Ruth Crothers is a textile designer who graduated from Glasgow School of Art. She’s currently studying at Ulster University and is part of the collective, Thread and Ink.
We spoke to Ruth about her new startup and what motivates her.
Tell us a bit about yourself and your business.
My name is Ruth and I’m a textile designer and graduated from the Glasgow School of Art in 2015. I spent some time working as a print designer in London and now I’m studying for my MFA in Design at Ulster University. I am currently setting up my eponymous clothing and lifestyle brand. You can follow my progress @ruth_prints on instagram. I recently opened my etsy shop, where you can buy a range of my products from cushions to screen printed t-shirts and more.
What or who influences and motivates you?
I find inspiration everywhere and anywhere. Mostly I’m drawn to colours, materials and print ideas, which generally give my work a kitschy aesthetic, something I thoroughly enjoy and I’m not ashamed to admit it! I experiment with traditional and digital techniques for print and embroidery and want to design my collection thinking primarily about the textiles first and foremost. I wouldn’t describe myself as a fashion designer because to me the silhouette of a garment always comes second to the textiles. Some designers and brands I admire are Peter Jensen, Shrimps, Louise Gray, Donna Wilson and Lazy Oaf. I’m driven to find my own unique and personal aesthetic, I don’t like following trends and would prefer to carve my own path, people can take it or leave it so long as I’m enjoying myself I don’t really care what other people think about my work. I’m not motivated by money or success although that would be nice. Instead I prefer to make the work I like, if other people like it and want to buy it then that’s a bonus. I just need to be creating constantly it makes me insanely happy.
What has been your biggest hurdle proudest moment or accomplishment in your career?
In the past I have struggled with severe mental health problems, this was very debilitating with a long recovery process. Overcoming this was a great hurdle. It has made me a much stronger person. I no longer get stressed and realise what the important things in life are such as health, happiness, family and friendships. You realise there is no such point in worrying about work or money. I’ve become more confident as a byproduct.
One of my proudest moments was at culture night this year. I’m in the collective Thread&Ink. (@threadandinkbelfast), we are a group of local artists and designers who are passionate about making and textiles in particular. Together we organised a fancy dress life-drawing workshop at the University with an interactive installation as well. The night was a great success and we had such good craic running the event. It was our first big event as a group and I was thrilled to see it all come together after months of preparation. We have recently got a new studio altogether as part of Vault Artists NI. So things are definitely looking up! It’s very exciting.
Could you give some advice for any young, emerging designers?
To be honest I am just a young emerging designer so I feel a little hypocritical giving out advice. I still have so much to learn myself! What I would say is don’t worry, don’t stress, life is too short and things will naturally come together with a little bit of effort but not caring too much! Do what makes you happy!