As child I used to draw pages and pages of patterns filled with different shapes spiralling out from the middle and somehow tessellating together. At one time hearts and stars were heavily interspersed as I’d just learnt how to do them really well. What I liked about doing these patterns was even though they were just a jumble of shapes and meanings, they all fitted together as one piece.
Producing so much more polished versions of this kind of mix-and-match approach to pattern making, is Finnish illustrator and designer Aino-Maija Metsola with her vivid prints. Like modern folk tapestries, they combine simple shapes and symbols with repeated patterns and more detailed images that provide some narrative. The colours are sharply contrasted with heavy black and the different size of the various segments are what makes her work exciting to look at.
The majority of work Aino-Maija produces is for textile and clothing company Marimekko, known for its bright, original prints. As well as making clothes, her illustration work has been employed on the shop fronts of their stores in Helsinki and just recently the facade for their New York store – there’s something even lovelier seeing the flat images being brought to life via a 3D structure.
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