles.