Monday, December 12, 2016

90 days of creativity

I'm making a pledge to myself to make art each day for the next 90 days. For the first day, I'm continuing my pattern blog.

Sunday, December 4, 2016


I found inspiration for this latest pattern from the Fushimi Inari Shrine in Kyoto. In Japanese folklore, foxes -- Kitsune -- are mythical creatures capable of possessing humans (entering underneath the fingernails), and they may also impersonate women or old men, or serve as messengers.

Tuesday, November 1, 2016


This is more of a mandala than a 2 dimensional tiling repeat, but it still has an effect of covering a surface. Playing more with the amaziograph app. Only missing feature would be to export a tile.

Saturday, October 29, 2016

Tuesday, October 25, 2016

Italian pottery

There was a coffee shop in the mall in my hometown that used to sell Italian pottery. Caffe Dolce. I remember the bright primary colors against white.

Sunday, October 23, 2016

Linear Sakura

I found an app called Amaziograph that helps make awesome repeat patterns. I can doodle on my ipad and it does all the repeats and transformations. It's very meditative and awesome.

Friday, May 6, 2016

Kaleidoscope: Ice Moth

Part of a series based on my ice dyeing adventures.

Guest blogpost on Indigenous Patterns: Otomí Embroidery

I've long admired the traditional patterns of Native Americans. From the sharp geometrics on Acoma pottery, to the bold and dynamic animal forms of the Tahltan, Kwakiutl, and other northwest tribes, there's something about these traditional arts that excites me, and I want to share these patterns with my surface pattern fans (aka my Mom). Unfortunately, the livelihood and intellectual property of Native artists are threatened by large corporations looking to produce cheap, manufactured goods. When I lived in Albuquerque, NM, local silversmiths taught me the importance of buying Native made goods, rather than Chinese knock-offs. Urban Outfitters recently lost a lawsuit to the Navajo nation for appropriating their tribal name to sell cheap panties. Cultural appropriation is a hot topic, and I wanted to use my blog to promote authentic indigenous crafts.

When I learned my aerialist classmate Sarah Dickerson studied Otomí Embroidery in college, I asked her to contribute as a guest author to my blog.


Otomí embroidery has recently made news headlines as indigenous rights activists protest furniture company Pottery Barn’s cultural appropriation of this embroidery in their Chinese-made products. I originally wrote about this embroidery and its appropriation by Texas-based artist Margarita Cabrera. Cabrera once noted, “Crafting is the heart of any country, when that is at risk the culture is at risk.” The fact that the craft and work of women and indigenous people are not taken seriously is an indication that women and indigenous people are not valued or taken seriously. 

source: Wikipedia

The Otomí region which produces this embroidery was largely isolated from not only Spanish colonization, but from the Maya and Aztec empires that influenced most of the Mexico. Although the Otomí embroidery evolved, it is still relatively true to its original art form. The way in which Otomí cultures weave and embroider their clothing is especially unique to the region and its heritage. The colorful flora, fauna, and daily scenes embroidered on muslin, named manteles in San Pablito, and elsewhere as tenangos, originate from small Hñañhú towns between San Pablito and Tenango de Doria. The history of these embroidered designs is not sure, but they may be derived from paintings in a cave called Nzest’ni near San Nicolás.

The commercialization and forgery of traditional indigenous craft is rising in our 
globalized economy. Initially, much of the colorful Otomí embroidery technique was created using beadwork. The Otomí also severed the spikes of indigenous agave plants, dried and stiffened the fibers, then combed, spun, and eventually wove the agave fibers into clothing. As the cost of beads, chaquira, increased in Mexico, women artisans switched to cotton and then synthetic thread. Additionally, as regions of Otomí population were exposed to tourism and trade, their intricate and laborious method of embroidery was commercialized.  Many artisans considered prices too low for their meticulous work, but many answered to market demands by utilizing cheaper materials and designing more desirable fantastical scenes. Starting in the mid-twentieth century, women in San Pablito and surrounding towns such as Tenango de Doria of Hidalgo, felt the effects of Mexico’s declining economy and struggled to survive financially. Consequently, many women began to embroider on white commercial cotton fabric and adopted traditional indigenous symbolic themes to sell to an outside market.

As of my writing this, Pottery Barn, which is owned by Williams-Sonoma, Inc., continues to sell these textiles cheaply made in China but no longer labels them as Otomí. The heart of this issue is in cultural appropriation, but this cultural appropriation has greater implications: The Otomí cultural tradition of embroidery is being mocked while being mimicked, and the very real indigenous people who practice this art form are losing money through the exploitation of their culture. There is a petition to dissuade Pottery Barn from selling these forgeries here. If you want to purchase authentic Otomí embroidery products, check out this Etsy shop: If ever in doubt, shop through local, authentic, indigenous artisans.

Thursday, May 5, 2016

Ice Dyed Kaleidoscope

Last weekend I experimented with ice dyeing, following a tutorial on Dharma Trading's site. I was blown away with how easy it was to get amazing effects, and one of my favorite pieces is the sarong below.

I thought it would be fun to break up this image in illustrator and run it through some transformations to make different Wallpaper Group based patterns. I created 17 patterns, one for each wallpaper group, each based off of the above image. Here's the first one:

They look so psychedelic and wild. I never thought I'd get this abstract, but I'm really loving this. Stay tuned for more.

Kaleidoscope: Ice Spirit

Part of a series based on my ice dyeing adventures.

Saturday, March 19, 2016

Cat Bacon Creative

It's been a little while since I've posted here, but I have been up to good things. I'm finally trying to monetize my art hobby. I started this blog in 2013 to explore the area of surface pattern design, and since then, I've created over 220 unique designs, spent a year learning the art of fabric dyeing, and given a talk at Nerd Nite Austin. The next big step is to launch my own Etsy store CatBacon Creative featuring my creations. Here's some ramblings about my store and the values I want to incorporate


I picked circus and pole apparel because it is a way to combine my athletic and artistic hobbies. I'd already created my own custom costumes for performances, and I wanted to share my designs with the people in my community. My circus and pole classmates are really a second family to me. I've gained a new appreciation for my body since starting pole dance two years ago. Thanks to Sky CandyBonBonBarreInner Diva, and Austin Academy of Burlesque. Also I am a huge fan of roller derby and admire the glitter, leggings, and physicality of this alternative sport.


I've been very inspired by the creative and talented people around me. First of all, my brother Steven Kilzer created his own sunglasses line with lots of hard work over the last six years. I always played things a little more cautious, but I am tremendously proud of my brother's ambition and work ethic. Everyone in my family has this intense desire to create. My grandmother sanded carousel horses in her 70s and 80s. My father worked 14 hour days, then spent his weekends hunting deer and elk, ice fishing for Kokanee, or gardening a 70 foot plot. My Mom does everything from cooking, baking, knitting, cross stitching, to canning, sewing, gardening, volunteering, and quickbooks.


I'm a huge feminist, and in great awe of the women I know who have started their own businesses. My friend Julia created her own massage studio Rising Spiral and it's seriously the best in town. My friend Shay is and continually wins awards as the best audio engineer in Austin (as well as the only female in this role), and owns her own studio Chez Boom. There's my teacher Serena from BonBonBarre, Mika and Inez from Hard Candy, the brilliant ladies behind Boss Babes ATX, and so many more. It's not easy being a woman in this world, but that doesn't stop these gals from taking risks and climbing to the top.


I'm also really motivated by body positivity and health at any size. I love to read the fitness journey of activist Ragan Chastain. I love the radical self acceptance of burlesque dancers who just get on stage and don't apologize for being themselves.  I love how athletes come in all shapes and sizes, and want my clothing line to reflect that. Sadly, a lot of the fashion industry just taps out after size 12. I've been there, struggling to find a leotard to fit for ballet class, feeling like I don't belong in dance. Naww, dance is for everyone. Inspired by brands like Pin Up Couture, Artista Activewear, and the curvy-friendly clothing I found in New Zealand, I aim to provide clothing in a wide range of sizes. Sourcing is a little tricky as I'm doing low volume orders, but please be patient as I am working on getting items up to 3XL.


I spend a lot of time thinking about where clothing is made, and where it goes when we're done using it. Again, I am limited in my power as a low volume buyer, but when possible, I choose clothing that is ethically made. I believe in quality over quantity. I hope to make items that you will love, take care of, and keep for a long time.