Ru Ciel Design

In the studio with Ru Ciel

How would you describe your style and the medium with which you work?

My artwork is inspired by and influenced by the forms, patterns and intricate designs I observe in nature. In my illustrations I don't try for a scientific representation, but rather seek to capture the form and shape of objects. 

That same love of the natural world and its bounty, also influences my choice of mediums. I love the tactical and functional, whether it is pottery, fabric, growing plants or cooking. I see it all as a continuum of expression. 

I love making things that can be used and shared.

How long have you been doing this work? 

I started my journey as a graphic designer and in many ways what I do now flows from my early education in design and my work experience. Learning the art of quality reproduction is part of being a good designer. 

My newest journey into designing fabric for accent pillows started about five years ago, when it became possible to digitally produce short runs of colorfast, high quality cotton/linen fabric. Like printing or clay, it was a way to marry design and function and make a useful, tangible, unique piece of art.

Where did you learn your techniques? 

I use a pen and ink technique called stipple point and colored pencils for most of my drawings. I then scan and use design software to create an overall design and pattern, all the while thinking of the final reproduction and how it will translate to the medium of fabric. My years of working in graphic design and print production certainly come into play in the decisions I make, as do the years I spent learning about craftsmanship through ceramics, studying and observing. It is important to me that my work reflects a high quality of craftsmanship. I also do all the sewing at this time, and I strive to bring together all the elements into a harmonious whole.

Tell me about your favorite piece that you are working on now. 

There are 12 designs in my current pillow library. I am continuing to learn about what works and what doesn't.  My goal is to have new designs ready in the fall that reflect a growing sophistication and use of form and color. 

Pillow photography by Marcia Ward of The Image Maker

Do you have any upcoming shows or events? 

On May 22nd, I am sharing a booth with Sunny Levine, a jeweler, at the Midtown Market.

To see more of Ru's work follow her on Facebook. All pillows shown here are 19" square with removable 16" insert. Cost per pillow is $60 + shipping. Email her at for more information or to place your order.