JR Artisan SpotlightSerena Dugan
Artist & Textile Designer
How did you get your start in the industry:
I was a painter and textile designer working in Northern California. I met my soon-to-be business partner, Lily Kanter, and that led to a collection of nursery bedding with my designs. Serena & Lily expanded into the rest of the home, and my role evolved to become Chief Creative Officer and Lead Designer.
Describe your work in 5 words or less:
I would describe my work as breezy, lighthearted, colorful and spirited.
What inspires you?:
Inspiration for me comes from every direction: fashion, art, typography, nature. However, inspiration for my first textile collection came squarely from travel. I wanted this collection to have the spirit of travel from an earlier era — a breezy yet celebratory sensibility. I named each pattern after a spot around the world that has inspired me. My goal was to weave together motifs and elements from across the globe, ranging from tribal-primitive to 60s jet-set, into one spirited and cohesive story.
Describe your studio/work space:
Serena Dugan Studio really formed once I stepped into this space. It’s located in a bustling commercial district on the water with floor-to-ceiling windows and a garage-style door that rolls open for an alfresco vibe. The anchor is the massive worktable—a sturdy, canvas-topped piece that has traveled with me for almost 20 years. Colorful swatches line the walls, and I have a section of white bookshelves that are home to decades’ worth of art and design reference books. I like to keep it pretty tidy, as my team all shares the space, however when I’m on deadline it can look like a creative bomb went off it there! But there’s a place for everything, and it all gets put back into place once the deadline is met.
What’s makes your brand stand out from the rest:
I believe my brand is unique because it’s highly personal. I’m an artist first, and my mediums are painting and pattern. For some textile designers, their patterns are historical, or a twist on what’s traditional or familiar. For me, my prints are developed through artistic principles, where repeated motifs just offer another design element to play with. I aim to carry the same amount of impact and originality with my textiles as I do with my paintings.
Any new techniques, mediums, colors, aesthetics you are experimenting with?
I am currently preparing to launch outdoor/performance fabrics and I’m excited for everyone to see it. For this collection I played with some of the existing designs, but experimented with new colorways, better suited for outdoor living. We are also preparing a wallpaper refresh for the early Summer, adding new designs to our existing offering. And this Fall, I’ll be launching an exciting new textile collection, inspired by India and the country’s exceptional artistry.