Our Designer Interview today is with Liane Ricci, a New York born artist and designer living in Los Angeles. Liane has a background in Broadway productions and collaborates with manufacturers and designers, creating original art for use in fashion, home and lifestyle.
When did your interest in design first start and how did that come about?
Way back! When I was 7 years old, I told my mother that I wanted to make cards for Hallmark, and she began giving me “assignments” to make birthday cards and such for her friends. I would anticipate hearing back from her about how her friends were so touched to receive something so special. So you could say my journey as a designer has been evolving ever since childhood, with several peaks along the way and exploring many disciplines.
What steps did you take to get to where you are now as a designer?
I studied at several art schools as I was discovering my “voice” as a designer: primarily, Fine Art at the Hartford Art School, Painting and Printmaking at The Art Students League and Fashion Illustration at The Fashion Institute of Technology. After college, I began showing my paintings in galleries and over the years, my relationship with shape and color matured considerably. A while later, I had an extraordinary opportunity to work on costumes for some of the most well-known Broadway musical productions in New York. That experience opened my mind immensely to the possibilities of working with fabric and surface design.
How would you describe your style?
Working with color is one of my most beloved aspects of creating. I love, love, love playing with color; so that tends to be a signature trend in my designs. I also prefer shapes and imagery that are bold, so I like my designs to POP! I think my work tends to be playful with a lot of movement.
What kind of designer do you want to be known as?
Someone who makes the kinds of designs that make people happy. It may seem like a naturally obvious intent; but that’s really what is at the core of my art. I aim to create work that people want to surround themselves with in their environment.
What are you working on currently?
Lots of hand-painted and hand-printed designs. I do plenty of designing with software of course, but more than anything I enjoy doing hands-on work. Recently, I have been making block-printed baby onsies which I sell on my website. I get a tremendous amount of joy from it!
What advice would you give emerging designers wanting to build their portfolios?
Connect with others. I have gained so much from being involved in different designer communities; whether its taking an online class, sharing my work on blogs, or just reaching out and connecting with different designers and studios. I absorb as much as I can, but when it’s time to get to work I focus on what is unique to my style and what truly make me happy.
What would be your dream design gig?
Okay, there are two studios that totally make me drool. The first is Galbraith & Paul in Philadelphia. They do large-scale hand printed fabric that are so wonderfully elegant and beautiful. The second is Fromental, which hand-paints textiles and wall coverings in Wuxi, China. Their talent just blows me away! Someday, I hope to see their operations in person. I’m not necessarily someone who aspires to run my own business; but to be able to completely focus on high-quality design and craftsmanship is completely dream-worthy.
Looking ahead what are your major goals for the next couple of years?
I recently took the plunge into designing full time, so securing work is goal numero uno. It can be a bit overwhelming, but it’s thrilling to know that with focus and hard work, I can create my dream career. I’d love to develop a solid relationship with an agent and concentrate on producing the best work I’ve ever made.
If you were a pattern what kind of a pattern would you be and why?
That’s such a cute question. I’d say that I have my Liberty-style floral side, for sure. Kind-of sweet and feminine. Highly-stylized. And I also have my more stable, predictable side; like a Hound’s Tooth or a Gingham. They have symmetry and balance but still not just your usual check!
Liane Ricci is a New York born artist and designer living in Los Angeles. She has created art for a variety of clientele including the MGM Grand Las Vegas and the Four Seasons Hotels. She has worked on costumes for Broadway productions such as Wicked, Disney’s The Lion King, and for the American Ballet Theatre. In April of 2014, Liane was a participating artist in the distinguished Fabergé Big Egg Hunt in New York City. Currently, Liane collaborates with manufacturers and designers, offering custom designs and original art for use in fashion, home, and lifestyle. Liane’s paintings are represented by Susan Eley Fine Art, in New York City.