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 an 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 EvanstonMade.
I love design; graphic or surface! I incorporate the problem solving techniques as a graphic designer to my fiber 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 it is often represented in my work through an image or the use of indigo. Silk is my fabric of choice. I love the feel and the rich colors the dyes create.
I use Japanese resist dying techniques including Shibori, Katazome and Nissan. Through traditional and nontraditional approaches to these classical dyeing techniques, I create unique patterns on my fabric. Other patterns are created using eco-printing and natural dyes, often embellished with sashiko stitching, embroidery and beading. My work creates ‘memories on cloth’ — a record of time through patterns, texture and stitching.