Mia Whittemore, Winner of the UPPERCASE + Windham Fabrics New Designer Competition

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The 100 designers featured in the forthcoming issue 32 were selected from 788 submissions entered into the Surface Pattern Design Guide call for entries. Submitters without past or current fabric licensing arrangements were also eligible to enter into the UPPERCASE + Windham Fabrics New Designer Competition. Of these entries, I further whittled the selections down to 20 artists whose portfolios represented a variety of styles and personalities. From there, Mickey Krueger, Laura Jaquinto and the team at Windham Fabrics selected a winner who will receive a licensing deal with Windham Fabrics for their own fabric collection.

After considerable review of the artists’ submissions and online portfolios, Laura Jaquinto says, “Ultimately, we picked Mia Whittemore. Her variations in her illustrative style as well as her sense of colour was what sold us on her work. I think she nailed it in her brief bio: ‘Mia’s hope for her patterns is that they bring colour and joy to everyday life.’”

Mia is a Massachusetts-based artist and elementary school art teacher. To create her colourful and detail-filled patterns, she merges a love of watercolour and digital media. She describes her style as eclectic, happy and whimsical, and her sources of inspiration include folk art, flowers, plants and vintage patterns.

Winning this competition is an important moment in Mia’s fledgling career. “I am beyond excited to be the contest winner and work with everyone at Windham Fabrics!” she says. “I put so much work into my patterns, and to be recognized for that hard work is extremely gratifying and an incredible honour. I believe that winning this contest is going to give my career a big push. Before winning the New Designer Competition, I was making lots of art and patterns but it was difficult to devote the proper time for seeking out opportunities. Now I am extra motivated to continue creating patterns, seek out opportunities and pursue more of my goals as an artist and designer.” Mia’s collaboration with Windham Fabrics will be revealed next year.

Read more about Mia—and how she balances her career as an art teacher with surface pattern design—in the January/February/March 2017 edition of UPPERCASE magazine. This issue includes the second edition of the Surface Pattern Design Guide.

Bonus: Subscribers as of end of day December 6 will also receive a complimentary Creative Journal featuring tips from surface designers featured in the issue!

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