Trained as an illustrator at the Massachusetts College of Art and Design in Boston, Alik Arzoumanian graduated back in 2004 and has setup her own business under the name of Studio aliQue. She not only works on commisions as an illustrator for childrens books but since learning surface pattern design under the Rachael Taylor and Beth Nichols e-course she has expanded her work to illustrative patterns for stationary, homewares & fashion accessories.
“I just love making patterns. I work intuitively, drawing the same motifs over and over, not really knowing where they will end up, until I find the simplest possible way of describing a form. I start with pencil sketches, which I sometimes paint in gouache or render in markers, and then scan them and draw them all over in illustrator. Working digitally is new for me. Until now, most of my illustrations were painted in acrylics or gouache, and I am loving the flexibility that comes with working digitally, which makes me less self-conscious and allows me to try new approaches relatively quickly. Working digitally has made my work more organic and imaginative. After years of using photo references for my illustration work, I am now enjoying the freedom of basing my designs mostly on my imagination, without necessarily looking at the real world around me.”
“I was trained as an illustrator at the Massachusetts College of Art and Design in Boston, from where I graduated with a BFA in 2004. Since then I have been illustrating picture books. And although I love the world of children’s books, a couple of years ago, after the birth of my daughter, I felt I was somehow pigeonholed, and decided to explore new possibilities in surface pattern design. I signed up for The Art and Business of Surface Pattern Design e-course offered by Rachael Taylor and Beth Nichols, and it was the best decision I have ever made.
The course not only offered invaluable technical information, but was a constant source of motivation, and it put me in touch with many designers from around the world. It also opened up a world of opportunities before me. Right after finishing the course, I was very happy to be a runner up in one of the monthly Tigerprint competitions, then I was the winner of the MOYO magazine’s design brief in November 2012, and most recently, my entry was the winning design of Buttercup China’s yearly competition for a mug design. I don’t think I would have been aware of these competitions, let alone have the confidence to enter them, without the guidance provided by The Art and Business of Surface Pattern Design.”
“I think the main reason I have been able to create designs that are being noticed a little more than the illustrations I have been working on for years, is that I have finally found my voice. I love to think of my patterns as bold, simple, and playful. The list of designers I admire is endless. I am drawn to the shapes and colors in Rex Ray‘s art, Dick Bruna‘s minimalist illustrations, Christopher Corr‘s vibrant and whimsical world, Calef Brown‘s humor, Marianne Mahler‘s ability to be bold and delicate at the same time, and the freshness and accessibility of Lotta Jansdotter‘s designs. I would love to believe that my work is influenced by all of them!
Currently, I am working on developing my portfolio which is geared toward fashion accessories, homewares, children’s products and stationery. Since I just launched my new design business, studio aliQue, the main priority now is to have my website up and running as soon as possible. I recently started a blog, which I update regularly. The purpose of my blog is mainly to keep me focused on what I love to do most: making patterns, pictures, and things everyday. I dream of one day seeing my designs on beddings, rugs, umbrellas, infant and toddler clothing and gift wrap. My goal is to make that dream come true.”