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Meet Debbie Sun, Textile Designer

Debbie Sun herself is as effervescent and vibrant as her well known designs. Unique and colorful, her textiles combine elements of nature and architecture into some of the most visually stunning designs imaginable. Inspired by her travels, her Caribbean home, and her pure enjoyment of life, Debbie creates original silk paintings and magically transforms them into textiles. From there, they are used to create everything from wall hangings and pillows, to hand fans and note cards. I visited Debbie, toured her design studio and learned how she turns her original art into…well, anything and everything!

Debbie, with her ever-present smile, showing us some of her colorful designs

‘Imagine with Textiles!’ is Debbie’s motto, since textiles can be used in an endless number of ways. You have probably seen Debbie’s work on the walls of the Caravelle Hotel & Casino, as well as hanging in beautiful swags across the ceiling of their open-air lobby. You can also find her designs on the fabulous lamp shades hanging in The Terrace restaurant at The Buccaneer. While these custom creations were commissioned by hotels, anyone can order custom works featuring her beautiful designs. If you visit the Debbie Sun Design Studio website you can order custom throw pillows, wall hangings, tableware, and more – featuring the 40+ designs she currently has available.

Debbie Sun textiles adorn the Caravelle Hotel & Casino lobby ceiling

So how does Debbie create her textiles? She begins by painting an original piece of artwork on silk. While it is quite technical from there, the gist of is that Debbie photographs the completed painting and converts it into a digital format. Once the design has been digitized, she can then use the entire painting as-is, or choose portions of the design and repeat them to create a pattern. She can also adjust the colors or use specific elements of the original design to create multiple patterns. Her textile designs are truly a combination of her many talents as an artist, a photographer, and a digital designer. She also shops for the best possible textiles on which to print her designs so that whether you are displaying them in your home, or wearing them, they hold up well and showcase the vibrant colors. 

Original cactus painting on silk with a note card and scarf created from the artwork

I stopped by Debbie’s studio to sneak a peak at her latest original silk paintings and projects to see for myself how the magic happens. While visiting her studio, I saw several amazing silk paintings taking shape including an octopus and a ‘herd’ of seahorses. I also got a chance to see some of her newest designs and products including swimwear, yoga pants, and neoprene bags. You can shop for Debbie Sun Design Studio products online, or you can shop her collections at ADORN, Undercover Books & Gifts, and Sweet Lime Furnishings. 

Debbie Sun Design Studio showroom in Christiansted

From her new studio, Debbie also has plans to teach small workshops for those interested in learning the art of silk painting. I highly recommend her workshops, they are fun, creative, and you get to leave with your own piece of textile artwork. Plus, meet Debbie and immerse yourself with her positive energy and colorful creations. She is a genuine and engaging person with a smile for everyone because, as Debbie says: ‘Every moment is there for you to have. Have it! Live it! Enjoy it! Cherish it! Appreciate the moment! And smile.’

Jennie Ogden, Editor

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