A Chat with New Clothworks Designer, Tony Fernandes

Say hello to one of our newest fabric designers, Tony Fernandes!  Long before I knew anything about Tony, I fell in love with his curious little creatures in his first collection with us, Mayfly Mischief.  Tony is from Northern England, and got his start as an artist at the ripe young age of 10, when he sent his cartoons to the Saturday morning childrens’ shows.

TonyFCartoonAs Tony blossomed as an artist, he had the privilege of having his work presented by the British Government as a gift to the Australian Government during the Bicentennial Celebrations of 1988.


I had a little Q & A to get to know Tony a little better…I hope you chuckle as I did reading his answers to my question–what a character!

Brandi: What inspires your artwork?

Tony: the freedom and quirky randomness of everything in nature.  its just lovely to be able to sit and observe a whole world by ones doorstep

Brandi: What inspires you to create?

Tony: everything from shapes and forms to tones and hues of base colours.  from light falling across the moon to the shadow thrown by a bug on a leaf.

Brandi: What is your creative process?

Tony: sketchbook! sketchbook! sketchbook! – never go anywhere without one, just to jot down quick drawing or funny idea, then back to studio to get my hands on my nibs and inks and brushes and splosh color onto the finished designs – i never like to plan things as randomness and oddlines and design shapes are fun to evolve and never work if you try too hard.

Brandi: How did the artist in you evolve?

Tony: when i was a child my ma and pa always made sure that there was plenty of crayons and paper to doodle on not much time was spent indoors as i was up trees and hiding in bushes drawing wildlife – it was a wonderful time.  to be creative and make mistakes and start over again and again – the freedom was the essential thing – no barriers and always another piece of paper to scribble on – it’s such a shame tv has such a strong hold on the young – there is so much more in one’s imagination.

Brandi: Describe your creative space or studio?

Tony: hmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm…..probably best described as a mess…. a working mess.  bits of art hanging from the ceiling to the floor – proofs ready to sign/ posters/ prints/ originals hanging about/ long lost sandwiches and pots of cold coffee lost forever- mountains of books and forlorn bookcases buckling under their weight, heaps of brushes and lakes of inks and paints – it should probably be condemned but i like it as it is and it is a wonderful place to create.


Brandi: What is your favorite color?

Tony: i like greens and autumn colors

Brandi: food?

Tony: most fresh products locally farm sourced

Brandi: place?

Tony: the countryside and bits of new york and conneticut

Brandi: song?

Tony: too diverse and many to mention, everything from medieval chants through groucho marx to pop stuff

Brandi: artist?

Tony: i like picasso and rembrandt

Brandi: season?

Tony: autumn – the colors in the garden are more extreme and i like to leave the sedums and teazel etc to gather frost

Brandi: animal?

Tony: i have kept many animals but goats are the funniest. dogs most loyal and my parrott has learned how to swear…i can’t figure out how !

TonyFStudio2Check out Tony’s collection Mayfly Mischief, and be sure to check out your local quilt shop in May 2010 to get your hands on this great fabric!

3 thoughts on “A Chat with New Clothworks Designer, Tony Fernandes

  1. How nice to read this interview! Welcome to the gang, Tony! We must be “messy kindred spirits”! I’m always neatening up my studio messes and forget what my paint palettes look like! With a cat in the house, there are always bits of her fur stuck in them that I eventually end up fishing off the paper!

    Well, here’s to mayflies and goats and all kinds of nature. You seem to know what to do with them when you pick up pencil and paintbrush!

    Best of luck with your fabrics! And, Brandi, thank you for sharing Tony’s interview.

  2. Hi Tony!
    Nice to meet you. I have to agree with Diane, I also have a very messy studio!!
    I love your fun creatures!! I really enjoyed the interview and all the pictures.
    Much success to you with your new fabric!

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