Tiny patterns have been welling up in Jackie O’Bosky’s heart since she was a girl, growing up in Los Angeles, California. Doodles of flowers would blossom onto pages during school. Art teachers would hand out sketchbooks, but before they could give directions, Jackie had already escaped to her own world of drawing. “I was always creating and filling up sketchbooks,” said Jackie. “A white piece of paper was my kryptonite.” Through the next decade of her life, Jackie’s modern-vintage style of tiny patterns would weave in and out of her life.
In high school English class, Jackie would draw and create as she listened to the discussion of the assigned reading, soaking it all in. Drawing helped her focus and pay attention to the lesson, winning her an English award her senior year.
She always had a dream in her heart to be a fashion designer. Even in childhood, the designing of the garment itself was not interesting to her, but filling it with pattern was. She did not realize then that she had a real future in pattern design.
Jackie was gifted in many of the Arts, and she always pursued her passions fully before moving to the next thing. Late high school, she discovered she had a natural gift of singing. She started performing, and her life took some exciting twists and turns. She was in Los Angeles, after all.
Her gift took off with singing the National Anthem at basketball games. Her parents soon signed her up for voice lessons with Elisabeth Howard, the same vocal coach as Idina Menzel. “Singing became my identity,” Jackie said. She got good feedback and won her college’s Idol competition. That win encouraged her to try out for American Idol. She stood in line with Jordin Sparks. When it was Jackie’s turn, she brought a mix of vintage Judy Garland meets modern Norah Jones vibes to the song “Somewhere Over the Rainbow.” Unfortunately, after making it to the second round, she was deemed “too wholesome,” and her journey ended.
Jackie knew deep down, though, that singing was not where she was supposed to ultimately land. She struggled with vocal fatigue, and this was not the lifestyle she desired. This natural gift was going to have to wait awhile. Her singing performances halted abruptly as she had surgery on vocal nodules and was put on vocal rest. “I didn’t know what to do,” she reminisced, adding, “I also had a falling out with art.” Jackie’s art professors focused more on selling fine art and telling a story. “That’s not the kind of art I was interested in. I just wanted to be me.” She was lost.
Jackie turned back to her family. She remembered that her grandfather loved living and working in Abilene, Texas, and her dad grew up here. She knew she had a gift of music and performing, so she applied to the ACU Theatre Program. Even though she did not get in to that program, she decided to move to Abilene anyway for a fresh start.
Jackie worked at McKay’s Bakery for a season. She loved talking with so many different people as she performed a variety of jobs there. One woman in particular really encouraged Jackie to pursue getting certified to teach here in Texas since she was certified in California.
Teaching art turned out to not be Jackie’s passion either. Or maybe it was the lunch detention duty she was assigned. The stress of those days, however, led to the breakthrough she needed.
During her off periods in teaching, she started painting. She painted flowers. Lots of them. Large flowers. Tiny flowers. Tiny flower patterns. During a particularly tough lunch detention day, she told the rowdy students that if they were quiet, they could watch her paint. She kept painting those flowers. The students interrupted with questions, but she shushed them and continued painting. She explained in a gentle voice each of the steps she took. The students kept quiet, watched her paint, and served their time.
Jackie O’Bosky eventually resigned from teaching, as she was getting close to finding her true passion.
Jackie started dabbling in every art business imaginable, doing pop-up shows with all her creations. She painted flowers on every surface – notecards, textiles, art in embroidery hoops, donuts.
Yes, donuts! Abilenians may recognize Jackie and her donuts from her business called “Flour and Flora.” She partnered with AM Donuts to paint tiny flowers on white-frosted donuts and sold them for baby and wedding showers, birthdays, and events. While painting hundreds of donuts, she realized her true passion of pattern design on surfaces.
“I transitioned donut painting into designing fabric,” Jackie said. She knew that the round design of a donut had something to do with patterning, but she had no idea where to start. Her first patterns on fabric were small flowers with lots of space between them. “So I took a course and learned,” she explained. “Bonnie Christine’s Surface Design Immersion Course changed my life. She taught me how to create a repeating pattern that flows and how to start a career with it.”
Once she graduated from that course, Jackie immediately got a licensing deal with Golden Coil Planners. She started a Spoonflower shop with her fabrics and wallpapers. She now works with brands to bring her fabrics to life. Her favorite collaboration currently is with a headband company, making knotted headbands from her fabric.
Of course, she paints tiny flowers. Her aesthetic is “modern meets vintage botanicals,” similar to her Norah Jones/Judy Garland voice. But for now, Jackie finally loves what she does.
“My greatest goal is to add beauty and light to the world, to find it in unlikely places and to create more of it,” Jackie said. “It just feels right creating from my home with my son and sharing my love of art with him. One of our favorite things to do is to draw and paint together. I am so thankful for such a supportive husband who encourages every venture that has led me here. I often joke that my patterns will bring him home from the work force. We will see!”
By Laura Daulton
Photos By Shayli Anne Photography