Two years ago we named Ed Carvalho-Monaghan as one of our 2013 Graduates and since then his illustrations made up of block colours and simple lines have given us so much joy. His knack for encapsulating the everyday with unusual touches made him a natural fit for our It’s Nice That curated collection of knitwear for Unmade. Based around the concept of Future Factory, Ed is one of three commissioned illustrators asked to create a one-of-a-kind scarf using Unmade’s bespoke knitting process.
Ed’s illustrated design feels almost philosophical and depicts a collection of objects including a statue head, plants and a glass of wine, making a tapestry of the mundane. Thinking of the future in terms of his own career, Ed was realistic in what he was able to do after university: “I was preparing to get out into the world, I recognised that I didn’t have any money, and I wouldn’t be able to afford paint. Developing ideas using digital means like Adobe Illustrator felt like the best I could do at the time,” he explains.
His digital approach has meant Ed’s work always has a wonderful crispness and clarity, which has translated beautifully to his scarf design. The illustrator’s piece is the most figurative in the collection: “I didn’t have a particular idea in my mind but I had the thought of putting lots of interesting parts together to make a whole piece into some kind of arrangement,” he explains. “I had the image of the goldfish at the bottom and that seemed to be a good starting point to work forward from.”
The illustrator’s monochromatic scarf is a departure from his usual deluge of punchy colours, but it allows his beautiful line work to be centre stage. “I arrange lines in a curvaceous, defined way which creates a sense of balance,” says Ed. Without colour, our focus is drawn to the outlined shapes and how they interconnect with each other, both in composition and meaning. The ambiguity in Ed’s work has become integral to his style but the illustrator is very clear on how his work has shaped him. “I was very shy when I was younger so to flesh out a better identity for myself, working on my illustration was necessary,” he explains. “It allowed me the space to be on my own and get to know myself. That’s probably the most important function is to getting to know yourself through the work you’re doing.”
If you’d like to see the collection in person come join us at our launch party at the Covent Garden, Unmade shop this Thursday 7pm to 9pm. RSVP to [email protected]