Drawing on Princesses
Candice Held is a Freelance Textile Designer living and working in Palm Springs, CA. She studied Textile and Surface Design at OTIS College of Art & Design. She is a favorite among designers in both the apparel and home industries who wish to collaborate with an experienced print artist to create original works from inspiration and vintage resources. Clients include Equipment, Rachel Zoe, AG Jeans, Beach Riot, Eva Franco, Martyn Lawrence Bullard, and Soukie Modern. If you’d like to work with Candice, please contact her for any upcoming projects.
What should everyone know about you?
CH: I’m a Freelance Textile Designer. My specialty is vintage-inspired prints, created using studio artwork techniques including drawing and painting with gouache and watercolor.
How would you describe what you do?
CH: I design prints for everything from Fashion to Home, including wovens, swim, and wallpaper. I work mostly on commission. Clients give me their inspiration and direction, and I create original designs in repeat specifically for them. I also design my own Fashion and Home lines. I have boutiques in Palm Springs and Palm Desert, CA.
Why did you choose to be a designer?
CH: I have always enjoyed creating. It feels natural be in a job where I am making art in some form.
What steps did you take to become a designer?
CH: I sort of just started doing it. I was self-taught at first, with the help of my mom, grandmother, and great grandmother. After graduating from Cornish College of the Arts with a degree in Dance, I realized I wanted to be in fashion as a career, so I took classes on nights and weekends. Early on at the NYFA in Seattle (draping, pattern making, illustration, business, construction), later at OTIS in Marina del Rey (textile/surface design).
Best/Most Challenging part of your job?
CH: The best part is that I love what I do, and I find inspiration everywhere.
If you weren’t a designer what would you be?
CH: I always thought it would be interesting to be a translator, but I didn’t study hard enough in French!
How did you get started in design?
CH: In high school, I loved going to thrift shops & remaking garments- like in the movie Pretty in Pink! Then I just kept sewing & designing my own clothes, because I couldn’t find or couldn’t afford what I wanted to wear. It grew from there…
What do you like about what you do?
CH: It’s so satisfying to see a drawing/painting I created, printed on fabric, and made into beautiful garments! Especially when I see someone wearing it on television, magazines, or on the street.
What’s a common misconception people have about what you do?
CH: People often confuse Textile Design with Graphic Design. Although I do enjoy creating fonts and T-shirt graphics, my focus is allover repeat patterns created in Photoshop.
Where do you see yourself in 10 years?
CH: I would love to do a collaboration with a major producer of Home Textiles. I would also love to write a book. A dream goal would be to have a boutique in Paris!
What sparked your interest in design?
CH: The first memory is my mom drawing “princesses” for me and my sister. We were constantly asking her to draw more! I think about them all the time when I am sketching fashion, because her princesses were a lot like fashion illustrations, quick and conceptual since she was so busy as a mom of 3 small kids.
How has your work evolved since you began your career?
CH: I designed dresses and swimwear in the 90’s. Then I began working with recycled vintage scarves, making dresses, tunics, and ponchos from them in the early 2000’s. That line really took off, and I started creating my own original scarf prints for my silk scarf dresses & tunics. After the recession, I took a break, and went back to school to study Textile & Surface Design at OTIS. I was the first in-house Textile Artist hired at Equipment. After a few years in the corporate fashion world in Los Angeles, my husband and I moved to the desert. Now I freelance for companies in NYC, LA, and Orange County in addition to working on my own line.
What are you fascinated by at the moment and how does it feed into your work?
CH: I am currently fascinated by vintage Palm Springs home décor for interiors, and 70’s & early 80’s Halston, Yves Saint Laurent, and Ted Lapidus for fashion. I prefer to reference my inspiration, as opposed to derive from it in a literal way.
What is the biggest lesson that you have learned since you started your career?
CH: When you have an idea, create it right away! We are all inspired from the same sources of social media, movies, television, and music… so trends emerge quickly.
What advice would you give to young designers?
CH: Professionalism is key. Work hard and pay your dues. If someone helps you, take time to thank them. Always give back (or pay it forward) when you can.
What would you like to achieve before the end of the year?
CH: I would like to add a few more clients to my freelance roster.
Are you superstitious or do you have any rules you live by?
CH: Remember to be thankful every day. Not everyone gets to live their dream!
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