This is the first of a series of articles on artists and their decorative design from around the globe. Their innovative and creative visions have helped shape our contemporary design.
Beautiful hand painted patterns and compositions have always been a highly skilled and artistic expression of textile design. Whether sophisticated or whimsical, pretty fabrics help set the tone for a charming interior decor. Many years ago I had the privilege to work with artist Eriko Maeda, a successful textile designer based in Como, Italy. She's also an established journalist for an interior design magazine in Japan. Here is an exclusive interview and presentation of some of her fabulous creations:
1. The Moon from My Attic: Please introduce yourself: My name is Eriko Maeda, of Japanese nationality; I live in Italy since 1980. I graduated from Musashino Art University in Tokyo. I work as a textile designer and journalist for an interior design magazine.
2. TMFMA: Where do you enjoy doing your creative work? I do my creative works in my own art studio, at home.
3. TMFMA: How did you get started? My first job started in a big fashion company, in their marketing department, after I graduated school in Japan. However it was a job that didn't give me much satisfaction. I wanted to do textile art by hand. So I changed and relocated to a different city in Japan and worked for a small textile design studio.
4. TMFMA: What's exciting about your creative work? I was enthusiast about doing textile design, especially because it was by hand. In 1980 I moved to Italy and worked for an Italian design studio in Como. I learned more hand painting technique, coloring, artistic Italian design styles. Since then so many things have changed with me, but I still like hand painting and designing fabrics such as silk, linen and cotton.
5. TMFMA: What's your favorite medium or tool that you create with? I still design by using classic tools like brushes, guache or water color and some acrylic fabric paints. I also do computer work because I free lance for a Japanese interior magazine as their European correspondent.
6. TMFMA: Do you work by yourself or do you also do collaborative work? I have my own design studio, Eriko Maeda Design and I'm a consultant for a textile weaver in Prato, Italy, called Luilor. As mentioned before, I also work for a Japanese interior design magazine called Dream Interior Decoration, as their correspondent and photographer in Europe.
7. TMFMA: Tell us of a fun/creative project
I learned so much by working for Ratti, a renown silk company in Como, Italy. I worked for this company for six years, and touched upon the best textile quality, artistic design, creative styling and elegance – Ratti's clients are some of the most famous designers and brands in the world, like Gucci, Valentino, Versace, Ferre', Ralph Lauren, Chanel, Celine, Coach, Loewe, Dior.
On the other hand, I also learned to be a journalist. I go to interior design fairs around Europe, such as Maison Object Paris, Salone del Mobile Milano, Proposte Como, London Design Festival, and so on, and write reports for publishing with photographs.
8.TMFMA: Where do you like to look for inspiration? I like nature, the shape of flowers, leaves and shadow of trees. They give me inspiration for my design patterns and motifs. I like visiting museums to see works of art, whether they are classical or modern. Some of them create deep emotional impressions on me.
9. TMFMA: Is there a person or thing that has influenced you in your artistic efforts?
Modern artists, like Picasso, Chagall, Matisse, Kandinski, Klimt and Van Gogh or classic artists like Michelangelo, Arciboldo, Velasques and Rubens.
10. TMFMA: What are the reasons that you do what you do? I want to be free and organize my work in my way, to spend my time as I want to, including time for my family.