Wallpaper and Murals by Relativity Textiles
Relativity Textiles

Relativity Textiles

Chicago, IL, United States

"Hand screen printed luxury wallpaper for residential and commercial spaces."
Custom wallpaper drawn by artist Erin Minckley Chlaghmo. Relativity Textiles offers unique wallpapers inspired by the history of global cloth. #Bringtheworldhome

What is your favorite material to work with?

"As an artist, I prefer to work with drawing, first. I have always had a strong skill for 2 Dimensional materiality. When it comes to 3D I am pretty helpless. Clay is not a favorite; materials like cement or stone or glass or metal are way beyond my scope of talent and I admire people who use them but don't venture that direction very often."
-- Relativity Textiles

What do you want people to do or feel when they encounter your creations?

"Our style is bold and graphic-- not your grandmother's wallpapers. The idea is to live with something foreign and begin to appreciate the culture where it came from, by way of falling in love with the patterns and colors. I'd like them to feel an embrace, a tolerance, an appreciation of something they never knew about or often overlook. I'd like their space to feel brave and fun and fresh."
-- Relativity Textiles

What motivates and inspires you?

"Albert Einstein inspires me. He was never encouraged (but by his mother). People thought he was strange and stupid. He exceeded their expectations. He impacted the history of our world with his ideas. His theory of relativity was the basis for my brand's name because it's a useful metaphor for how we see art/design. It's all relative to the viewer's perspective (proximity and velocity). If you're old or young, from the East or the West, have a certain taste for things-- these all impact the design choices you make about decorating your home, your body and your life. We all see things differently, but there is no right answer, because it only has to be right to you."
-- Relativity Textiles

What makes a space special?

"A space's aura is much like how each person gets dressed in the morning. We put on things that we like and are drawn to. We have colors that make us happy or calm. We have sentimental things that we've collected and hold meaning. We project the person we want to be perceived as, not the person we think we are. Sometimes wearing make up can earn you the respect you deserve. Or a suit. But, maybe you decide to wear no make up, and a bold pattern instead. You can draw others' attention, or you can relax into what is comfy. What is special about a space is the person who lives in it and what they like. Personality."
-- Relativity Textiles

What’s unique about your work?

"I design and manufacture hand screen printed wallpaper. My work ties in cultural narratives from around the world, and each pattern is inspired by a place I've traveled to or dream of going. We want to include all of the world's history of makers in our story about contemporary design."
-- Relativity Textiles

How do your pieces come to life? Tell us one interesting thing about your creative process?

"My process is still very analog. I bought an Apple pencil and a special iPad to be able to draw on, but I never use it. I like sharpies and tracing paper. I like to think in layers, because that's how things will print. Once a drawing gets scanned into the computer, it's really just all about math. How wide the paper is determines how big the motifs can be; how large the screen can print determines how the pattern repeats itself. I think a lot about what would look good on a wall. Not, what strikes me as good "art" size. It's about perspective and what will feel good in a real space. When I'm drawing, I don't care about the wall or the client or the space. Just about translating what's in my head. The second stage is when I become a technician or pattern engineer."
-- Relativity Textiles

What funny moments, unexpected surprises, or obstacles have you encountered?

"Well, there are so many obstacles in business. And I run into surprises a lot. Not many of them make for funny stories! But, I will say that once I made the mistake of talking to a well known interior designer with a male name via email without ever Googling them. (Always google your clients!) It turns out that she is a woman, and I use that story a lot to tell about how in the beginning I knew how to make things. That's it. I didn't know a single interior designer. I didn't know anything about the industry. But, if you build it, they will come. Eventually, I met so many amazing designers and I've had a really great time getting to know them all."
-- Relativity Textiles
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