“I think of myself as an unorthodox quilter,” says Julie, who wishes she had more time for sewing. But as half the husband-and-wife design team of Cosmo Cricket (the name comes from rearranging the letters of the name of the other team member—Eric Comstock), she’s busy with design projects, including their new line for Moda, Write This Way: Circa 1934.
Julie and Eric, who work from their Utah home, met while studying commercial art at Utah State University.
“We took all of our college art classes together, so we’ve worked together since the beginning of our relationship,” says Julie. After graduating, Eric worked for an ad agency while Julie freelanced, but five years ago they decided to strike out on their own. “Our youngest doesn’t know what it’s like to have parents who work outside the home.”
Today their desks are about three feet apart. But if you’re picturing two people so close that they’re in perfect sync on every detail, you’d be wrong. Eric has a clean, minimalist aesthetic, favoring tidy, cleared-off surfaces, while Julie prefers a cozy, vintage vibe. She describes her desk as “a total cluttered mess,” filled with stacks of ideas and inspiration. Julie’s in charge of Cosmo Cricket’s crafty designs, so her desk is covered with ink pads, brads, jewelry parts, and whatever else her current project requires.
“We sit back-to-back so Eric doesn’t have to look at my stuff,” says Julie with a laugh. I clear it off on occasion, but as soon as I do, I make a mess again.”
Despite their differences, these two smoothly meld their tastes to create designs for scrapbooking, gift wrap, and online photo albums. Eric’s artwork appears on children’s posters, while Julie’s been working on fabric jewelry (including Glubers). And all the while, they’re raising their four kids in an arts-friendly environment.
“My mom is an artist, and I spent a lot of time doing oil painting on the back deck with her,” says Julie. “Art was valued in our house and my mom made me feel like I was good at it. Being artistic was a way of life and it’s the same for our kids.”
That’s probably why Julie had to laugh about her daughter’s affinity for coloring on everything when she was little. “When she was three she covered her body with brown markers—she even colored the bottom of her feet and between her toes,” says Julie. “She was brown for several days.”
Julie’s apparent appreciation for creativity is one reason she’s so excited about Cosmo Cricket’s new line of fabric.
“I love to see what people do with our products,” she says. “I’m looking forward to getting back to sewing, seeing things made with Write This Way: Circa 1934, and learning from what I see.”