Monday, March 23, 2009

Interview: Modern Radar

Name: Tamara Galiano Bagnell
Occupation: Designer / Screenprinter / Seamstress
Where you are located? Durham, North Carolina

1. What kind of art/craft do you make?

Pretty much all of my work right now revolves around screenprinting and sewing. I've been sewing since I was ten, and picked up screenprinting while in college. I started Modern Radar two years ago when I bought a house with a garage that I could set up my studio in. At first I just made greeting cards, but have since expanded into pouches, tote bags, pillows, and journals. The items I sell change from time to time, but I tend to keep my designs simple so it won't be overly complicated to print and sew lots of them by hand. Using screenprinting requires each color be printed using a separate screen, so I tend to limit myself to two or three colors at the most.

2. What do you enjoy most about working in this medium?

I really like the way screenprinting ink looks on paper. Each printed item feels fancy and special, but not too precious as it would if it were one of a kind. With fabric...I have been addicted to sewing since I was a kid, so it is really neat to be able to print swatches of my own designs right at home and make them into anything I want. Something about creating objects in multiples is also very satisfying for me. I love to finish a batch of cards and look at them all lined up on the drying racks, or a row of the same fabric pieces hanging to dry.

3. What challenges have you found in your work?

Shifting gears between the business and creative sides of what I do is probably the biggest challenge. Ever since I started running Modern Radar full-time a year ago, I have felt a lot more pressure to focus on the business side of things in order to pay the bills.
One of my resolutions this year is to find ways to create more of a balance for myself, so I have enough time to draw and work out new ideas. I also find myself becoming more and more of a perfectionist as time goes on, trying very hard to only put stuff out there that I am really happy with, so I need to devote more time to the design process than I have in the past.

4. Where do you find inspiration?

It really comes from all over the place, but I guess my biggest source of inspiration is looking at vintage fabric and surface design. A good portion of vintage textiles were printed using screenprinting, so studying the way the designs are composed and how the colors are laid over one another helps inform my designs a lot.

6. Where can we purchase your work?

You can shop online at I also have a list of lovely brick and mortar shops that carry my stuff on my website (

7. Do you have any new projects in the works?

Right now I am working on a long overdue redesign of the Modern Radar website. That has been monopolizing most of my extra time lately. I have some new ideas for more elaborate designs floating around in my head that will either become patterns for pillows or art prints, depending on how things go. Eventually I would like to try working in other mediums besides screenprinting, where there are less limitations as far as color, detail, etc. I hope to sit down with the old pen and pencil during breaks from the website project to come up with new work soon!


bopbopdesigns said...

Beautiful work, great interview! There is a typo in the etsy link making it unclickable though.

Jenn Ski said...

oh thanks for letting me know, i just fixed it.

bopbopdesigns said...

no problem :)

Anonymous said...

I love your work. It's beautiful. I also adore the design of your house. Silly question, what is the paint color in what I'm thinking is your kitchen? It's fantastic!