DESIGNER PROFILE – Mary Jane D’Amicoviews: 0
What should everyone know about you?
MJD: I have worked as an apparel artist and designer for 25 years. My experience covers many areas, including kids, adults, sleepwear, sportswear and hosiery. I have worked with practically every major license, as well as my own original graphics, for mass and mid-tier markets. I am also an exhibiting gallery artist.
How would you describe what you do?
MJD: I work as a freelance, creating sleepwear, hosiery, textile prints, screens, branding graphics, packaging, mood boards and presentations.
Why did you choose to be a designer?
MJD: It chose me. I have been drawing since I was three years old.
What steps did you take to become a designer?
MJD: I got my BA in Art from SUNY Stony Brook, then took commercial courses at Parsons and SVA. I learned about garment design while at work. I attend a figure drawing class each week to keep my drawing skills sharp.
Best/Most Challenging part of your job?
MJD: The best part is seeing the finished product and thinking about the thousands of lives it effects. I like going to Kohl’s in the fall to see my styles there. The most challenging part is anticipating what will make for big sales.
If you weren’t a designer what would you be?
MJD: Probably a health professional, like many in my family. I attended the Bronx High School of Science, and I still like scientific subjects as my light reading.
How did you get started in design?
MJD: I spent my first seven years working on educational books for deaf children. When I lost my funding, I started working for a textile studio Then I got my first staff job, which was in Disney license sleepwear.
What do you like about what you do?
MJD: I get to draw pictures and do typography. I survive by keeping an eye on trends, which enriches my life otherwise.
What’s a common misconception people have about what you do?
MJD: People think it’s easy. It isn’t.
Where do you see yourself in 10 years?
MJD: Still drawing.
What sparked your interest in design?
MJD: Everyone knows design is fun and exciting. It is a privilege to be its maker.
How has your work evolved since you began your career?
MJD: I began at a time when work was not done on a computer. We painted on fabric with Deka paint, used press-type, and designed textiles with dyes on rice paper. I had to completely switch my way of working using Illustrator and Photoshop. After 20 years of practice I am faster than most, if I do say so.
Are there any types of clothing/footwear/accessories that you avoid wearing?
MJD: Anything unflattering to my figure. I was wearing long skirts, then everyone else started wearing them.
What are you fascinated by at the moment and how does it feed into your work?
MJD: As always, I am influenced by nature. I love fractal geometry, and I’m inspired by things like the face of an animal or the petals of a flower.
What is the biggest lesson that you have learned since you started your career?
MJD: Fashion is an industry full of volatile personalities. Relationships are all-important. I only work with people I like, and those who like me.
What advice would you give to young designers?
MJD: 1. Know your audience. 2. Always continue to develop. 3. Watch out for people who will try to rip you off.
What would you like to achieve before the end of the year?
MJD: Learn more animation.
Are you superstitious or do you have any rules you live by?
MJD: Tell the truth all the time. Then you won’t have to remember what you said.
What’s your motto?
MJD: Keep a good sense of humor.
Other (feel free to tell the readers anything about you that we didn’t ask)
MJD: I’m a Bronx native with a great sense of style, and I love the New York Fashion Center experience.
Skills: Expert in Adobe Illustrator and Photoshop, as well as traditional drawing media. Identify trends, design presentations start to finish, traffic assignments, manage office computers, textile mill work, training of artists in office work flow
Learn more about Mary Jane D’Amico here:
Facebook: MaryJane D’Amico
LinkedIn: Mary Jane D’Amico