Carly Westbye Weave Up

We are so excited to show off our first ever WeaveUp featured artist, Carly Westbye. Carly has an incredible talent for illustrating. Luckily for us she now develops her drawings into textile prints for WeaveUp. 

We had a little Q&A to find out a bit more about Carly and her process

So Carly, tell us a little bit about yourself

I am a Canberra-based designer and founder/owner of FinBok Publishing. I have been fortunate to claim some space (my studio) in our family home where I spread my work from fabric samples, art supplies and office supplies…it is my ‘happy’ space.

I have spent the last seventeen years expanding on my design skills and in the last five years working towards bringing my art to surface print for the textile industry. My true passion remains with illustrating and painting which I have developed over the years and happy to have branched out into the textile industry, where I have gained a new level of excitement each time a fabric sample arrives in the mail.  

Carly working in her studio

How / Where do you draw your inspiration from?

I draw my inspiration from nature, capturing the elements – bringing the outdoors in’. I have enjoyed holidays back and forth to Norway over the years visiting my heritage with a few side trips however, our local nature walks are my new inspiration and I particularly enjoy exploring the coastline and mountain regions.

Illustrating and painting flora has always been my journey however, I have a particular interest in the finer details that are often missed on nature walks. Recently exploring off-track, I have found my inspiration from the textures seen on the surfaces of rocks,
bark and moss with a fascination in crystals and shells. 

Sweet Magnolia available on WeaveUp

How does your personality translate to your designs?

A calm mind is a calm life and I enjoy working in my tranquil space, so I can only hope this is seen throughout my designs. I generally don’t rush my design process, which is why I don’t pump out a large-scale of designs, as I like to make sure the end product is a match to my expectation…yes I am a little fussy, but I feel the process is more rewarding in the end. 

Wild Orchid printed on Bruge
Describe a typical day for you.

My mind is never at rest, as new themes, colourways and ideas enter my mind, which is why I am learning not to leave the house without my journal and pencil.

I am not really sure what a typical day is, but so long as I start my day with a coffee, then I know I am starting on the right foot. My days are busy juggling school drop off, designing surface patterns and contract work, so I figure the housework can wait. 

What is your design process for your WeaveUp designs? 

In brief, my designs generally start with a thought, an inspiration, or reflection from an experience. Then I begin sketching out ideas, exploring textures and taking into consideration colour trends. Once I am happy with my final design, you will see the process come to life on my Instagram page where I post a number of findings and videos of my art in progress at @c.w_finbok_publishing. From there I then begin masking out my images to create clean edges in preparation for the layout process to form the surface pattern. At this stage there are a number of variations that I work through until I find the flow that works best for the illustration in preparation for upload and test printing.

Sketch studies


What is your process for when you feel creatively blocked?

I generally call that ‘coffee time’… 

If I am not out for a walk looking to find new inspiration, then I am off to take another
look at colour concepts by browsing home and renovation magazines, books, colour books, hotel interiors online, or taking a trip to Bunnings for paint samples (more inspiration).
In each design, I am looking for ways to incorporate colour trends that may work with my vision of ‘bringing the outdoors in’. 

Describe something that you struggled with but learnt from. 

Exploring methods for pattern flow, as each design has a unique flow. When designing each surface pattern there are a number of elements to consider, which will decide the flow of
my designs. I believe that we are always learning in this field and that each design will always have their own challenge.

Illustrating and painting come naturally to me, so bringing this to digital form was a struggle in the beginning. I was reluctant to bring my art to another platform however, in doing so,
I am now able to see how the appreciation for art can lend itself to the textile industry. 

You can view some of my paintings on my portfolio at along with some of my favourite design developed in the textile industry. 

Sweet Magnolia printed on Bruge

What is your favourite design?

I have a few favourite designs including my recent design ‘Magnolia Dream’. This was a design that I developed for the purpose of cushion covers in a modern living room, to bring a touch of warmth with a luxurious feel. I think when the project is complete, it will definitely meet the criteria.  

One of my most favourite designs in fashion is the Orchid repeat print which I designed for my Mum. Knowing I could create something she can wear and drape in her home gave me great pleasure. The design was hand drawn and converted to a digital file as a repeat pattern which lends itself across a number of products.

I am also particularly proud of my ‘One Wish’ painting sold at Cranleigh School – A school for students with intellectual disabilities. It brought me such great warmth in knowing the funds raised assisted their school with much-needed facilities, while providing me with a calming outlet during my early years of parenthood.

What’s the most exciting thing about the next thing you’re doing?

The design I am currently working on is based on personal experiences and my
preferred style. I have spent many weekends exploring our nature, the textures within
the land and finding a tiny world within. This style will lend itself to those who are less
fond of florals and hopefully provide a warm and calming vibe for interiors, homewares, hotels and/or the commercial industry. 

I am on a journey to extend my experience in texture art towards textures in print…
looking at ways to bring my art to fabric – ‘bringing the outdoors in’ with a seamless flow across furnishing. This style will extend itself from my paintings, illustrations and brought
to the digital world for textile print.

Thank you so much Carly, we love your illustrations and thrilled to see them available on WeaveUp and on our fabrics. 

Head on over to our WeaveUp page and check out Carly’s range!


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *