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Digi Diva Graphics turns doodles into fabric prints 

Some studies suggest that scribbling helps people pay attention and retain information, which could be used as a defense for students who doodle in the margins of their notebooks during class. Heather Hight, owner of Digi Diva Graphics, was always a student of the doodling variety—from elementary school to college.

If you were to peek at her old notebooks, you'd probably find the prototypes for her future designs.

click to enlarge BROAD CANVAS Customers have crafted backpacks, purses, book covers, pillowcases, and clothing with Digi Diva Graphics' designs, owner Heather Hight said. - PHOTO COURTESY OF HEATHER HIGHT
  • Photo Courtesy Of Heather Hight
  • BROAD CANVAS Customers have crafted backpacks, purses, book covers, pillowcases, and clothing with Digi Diva Graphics' designs, owner Heather Hight said.

"I'm constantly doodling whatever object pops into my mind," Hight said. "Although 90 percent of my doodles are total trash, there's a handful that I turn into designs."

For Hight, drawing unicorns, anthropomorphic pizza, and other mythical creatures used to be just a pastime. Now, it's how she makes a living.

She started Digi Diva Graphics on Etsy in 2010 to share and sell her work, she said. She started off illustrating digital clipart and creating digital collage sheets and other craft printables—but her venture into fabric printing didn't happen overnight.

She had always loved drawing, but didn't become interested in pattern design until taking graphic communication classes at Cal Poly SLO as part of her major, she said. She received her bachelor's degree in 2016 with a concentration in web and digital media.

"I started making pattern designs as part of projects for my classes at Poly, that's when I realized how much I enjoyed it," Hight said. "After doing some research, I found fabric printing to be the perfect medium. I think if you have a passion you want to market, do a ton of research and be open to new applications for your passion that you may not have thought of."

Digi Diva offers custom printed fabrics for various crafting needs—whether it's used for backpacks, purses, book covers, pillow cases, clothing, and more, she said.

"The most rewarding thing is getting to see the finished projects people create with my designs," Hight said. "Knowing that somebody chose a fabric design I created and turned it into something new is a really awesome feeling."

click to enlarge PINEAPPLE UNDER THE SEA Hight's favorite of her own designs is the Geometric Pineapple, which is the first fabric pattern she ever listed on Etsy, and is still her top seller. - PHOTO COURTESY OF HEATHER HIGHT
  • Photo Courtesy Of Heather Hight
  • PINEAPPLE UNDER THE SEA Hight's favorite of her own designs is the Geometric Pineapple, which is the first fabric pattern she ever listed on Etsy, and is still her top seller.

Hight's favorite of her own designs is the Geometric Pineapple, which is the first fabric pattern she ever listed for sale. It's also her most popular design, still maintaining its status as the top selling product on her Etsy site. The pineapple design, like most of her other patterns, was inspired by her own day-to-day life, Hight said.

"I saw a wine bottle while grocery shopping and there was a rooster on the label. Instantly I thought to myself, 'Why haven't I made a pattern with roosters yet?'" Hight said. "Stuff like that inspires me; I'll get ideas from so many random things that I encounter."

Hight also takes a lot of inspiration from her mother, who works as a graphic designer, she said. Although the list of her favorite artists is endless, Hight said she tries to maintain individuality rather than replicate the work of her heroes.

"The most challenging aspect for me is trying to create for others rather than only myself," she said. "I want to have my designs sell and be marketable, but at the same time still be true to my own creative identity, and sometimes those two don't always overlap." Δ

Contributor Caleb Wiseblood would like to see a chicken strips print with some fries thrown in for good measure. Send comments torcooley@newtimesslo.com.


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