Julie Rivera holds a BFA in Graphic Design and Textiles from The School of the Art Institute of Chicago.
As owner of Rivera Design & Communications for over 20 years, she focuses on corporate identity, marketing materials and book design for start up companies and independent book publishers. Her graphic work has largely informed her approach to surface design. In 2016 she was a Studio Assistant to Akemi Nakano Cohn for a Katazome Indigo Master Class at Arrowmont School of Arts and Crafts and her quilts were chosen to be included in Valerie S. Goodwin’s book Art Quilt Maps. She is currently a member of Women’s Journey in Fiber (www.womensjourneysinfiber.com), North Suburban NeedleArts Guild (www.nsng.org) and Evanston Made (www.evanstonmade.org).
I love design; graphic or surface! The problem solving techniques I use as a graphic designer are incorporated into my fiber work, drawing inspiration from patterns and color in nature. I use Japanese resist dyeing techniques, botanical printing and natural dyes to create unique patterns on my fabric. These are often embellished with sashiko stitching, hand embroidery and natural found objects. Being close to water soothes my soul and it is often represented in my work through an image or the use of indigo. Recurring childhood memories are frequently reflected through images in my art.
My choices in dyeing practices, natural fibers (silk, cotton, and linen), materials (upcycled, recycled and single use plastics) and subject matter reflect my concern for how our everyday practices impact the natural environment and contribute to challenges facing our communities.