Interview with Carmen Jimenez, the Heart & Soul of Gudulab Pattern Design

Carmen in her Studio

Photo Credit: Gema López

Gudulab is the creative laboratory of Carmen Jiménez, after many years working on fashion magazines such as Vogue, Elle and Marie Claire, the last ones as Art Director, one chilly February day she decided to leave the publishing world to create Gudulab.
The urgent need to reinvent herself to build a happier and more rewarding professional life helped she to define a “slow” way of designing prints imbued with passion and meticulous detail.

Carmen's design prints are based on manually carved rubber stamps that are then assembled digitally without losing the artisan finish that characterizes them. Using a vibrant and stylish colour palette, she creates organic shapes that are sometimes based on natural elements and sometimes on abstract ones, resulting in an unconventional, modern and consistently unique outcome.

 

Tell us a little bit about yourself?

I’m based in Madrid, Spain. I’ve been many years an art director in fashion magazines, but one chilly day in February, I decided to change my work life. After a creative search I am now a happy print designer.

Describe your style?

Organic, colorful, arty and modern.

Where did your fascination with the Patterns come from?

I’ve always enjoying painting and creativity in all their forms. Two years ago I started learning about handmade techniques: marbling, hand carved stamps, block printing. I’ve found hand carving stamps is a Zen kind way to work.

First I make the stamps and then play with them putting all together creating my patterns.

What inspires you?

I’m inspired by fashion, art, nature.

Do you have sources (people, podcasts, books) that you’ve learned closely from this past year for inspiration?

I love the style of Josef Frank, William Morris, the marbling works of Susan Pogani and Karli Frigge. I also like Karin Haas a lot.

As I’ve worked so many years in women's magazines, fashion trends are part of my creative background. I do also recommended the V&A Pattern Books Collection: so inspiring!

https://es.wikipedia.org/wiki/Josef_Frank

https://es.wikipedia.org/wiki/William_Morris

http://www.karli-frigge.com/

http://www.karinhaas.nyc/

  

What are some of the highlights of your artistic life?

I enjoy my every day work: I love the process of sketching using only a pencil, then passing the drawing to the rubber and carving the stamp. It is a very rewarding experience.

What is your dream goal?

To be able to live from a job that I love and that passion doesn't end.

  

How do you get past moments you feel like you can’t create (creative block)?

I try to clean my mind, take a walk, listen to music, taking distance from the print.

Do you have any favourite quotes you can share with us?

“Do it, or do not, there is no try” (Yoda from “The Empire Strikes Back”).

I’m a big fan of the saga. I have an small t-shirts collection on Etsy; the prints are handmade with my hand carved stamps technique. Feel free to visit www.binary-sunset.net ;)

Besides your art supplies what are some of your personal studio necessities that keep you inspired?

I’m inspired by art books, fashion magazines, books about pattern, I also love to take a deep look at the fashion weeks catwalks: they are a great source of inspiration every season.

Instagram is also a very interesting place to find ideas and be in touch with other artists and potential clients.

Do you have any favourite quotes you can share with us?

“Do it, or do not, there is no try” (Yoda from “The Empire Strikes Back”).

I’m a big fan of the saga. I have an small t-shirts collection on Etsy; the prints are handmade with my hand carved stamps technique. Feel free to visit www.binary-sunset.net ;)

Do you have any advice for artists looking to make it big in the art world? (please list 6)

 My 6 bits of advice are:

1) It is never too late.

2) Enjoy your work.

3) Be persistent: to be a freelance artist is a long-distance race.

4) Allow yourself the time to test what you like before making a decision.

5) Think big. You can have customers everywhere in the world. I live in Spain and my first client was Australian. Thanks Table Art Designs :)

6) Never lose your look as a child. I believe that, in a creative work, it’s fundamental so as not to lose freshness.

  

Questions by:

Nardia Grant

Creative Director of Table Art Designs


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