Southern California native, Johari Fields studied Textile Design at FIDM, and later received a BA in Design. Today she’s working as a surface designer who strives to capture the beauty of the natural world defined by science.
Hometown: I lived in LA when I was very young, but spent most of my life in the quiet desert suburb of Palmdale.
How did you first hear about FIDM? My high school had an official FIDM Fashion Club and a few of my friends were members. At the time, I wouldn’t have thought the fashion world ever be something I was going to eventually be a part of, but a representative from FIDM visited my high school ceramics class. Up until that point I had been in honors classes and advanced placement, with focus in math and science. I was really grooming myself to do something math related, but I also wanted to make a career decision that was going to be enjoyable for years to come. I was exposed to actual FIDM student work and was given examples of their design journeys from their first and last day at FIDM. This exposure was important for me. It was then that I learned that design is about more than drawing pretty pictures. It’s about really life application and designing into the world around you.
After studying Textile Design, what led you to the new Design Program? After finishing my A.A. in Textile Design, I knew I wasn’t done. For one thing, I love school and always have. I was a kid who cried over summer break because I missed my teachers. When I finished my first degree I still wanted to learn, and I couldn’t see myself as a former student just yet. The B.A. Design program gave me an opportunity for self-discovery that was honestly life changing. The design classes and studio classes gave an opportunity to discover and explore textiles more in depth than the A.A. program, and the core classes included in the program, such as theory and philosophy, also had a huge impact on my understanding of “self” relative to the universe and opened opportunity for truly valuable abstract discussion with instructors and classmates. I am extremely happy with my decision to complete the B.A. Design program.
Tell us about your work as a surface designer. My personal design philosophy strives to capture the beauty of the natural world defined by science. I enjoy exploring concepts like biology, physics, and evolution and comparing how these concepts connect everything in existence. My most recent Textile collection, entitled “Cosmic Relevance,” draws inspiration from tessellations and fractal geometry, mathematical concepts present in much of the natural world. My designs strive to encapsulate nature’s harmony in the surface if fabric. I love textiles because there are some many factors and methods in creating them that there is no right way to do so, which leaves so much room for creativity. You can draw inspiration for textile prints from almost anywhere.
How did FIDM help prepare you for working in the industry? Attending FIDM and completing the Design B.A. has molded me in to a versatile member of the textile world. Through the program I was given training on industrial grade knitting machines, created technical weaving drafts for looms which I hand wove myself, and screen printed and dyed my own fabric in a wet lab. My exposure at FIDM gave me the opportunity to create textiles in various forms which gives me an in depth understanding of their creation which is truly valued and applicable in textile positions. FIDM also gives you the opportunity to forge lifelong relationships with instructors and alumni which is truly priceless.
Please Note: The information contained herein was confirmed at the time of original publication.