Designing Colorful Patterns with Ellie Wilder

I am a big fan of Ellie Wilder’s bold use of color and texture. Her work is warming and inviting, while also being energizing and exciting. I know Ellie from the Textile Design Lab and I love how she really takes the time to explore and play during her creative process for designing colorful patterns. It lends to exciting work.

Ellie has drawn inspiration from her mother to become the designer she is today. This is what she had to say about this experience: “My mother was an artist. She was a colorist hard-edge painter earlier in life, and a collage artist later in life, as well as an interior designer. I was taken to the museum of Modern Art in New York many times as a child, as she loved museums. I really loved Picasso the most, loved abstract painting.

“This contributed to my being an artist from an early age. After high school, I studied art and graphic design for five years at Indiana University, receiving a BFA. Art and design school taught me the finer points of aesthetics: spatial relationships, color theory, visual movement, layout of forms, interesting light, layering, texture, text as image, positive and negative space, perspective, and how these tools were used by artists throughout history.”

We can all agree it would be wonderful to have the exposure to art and beauty that Ellie had, which leads to the natural question of what happened next? How did she begin designing these colorful patterns?

Ellie had this reply: “After graduating, I worked in the graphic design industry as Barrett Design for many years, producing posters, brochures, magazines, books, logos/identities, packaging, greeting cards, and other materials for a variety of clients. For a few years I also produced silkscreen pieces for exhibitions. I have been a Mac user since 1988, soon after the beginning of the home desktop computer revolution. I learned Photoshop and Illustrator early on after their release by Adobe, following years of Aldus Pagemaker and QuarkXpress. I was also involved in the print production side of graphic design, including typesetting and press checking. I took on solely producing fine art in 1993, working in painting, drawing, collage, encaustics, and digital mixed media. I exhibited widely throughout the years. “Since 2018, I have been involved in surface pattern design and love the patterns I can create. I gravitate to abstract geometric designs using iPad drawings, photos, and computer apps to achieve unique results. My process includes researching and drawing, and then producing an outpouring of work. I love the elements of surprise and turn of phrase, as well as beauty in all its forms.”

“I am working on creating a website and online portfolio now. I have sold a few pieces but would like to see a lot more of my work out in the world.  I’m aiming for licensing as well as direct sales, and am open to all manner of collaborations. I’m very excited about this new path I’ve chosen.”

View more of Ellie’s amazing work here.

At Pattern Observer we strive to help you grow your textile design business through our informative articles, interviews, tutorials, workshops and our private design community, The Textile Design Lab.

Featured Course

More Stories
Feature Designer: DanYELL Designs