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Surface Pattern Freelance Designer Sarah Ehlinger

Design, artist, maker and explorer Sarah Ehlinger is an art school graduate who spent seven years working at a design agency before stepping out as a freelance designer four years ago.

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‘For as long as I can remember, I’ve been doing something creative; sewing doll clothes from fabric scraps, redrawing comic strip characters from the funny pages, DIY’ing my college dorm room before anyone knew what that meant.

After graduating from Art School, I worked as a set designer, prop builder and scenic painter. First, for theaters and then later for commercial retail clients with a painting studio. Eventually, I wandered into the world of design and it was love at first sight.

I spent 7 years working at a design agency before venturing out on my own as a freelancer four years ago. I still work on projects with design agencies as a contract creative director, designer and creative strategist, but I’ve now come back around to the thing that made me fall in love with design in the first place: textile and surface pattern design. There is nothing like seeing your design come to life on product. The feeling you get when someone loves your work enough to bring it into their homes and lives.’

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‘In May, I’ll be showcasing my work for the first time at Surtex in New York. I’m thrilled to be a part of the show, and I’m looking forward to cultivating partnerships with manufacturers I meet there as a result.

Designing patterns and illustrations has allowed me to come full circle back to my fine art roots.- combining both my hand drawn and computer skills. I love using both in my designs. I typically start out with drawings that are inked and then scanned into the computer. From there, I vectorize the artwork- still retaining the hand drawn quality- and add color and sometimes texture. The drawings are sweet on their own, but I find that they truly come to life once manipulated in illustrator.’

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