“The title of the project is taken from the film The Big Lebowski,” says Dan Singer, London-based illustrator, on his latest project The Rug That Really Tied the Room Together.
Experimenting with shape and colour, the series presents 12 rugs in total, all handwoven in India using fine-blended wool and cotton. “I did a project with GUR Rugs in 2015, where I had the chance to design my own…After the rug came out it made me want to do a bigger collection, so that’s sort of how the project started.”
It’s been a while since we last checked in with Dan, and there’s been some notable changes in terms of him experimenting with different mediums and gaining a signature style. “Lino cutting will always be my go-to medium as I love the whole process,” explains Dan. “Since leaving university [in 2013] and not having all the resources and time available, my medium changed and my work changed with it.”
“I started using the computer to produce most of my work: using simple shapes was the easiest way to make images for me. I think that way of working changed my practice a lot, as the linocutting was more hands-on.” After this shift, Dan then started to immerse his craft with a more practical approach and steered his latest project in the way of rug design. “I’ve always been interested in traditional rugs from around the world and the handmade process – which is also what drew me towards linocutting,” he says. “I think that my latest rug project was a way to bring back this handmade process, which is important to me.”
Strong blue, freesia and high-risk red: these are the strikingly bold colours that resonate amongst Dan’s work. A few years ago, most of his linocut creations propelled a hazy and romantic outcome, with a softer colour palette made of layered inks. Colour seems to be a changeable-yet-consistent theme throughout his work – whether comparing his old craft to his latest designs, or focusing entirely on his recent vivid graphics, there’s always a constant sway towards what he thinks works well together at the time. “It’s not always been intentional to use those colours, but looking back I think subconsciously I just like using them a lot and they look good together.”
Alongside his recent rug-based endeavours, Dan has continued his venture into skateboard graphics, he has also explored scarf design and the use of Hama beads. “[Hama beads] was a childhood craft that I liked to play with when I was younger. From what I was producing on the computer, it worked well with the geometric style. I found it allowed me to make a more hands-on project that was also a transition from my computer-based imagery to something physical,” explains Dan.