Magnus Riise Surface Pattern Designer and Illustrator

Magnus Riise is a surface pattern designer and illustrator from Norway. He graduated with a BA degree in visual communications from Bergen Academy of Art and Design in 2008, and has recently graduated from Rachael Taylor and Beth Nicholls’ “The art and business of surface pattern design” e-couse in february 2013.



“I really enjoyed Rachael and Beth’s e-course, and I started freelancing shortly after graduating. It was a great stepping stone into the surface pattern world, and after working as a graphic designer for different agencies for some time, designing surface patterns now held a much greater allure. When looking back at my earlier work, I found I had always enjoyed making patterns, but before the e-course it had never occured to me that I could make a career out of it. Alongside illustration, surface pattern is now a huge part of what I do.

My first licensing deal came only a few short days after I graduated the e-course. It was with ArtsCase, situated in the US. They have created a range of cases for iPhone 5, iPad Mini and Samsung Galaxy S3, using two of my newest collections (Electric Retro and Fruit ‘n Berries), with 17 different patterns. Having my work presented to a global audience is very exciting.

Recently I finished designing my first dust jacket for Schibsted Publishing House, and I am currently working on another one for them. Designing dust jackets for books is something I’ve always dreamed of, so these are quite exciting times. The books will be out this autumn.”


“I am also working on a series of illustrations called FunnyForest, depicting a range of weird and silly characters, that I plan to present as a collection of cards, wrapping paper, notebooks, etc. I love how the same patterns and illustrations can be used in a wide variety.

The ideas for my designs usually just pop up whenever, but can be triggered by many things, such as music, colours, daydreaming, other cultures, and children’s books etc. I never go anywhere without my sketchbook. Though I usually work in Illustrator, I also scan handmade drawings and doodles to get that personal feel to my work, depending on what look I want to achieve. Either way my illustrations are always coloured in Illustrator at the end. I’m excited to see what the future holds.”




Magnus Riise Website | Instagram