This month's e-interview is with another designer from Colombia, but MaJoBV is living in Milan -
First things first, I asked MaJo when she realised she was an artist -
It wasn't an actual aha moment... I just felt it. I remembered being very little (a toddler) and telling my mom and dad I would live in Paris and be a Fashion Designer when I grew up. My dad would then make fun of me and not really treat me seriously (he still isn't used to the idea of me being away from home). I don't live in Paris but I live in Milan... Another fashion, design and art capital of the world :D
Have you had formal art/design/illustration training, MaJo?
Yes I have. I did 4 out of 5 years of Industrial design in Bogota before moving to Milan to graduate from Fashion & Textile Design. I've also done several short courses related to design, art and crafts. Some of the most important I've done are Textile Portfolio and Draping in Central Saint Martins and the ABSPD course. I also learnt a lot from a short and very tailor made to my needs course I took in Textile Support: a very nice school in Pavia (about 30min away from Milan) that belongs to a great Textile Master I assisted a couple of years ago in a summer course at my university. She taught me about screen printing, weaving and using a knitting machine.
What was the most important thing you learnt from it?
Mmm... This one is a very hard question. I think I've learnt tons of all of my studying and working experiences, but I guess all of the skills I've learnt I've condensed them in my own design methodology which is based on concepts. That's it... the thing that really stuck with me is the fact that I can't design unless I have purpose, a concept, and idea to work on. I can't just turn the music on and doodle... I wish that worked but it doesn't.
What is the most important thing you have learnt on your journey as an artist and from whom did you learnt it?
I'm my worst critic, in every aspect. I come from two very successful and perfectionist parents, so my biggest fear is to not live up to them (although they don't pressure me or anything). Lately though, I've started to let go my need for perfection and I've also come to accept that there is beauty in my imperfect work :)
I find inspiration in many designers... there's always something to admire from others work, but Orla Kiely, Helen Dardik and Jillian Phillips always surprise me :D
Where do you sell your work?
You can buy my designs on products online at:
Spoonflower - fabric, cut-n-sew patterns, wallpaper, decals & giftwrap
Envelop - home cotton basics & tote bags
Artscase - smartphone cases
MaJoBV Digitals - digital stationary and clipart
Society6 - artprints, tech-gadget accessories, and other
Pattern Design - jpg and vector patterns
Do you have regular contact with other artists?
I'm part of beautiful and supportive online community of Surface Pattern Designers... I wish I could personally meet them all because they are all fantastic and have played an essential part in my professional and personal journey in the past year.
It depends on the period I'm living: currently this one has given me lots of hope:
"You're sowing seeds. Things take time, but you'll reap the harvest later." - Lilla Rogers
Today a fellow designer showed me this other quote that fits perfectly with my current mood: "Original minds are not distinguished by being the first to see a new thing, but instead by seeing the old, familiar thing that is over-looked as something new." - Friedrich Nietzsche
And finally, what are your plans for the future?
To keep working on licensing my designs all over the world and developing my brand and product line.
I've also recently partnered with Skillshare to teach Reign Repeats: create perfect repeat patterns in Adobe Illustrator with the support of Spoonflower. I'm looking forward to share my design process and all I know about repeats and Illustrator with the people that enroll. (I've attached a promo to the course in case you'd like to include it (I would appreciate it) - the link to the course is: http://skl.sh/11jgtzb)
Thank you, MaJo, for a truly inspiring interview!
And I'm sure that 'Reign REPEATS' will provide a fantastic opportunity for anyone looking to learn how use Adobe Illustrator to make perfect and professional repeats. If you think that you, or someone you know, might be interested in taking this course -
to find out more about MaJo's e-course,