Ritsuko Hirai is a printmaker and textile designer, working in her own eponymous studio heavily influenced by Japanese culture. Ritsuko was born in Japan but raised in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia – both of which heavily inspired her later work. She attended the Rhode Island School of Design, where she developed her textile skills to a professional standard. She loves to create fabrics that embody ancient craftsmanship yet hold a modern sensibility. She currently works in California. So we are proud to bring you the Designer Insights of Ritsuko Hirai.
Image Credit: 1) Textiles For Ports 1961 2) Animals Parade Installation 3) West Wallpaper Design 4) Textiles For Phuong My 5) Knit Study
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1) In your own words describe your unique style and creative aesthetic?
The core of my work is drawing and painting. I started out as a printmaker, specialized in lithography and woodblock prints which added depth to understanding textures, colors and lines. I like to work in wide range of mediums though.
2) When starting a new project, what is your creative process?
I go to libraries, research online, go to museums to see and feel the inspirations of the designers I am working with. And most importantly, to get me excited about the project.
3) Out of the creative people you have worked with, who is it that you respect and admire the most?
They are all creative in their own way, and it is impossible for me to choose one person. I love learning each person’s creative process and their visions.
4) When looking for inspiration is there a particular thing you do to get inspired?
I get inspirations from little things that surrounds my everyday life, like cats, used kitchen towels, funny mugs at the thrift stores, old pots and pans, nice cup of tea, bus rides, Steiff animals, empty museums, watching baby mantises hatching, making a dragonfly stay on fingertips, gardening and tasting fresh tomato, cucumbers and eggplants. I do like to travel, near or far. I like when I am being transported, in between places, and being at the destination does not interest me too much.
5) What has brought you to this point in your career? And what is your advice for people looking to follow in your footsteps?
I am not even near where I want to be in my career. Having a beautiful dream to get inspired by and also seeing people who live the life you admire will get you where you want to be. Keep creating even when it seems like there’s no time.