Embroidery is finally having its moment in the spotlight. Historically it has rarely been taken seriously as a craft, let alone an art form. Traditionally it was disregarded as a silly pastime for women. Yet not only has the use of embroidery in design and fashion been ever increasing, the entire medium has come into its own, manifesting itself into something high fashion and contemporary.
Aaron Rinas is one of many designers currently using embroidery in his work: “Embroidery is actually a pretty recent endeavour for me” he states “I’ve always been attracted to hand-crafted arts and one day I thought, ‘Why can’t I do that?’, so without any experience I went out and bought supplies and started embroidering a giant ampersand. It wasn’t until I was finished that I knew I was on to something.”
And onto something he was. “Non-traditional embroidery has definitely become more popular lately and it’s exciting to see old techniques being revisited in new creative ways.” Rinas’ own unique use of embroidery on images and photographs evokes feelings of both, surrealism and nostalgia as he meticulously layers each piece he works on, blurring where his initial graft begins and the original base ends. “The use of layering is a major element that runs throughout my work” he shares with us, “I like juxtaposing different imagery to the point that it feels like they were always together.” “Whether it’s an old painting layered over a photograph or an embroidered graphic pattern over a vintage image there is something special in the tactile nature of layering different images and materials.”
On his own artistic beginnings, Aaron thoughtfully remembers himself as the “artsy kid” growing up. However, he presumed art to be strictly for painters. It wasn’t until much later when a friend of his enrolled in a graphic design program that he realised “art isn’t just life drawings and classical paintings.” “The more I researched” he tells us “the more I felt like design was everything I was looking for.”
Aaron consistently produces carefully constructed pieces, partially due to his design schooling but also his own freeform methods. No area of art is out of his reach, his own work an artistic collaboration effort in itself: “Just like any creative medium, embroidery takes time, dedication, and skill, which is no different than other art forms. I feel in this day and age, regardless of traditional gender roles, designers should not limit themselves. I try to be creatively curious in all I do.”
When discussing his own time and techniques in Art & Design School he relays some key advice for budding designers: “The most important thing I’ve learned in the classroom is to learn from the people around you; to collaborate. I am fortunate enough to have amazingly talented friends that constantly inspire me and push me to be better.”
He goes on to comment: “one of the most important things I’ve learned outside the classroom is to not let the design briefs restrict your creative process. It’s easy to squash an idea because you think the client will not go for it, but in order to push yourself and grow it’s important to explore those ideas.”
Aaron Rinas is a designer on the rise and is brimming with ideas. We look forward to seeing a lot more of his work in the near future. More of his beautiful work can be found on his website aaronrinas.com and Instagram @aaronrinas. Also, definitely check out his work in the latest issue of Lone Wolf! Preview below. Enjoy!