A Digital World

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‘Rhianna Ellington is a young textile and surface pattern designer based in the United Kingdom. In 2013 she graduated from Leeds College of Art with a degree in printed textiles and surface pattern design. Since then, she’s been collecting, drawing, embellishing and designing patterns in her bright and airy studio. Her designs are inspired by colour and contrast, and the digital manipulation of natural history and botanics have featured heavily in her recent work.’

How did you get involved with textiles?

In college I completed a printmaking module and fell in love with screen-printing. I was into illustration, photography and fashion design too so initially I had no idea which direction I wanted to go down. While researching different degree courses I came across a BA in printed textiles and surface pattern design at Leeds College of Art. I was so excited that I found a degree where I could combine all the creative disciplines that I loved. Surface pattern and textiles are so open and creative. I find you can turn anything into a pattern and there are so many surfaces to experiment on. 

Most of your work is digitally printed would you ever consider screen-printing?

When I was doing my degree most of my work was screen-printed and this is still one of my favorite printing methods. Unfortunately it’s too expensive for me to rent a screen-printing studio space or membership. I work part time and spend most of my time off freelancing so I would struggle to find the time.

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What’s your working day like? Do you work from home or in a studio?

I actually have a home studio in what should be the living room of my house. It’s a lovely big room with a lot of natural light so it is my favorite place to work. My working day tends to start with a lot of procrastination. Around midday I start to get into things and some days will work until midnight depending on how creative I’m feeling. If I’m working in my studio I will often go swimming in the day as well or meet a friend, as I like to get out of the house.

 What type of textiles have you not explored but would like to?

 I would love to experience and learn how to create patterned weaves.

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You’ve done a lot of work for brands from White Pepper to Motel Rocks who has been the most exciting brand you’ve worked with and why?

The White Pepper was my first freelance job so it was very exciting and my collection with Motel was the first collaboration with my name alongside the brand. I think every freelance job or collaboration is exciting in different ways. Last year I worked with an Asian department store called Lane Crawford for their wall displays, this was a completely new medium for me to work with which I really enjoyed.

Rhi x Ellie

How did your collaboration with embroidery designer Ellie Mac come about?

Ellie approached me after discovering my Instagram and I fell in love with her embroidery. I love doing my own hand embroidery and had always dreamed to have detailed machine embroidery on my fabrics so jumped at her proposal to collaborate.

 Who else would you like to collaborate with?

I would love to collaborate with a big interior design company and bring out a whole range of interior products including bedding, curtains, rugs and kitchenware.

What’s the hardest thing about having your own business?

Keeping myself motivated and maintaining a strong work ethic.

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What do you enjoy most about creating prints and which one is your favourite to date?

I don’t think I have a favourite but I definitely have a few prints that I really love. My favourite part of creating prints is adding colour and coming up with new colour palettes.

 What building would you love to cover with your prints?

 My parent’s house has a huge white wall on the outside, which I have wanted to decorate since I was a kid. I would love to cover it in a huge print!

How do you advertise your work?

I use a lot of other social media platforms including Instagram, Twitter, Facebook and Tumblr. I also love to get involved with blogs and magazines, as you never know who is going to see your work that way.

Lastly, what books would you recommend to lovers of textiles?

Books I would recommend for textiles or design lovers are: The Pattern Base by Kristi O’Meara, Just Sew Stories by Katie Allen, Find and Keep by Beci Orpin and Pulled: A Catalog of Screen Printing by Mike Perry

See more of Rhianna’s prints and work here

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