Spooner Spotlight: Designer Carole Amrhein

Posted on February 10, 2023

Spooner Spotlight: Designer Carole Amrhein

At Reyn Spooner, a major point of pride is our original prints created by our team of talented artists. We caught up with Carole, the artist behind our Star Wars™ prints and many others, who is celebrating her 20th anniversary with Reyn Spooner.

Read our interview below on how she got into designing for Reyn Spooner and her experience bringing Star Wars to life.

How did you get into textile design?
My background is in design and illustration. I was working freelance (editorial illustrations, greeting cards, package design, t-shirt graphics, and a children’s book) when I saw an ad looking for a textile artist and was intrigued. It turned out to be for Reyn Spooner and my interview was with Tim McCullough. Prior to our meeting, I did a little research about textile illustration, repeats, and screen printing. This was in August of 1997, and I began freelancing at Reyn’s a few weeks later. Anything I didn’t understand, I asked Tim. He was a very good and patient mentor. In 2003 I became a full-time employee. My first print was Hula Nodders, which I understand is going to be re-issued later this year!

hula noddersHula Nodders print design

What is your creative process behind an original print?
Research, research, research! There is usually something visually that speaks to me, and a layout will start to come together in my mind and then on paper (or, in my case, on the tablet). Once the layout is finalized, a color palette is developed. We’re limited to using 15 colors, including black and white. This can be very challenging at times, but once that is figured out, I’m able to start painting which is the most relaxing part of the process for me.

You’ve had the fun job of designing our Star Wars™ print series (a first for Reyn Spooner). Tell us about the experience.
As soon as I heard this was in the works, I knew I wanted to be involved. I have watched these films so many times that I knew what scenes would be the most fun to include. An initial challenge was determining how the prints should be designed. We decided that one print should be set in space, and the other would focus on scenes that took place on the surface of the planets. A third one was Christmas-themed. Another challenge was with the rendering of the Death Star and various cruisers because they needed to be simplified yet include enough detail. As far as preparing, we were supplied with some references from the great folks at Lucas Films, and I also used scenes from the movies as my guide. A highlight was corresponding with my contacts at Lucas Films. They are so knowledgeable and passionate about the franchise and were great partners to work with. 

carole star wars print

Are you a bigger Star Wars fan now after working on this collection?
I’ve always been a fan! As a little kid, I loved programs like the Jetsons and the Outer Limits, so I’m a long-time Sci-Fi fan. I watched the Star Wars™ franchise when it originally came out, and I’ve seen all the prequels and sequels since then.

Shop Star Wars Rebels, Aliens & Droids