Painting and color are lifelong passions of Alex Mason’s, which has lead to a dual career as a fine art painter and the designer behind Ferrick Mason fabrics and rugs. Today Alex is sharing a bit behind how her career got started, the process of creation, and a look inside her studio.

What sparked your interest in art and textiles?
As a child I was always drawing or painting. I knew I wanted to be an artist from a young age. When I got married, my husband said I wasn’t allowed to be a “starving artist”. So I had to figure out how to make money and still be creative. Because I do much better working independently rather for someone else, I thought that it would be great to have my own textile line. So I went back to school to learn pattern and repeat design through Otis School of Art and Design. Which actually taught the William Morris method of creating repeats with gouache. It was the first time I had ever used gouache and I fell in love with it. I have been lucky that my art and textiles are an endless source of inspiration for each other. Shortly after I met Brian Ferrick and we formed Ferrick Mason in 2008.

What is the process of creating your textiles?
Many times I get inspiration from a painting I have done, from something in nature that I have wanted to try or it could be just a doodle. I will sit down with my inks and gouaches and my drafting table and just work. The process can be a laborious one with lots of tracing to get the perfect colorways. Sometimes I get really carried away playing with the colors. Often once I like a big design I will work with that to create 1-2 coordinates.

You just launched your e-commerce AND an outdoor line, just in time for summer. What was different about designing for use outdoors?
For our first outdoor collection, I chose two designs from our second collection that I always thought would be perfect for outdoors. We kept some of the colorations the same and we added new colorations. I think for outdoors you can be bolder and brighter, which I love. When you change colorations of designs and the “use” for it, it gives it a fresh new feel and look! People really love the durability for indoors with pets and children. I am really excited to develop more “indoor/outdoor” prints for our collection.

Speaking of summer, what’s your favorite summer tradition?
My absolute favorite thing to do in the summer is to go to the Kentucky River and go boating up and down the river pulling an inner tube or attempting to ski with family. We have some family and friends who have wonderful rustic river camp houses where we can make a fun casual day of barbecuing, drinking, boating, and floating. I can’t wait to one day have a river house on the Kentucky River. I grew up going to my mother’s farm on the river and her parents had a boathouse with a baby grand piano in it when they were first married. I think the love of this muddy river is just in my blood.

See Alex’s studio and her work in the slideshow!