We caught up with The Hallmark Studio Award Winner Rihanah Hussain just before she started her placement in the Studios to give us an insight into her practice and how she has progressed in her discipline.
Tell us the story behind you and your design background
The story behind my design background focuses on screen printing and illustration. I fill my sketchbook with anything which inspires me to create a variety of different ideas for my comprehensive range of prints. I enjoy being free and expressive with paint brushes and pencils in the sense that my drawing style is very instant, as I like fast and sporadic results.
How did you become interested in design?
My interest in design began when I was at school in art class which was my favourite subject. I loved working with colour and different materials to form patterns from nature and drawings of animals. After finishing school, I knew becoming an artist was something I wanted to pursue. Craft is where I can express my adoration by consistently drawing and thriving off the processes involved.
Where did you study and what was the most useful thing you learnt from / best things about your course?
I studied Textile Design for Fashion and Interiors at Bath Spa University. My tutors taught me so much by pushing my strong creative abilities. The most useful thing I have learnt is to never stop drawing and the best things about my course was the freedom of each project whilst being mentored by teachers who were committed, supportive and believed in my work.
How do you think your internship/ placement will contribute to your career pathway?
The Hallmark placement will contribute to my career pathway because I will be able to learn so much within their wrapping paper and gift card industry. The placement will teach me the process of how a sketchbook drawing is transformed into a sell-able product on the market for high street retailers.
What inspired you to start your career pathway?
My career pathway was inspired by other artists whose work I love, some of which are Hockney, Matisse, Hepworth, Faye Moorhouse and Monika Forsberg. Observing their work instantaneously inspires and motivates me to keep chasing my dreams as a successful artist.
Give us an insight into your thought process to design your work – where does your inspiration come from? Who are your design mentors and why?
I gather inspiration by photographing and drawing people walking in the streets with their pet dogs. When designing my prints, I like to convey a narrative into my work as this incorporates an element of fun and interaction. My design mentors would be relatives of mine as we’re a highly creative family and they’re incredibly encouraging of my love for illustration and textile design.
What one technique, material or tool could you not live without?
The one material I could not live without is my Windsor and Newton gouache paints as the pigment is so strong and vibrant.
What’s the best piece of advice you’ve ever been given? / What piece of advice would you give to future graduates or those thinking of studying design?
Second year at University I struggled to find my style and was feeling very low at the time. Perseverance is vital and beginning able to believe in yourself is essential when trying to find your identity within the design world. If you feel like giving up keep drawing, knitting, printing etc. and you will eventually find your way. Never give up!
If you like the look of my work please check out my Instagram at: www.instagram.com/rihanah.hussain