Surface Designer | Aaryn West


Aaryn West contributes lovely prints to our repeats e-book, Repeat After Me.  We love her diversity of style and the intricacy in her patterns.  And so, without further ado, here are her answers to our 7 Magic Designer Questions!

Where do you live?
I just hit the 12 year mark here in Los Angeles, but I am originally from the suburbs outside of Washington D.C. in Alexandria, Virginia.

What is your favorite thing about your city or town?
Diversity. It’s not just in the people, but the subcultures too. By that I mean everything from food to the arts to doing yoga on paddle boards, there’s really something for everyone.

If you were not a designer, what would you love to be more than anything?
It’s hard to imagine anything else at this point but probably something still arts related. Dance was my first love and during high school my dance studio would organize these trips out to LA just to take a week of classes; that exposure led me to want to move here for college. But the career of a dancer can be a difficult path, I doubt I’m tough enough for that.

Can you describe your style in fashion or home?
My personal style has always been very colorful. I own very little black or white, and practically everything in my closet is either super casual or a little psychedelic. I’ve always been heavily drawn towards prints, so I own a lot of graphic and printed items. But my typical daily uniform consists of jeans, a comfy graphic tee and a colorful cardigan sweater. The style in our apartment is a good mix of me and my husband, who is also an illustrator/designer. It’s fairly eclectic and playful.

What has your most exciting project to date?
I’m very fortunate to have a good relationship with the girls over at WkShp, I’ve been doing graphics for their boutique tee shirt collection since it’s launch in 2010. The aesthetic of the line really allows me to get creative and think beyond the trends, which is always refreshing. And the tees themselves are always so soft, I would own the entire collection if I could afford it.

But my biggest and most exciting project has certainly been starting my own business, a surface design studio called Aaryn West. It’s a little scary going out on your own, but this is what I love and what I see for myself 30 years down the road. I’m doing my first trade show next month at the LA Textile Show so I am both very nervous and excited about such a big first step.

Who are your favorite artists/designers?
I am a big admirer of Portland based artists Aaron Piland and Ayumi Kajikawa Piland, who go by the name APAK. They have incredible use of color and the cute little scenes they create are so magical I wish I could live in every single one of their landscapes. In fashion I am drawn toward bold or unexpected color combinations, and designers who employ a lot of prints, which seems to be everyone lately. Recently I have been loving Mara Hoffman, Holly Fulton, Erdem, Matthew Williamson, and of course the empire that Missoni has created.

What else do you want to tell us?  
If anyone is coming out to the LA Textile show, find your way to the art section and say hello! [we don’t have our booth numbers yet]. Also, check out the Aaryn West shop over at New art goes up monthly and you can buy art prints, iPhone skins, tees and more. Also stop by the Aaryn West blog for company updates and plenty of color and print related inspiration:!/blog