What started out as a childhood passion has blossomed into none of the most sought-after designs right before Laura Park’s eyes.
Her brain child, Laura Park Designs, was nothing more than that. Originally the Raleigh native sought out a career in elementary education, but the artistic itch never left her system. In 2011 she finally took the plunge and presented her paintings and small interior designs ay Cotswold Marketplace. Her signature blending of pastel colors stems from her love of experimenting with oil paints with her grandmother as a young girl. This beautiful technique is was stands her work out from the rest.
The evolution from canvas art to printing a line of textiles was only natural. In 2016, Park launched her new company, Laura Park Designs, with a complete line of pillows and fabrics alongside her paintings. In addition, she also offers wall coverings, home decor, and women’s accessories and apparel.
And yet still with all the success her work has garnered, when presented the opportunity to collaborate with the fabulous Annie Selke of Annie Selke designs Park still had to remind herself she wasn’t dreaming. Expected early next year, Park dishes on the anticipated partnership and how the blending of styles will explode on the home design scene.
What initially inspired you and Annie Selke to collaborate together? How has this been different from other collaborations that you have done in the past?
I had been an admirer of Annie Selke for many years when her team saw our booth in Atlanta this past January. She began carrying Laura Park Designs pillows and artwork in spring of 2018 which naturally progressed to a full collaboration. This is our first partnership of this caliber and I’m thrilled to be a part of it!
How would you describe the mood and identity behind your designs, is it similar and/or different from that of Annie Selke’s designs? Describe how your collaboration will experiment with blending these elements.
We both have a vision of design and color, though mine tends to be more abstract and Annie’s tends to be more globally-inspired. I think customers will find the combination of the two fresh and unique!
Describe the type of products and designs that customers can look forward to as a result of the collaboration.
Customers can look forward to both indoor and outdoor pillows, rugs, bedding, and women’s apparel and accessories. We’ll be offering exclusive prints to the trade beginning in January 2019.
How has collaborating affected your design process? Do both you and Selke have similar or different methods of approaching the design process?
Annie and I got together a few times to brainstorm and create. She would use a color board as a starting point and from there we would play with different pattern, color, and scale.My process is very Intuitive; I don’t go into the studio with a particular plan. To create patterns for my designs I’ll take particular snippets of paintings that stand out to me, bring them into Photoshop and apply a similar process.
How does your background as a painter affect how you create? What’s your starting point when you’re beginning to brainstorm?
As a child, I spent hours watching my grandmother paint with oils in her Lexington, NC studio. Some of my favorite memories are us of going to fabric stores, where I would collect the brightly colored scraps from the floor to take home and make patchwork quilts. You could say that was the beginning of my passion for color, and today my paintings still begin with a mood and the feelings that colors evoke when they’re together.
In the past, both you and Annie Selke have focused on creating products that are ‘livable’ for people with families, pets and what not. Describe how this target audience has affected the designs for this collaboration.
Both Annie and I design for people who want to live in their homes, surrounded by the people and the pets that they love. We believe your home should be your happy place and the products you bring into it should reflect that with their quality, elegance, and spirit.
How has the surrounding Charlotte area affected your collaboration?
My designs are inspired by travels both domestically and abroad. Much of my inspiration also comes from my childhood growing up in North Carolina, whether it’s my signature print Brooks Avenue (named after my childhood street in Raleigh) or watching my grandmother mix oil paints at her home in Lexington. I find myself being inspired by the beautiful nature, fashion, and variety of culture in Charlotte on a daily basis.