If you don’t know her yet, chances are you will soon. The designer of Marimekko’s most complex print to date, Vattenblänk blurs the line between paint and print. Designer Astrid Sylwan is a Belgian-born painter whose abstract works command attention with vibrant colors and layered patterns. Inspired by the poetic movement of water as it shimmers in the sunlight; Vattenblänk actually means “glittering water” in Swedish.
An artist who seeks to stir different emotional responses through her work, it took extreme skill and new printing techniques for Marimekko to translate her colorful painting into a fabric print that exuded the same qualities. As Marimekko says, “Astrid’s multilayered use of colours and exacting attention to detail meant that getting it half right was never an option. In fact, only a handful of textile printers in the world could have reproduced Astrid’s vision with the same commitment to artistic integrity…” Visually stunning, Vattenblänk is more like a work of art than an industrially manufactured product.
Finding inspiration from within herself, Sylwan prefers that her prints evoke emotion instead of clear illustrative imagery. Her design process relies on finding the unexpected through the expected. “My working process is a mixture of total control and improvisation. I always start with a plan that goes wrong eventually. Even with the Marimekko prints, I found a new direction through experimentation.” Sylwan’s expressive vision aligns well with Marimekko’s encouraging creative atmosphere and her deliberate use of color and artistic integrity promise a fruitful partnership with Marimekko. See the AlwaysMod website for more products by Astrid Sylwan such as the Vattenblänk Throw Pillow, the Vattenblänk Fabric or the Irrbloss Serving Bowl.
Other Fun Facts About Astrid:
My first memory of Marimekko: When I was a small child my mother wallpapered my room in strong yellow striped wallpaper. She also painted my furniture in the same intense yellow and hang curtains with Maija Isola´s Unikko in navy blue, orange and yellow. I loved my room, it was as if the sun was always shining in there, an endless summer.
The word that best describes my creative philosophy: Work. You can’t think yourself to a good painting. Working, failing and finally getting there makes progress.
My greatest artistic influence: Artistic influences can be so overwhelming that they are hard to get past. An extraordinary exhibition can take weeks to recover from. I used to have artistic house gods but I don’t anymore. I try to search within myself.
The pattern I’m most fascinated with right now: Manhattan by Josef Frank.
Photos via: AlwaysMod.com