Our designer interview today is with Shiori Naruse, who has recently graduated from Cleveland College of Art and Design with a first class BA Hons in Textiles Surface Design. Shiori also recently exhibited at the New Designers show where we first got to know her.
When did your interest in design first start and how did that come about?
Throughout my childhood I was always an art enthusiast. I loved to draw, paint, sew and make things. I would create art because I wanted to, it was fun and I enjoyed it. It wasn’t until I started my A-levels when I actually started to think about what I wanted to do for a career. The advice I got was to ‘do what you love’. This was when it became clear to me. I wanted to become a designer.
What steps did you take to get to where you are now as a designer?
From my GCSE’s through to A level I took Textile and Design as a subject. It was very art-based as we created many prints, collages and embroidered wall hanging. We did not produce any fashion based pattern cutting or producing garments. However, for some reason I decided I wanted to go into fashion design. My teachers highly recommend me to take an art foundation course as I had no experience in it and it would be difficult for me to get into a fashion degree.
I was eager to go straight to university and so I got an interview at Northumbria University for fashion and got a conditional offer. This gave me the confidence to accept the course, as I was aware of the high prestige it had. I completed my first year training of BA Fashion at Northumbria but decided that it wasn’t for me. Even though I had learned a lot of new skills and enjoyed doing fashion, I knew for definite that my passion remained in my familiar art based textiles.
Realising this just in time I was able to transfer my course and continue on to the second year of BA textiles and surface design at Cleveland College of Art and Design. Here I learned so many invaluable new skills including the entire process of screen printing repeated patterns with colour separations.
At CCAD we also had the opportunity to exhibit our work at Indigo Paris which was a useful and insightful experience. As we were encouraged to gain industry placements, I interned for Baxter and Fawcett in London and TrendBible in Newcastle. These where both very useful internships which I learned a lot from.
For my final major project I produced a collections of wallpapers and furnishing fabrics. I was very privileged to gain sponsorships from Madeira threads, Akua inks, Ezeeplan and Fiskars scissors: they kindly supplied me with materials I needed to create a high quality collection. From around January until my deadline I went to Uni five days a week from usually 9.15 in the morning until 7 or 8pm at night (apart from Fridays when my college closed at 5pm). I took advantage of the universities facilities and print department as much as I could. The hard work paid off as I was thrilled to be selected to exhibit at New Designers 2015. From this I was able to gain a couple of great contacts.
How would you describe your style?
Energetic, brightly coloured, bold yet delicate geometric shapes are fused with patterns inspired by nature with hints of Japanese influences. My hand rendered prints and embroidery are applied onto a mixture of transparent and tactile materials.
What kind of designer do you want to be known as?
An interior surface designer who creates hand derived bespoke wallpapers and furnishing fabrics.
What are you currently working on?
I am currently on an inspiring research trip, traveling around Southeast Asia, absorbing new culture and traditions with new things to draw and record. I aim to find short textiles internship opportunities as I go. I have managed to gain two different ones so far!
What advice would you give emerging designers wanting to build their portfolios?
Now is the time to experiment, take risks, be bold and see what you can do!
What would be your dream design gig?
Eventually I would like to establish my own interior design company with a print studio selling to an international audience.
Looking ahead what are your major goals for the next couple of years?
I aim to gain more industry experience by working for other interior design studios and businesses. After this I would like to start off my own business and create a working print studio.
If you were a pattern what kind of a pattern would you be and why?
…a difficult question! I think I would be a Japanese pattern called Asanoha (Hemp Leaf): it is a geometric design with six diamond shaped patterns arranged to look like a hemp leaf. I think this reflects my Japanese heritage and admiration for natural things with a linear twist.
Shiori Naruse is a Textile and Surface Designer based in Newcastle Upon Tyne, UK. Born in the UK of British and Japanese heritage, Shiori takes inspiration from the natural world and the arts and culture of Japan to create unique and expressive textured designs. She has recently graduated with a first class BA Hons Textiles Surface Design at Cleveland College of Art and Design. Shiori’s primary focus is hand printing and machine embroidery using mixed media to create brightly coloured, elaborate textured designs for interiors. Influenced by 1920’s art movements and artists such as Stephen Wright, Shiori incorporates a lot of geometric shapes and mark-making techniques into her work. Constant experimentation and embracing of new ideas and techniques allows Shiori to create exciting, innovative work. Shiori aims to harness the world around her to create stimulating, tactile designs.