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! As a graphic designer, I incorporate problem solving techniques into my textile work. More and more I am driven to get off the computer and work with my hands, dyeing and hand stitching my fabric.
My work draws inspiration from patterns and color in nature and incorporates recurring themes from childhood memories. Being close to water soothes my soul and is often represented in my work through imagery or the use of indigo. I use natural fibers and have become a natural dye and pigment convert.
I create unique patterns on my fabric through traditional and nontraditional approaches to Japanese resist dyeing techniques. Incorporating botanical printing creates unique design patterns to explore and I often embellish with sashiko and embroidery. Sheer fabrics layered over text and stitch application create depths of hidden meaning. My work creates ‘memories on cloth’ — a record of time through design, pattern, and stitch.