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Captivated by the eccentricities of California homes adorned with ‘70s-era wallpaper, Roxana Eslamieh set out to design her own prints after embarking on a floor loom mentorship with a master weaver. The Manuka Textiles founder now reinterprets the nature-infused cityscape of Los Angeles and channels her innate desire for exploration into hand-drawn, silk screen wallpapers that create entirely new dimensions out of a flat surface.

Here, we ask designers to take a selfie and give us an inside look at their life.

Occupation: Textile designer.

Instagram: @manukatextiles

Hometown: Mission Viejo, CA.

Studio location: Eagle Rock, Los Angeles.

Describe what you make: Wallpaper and rugs. Everything starts on paper.

Rift Wallpaper by Manuka Textiles, Metallic Gold on Bone White

The most important thing you’ve designed to date: My Shibori wallpaper design. As a texture-based designer, I spend quite a bit of time drawing in an attempt to capture the essence of an idea that’s floating around in my head. Often, my process starts with a drawing on rice paper. Shibori didn’t come about that way—it was born out of the process of printmaking, when you have to roll out your brayer to remove the excess ink. It was the ghostly residue of each pass of the roll that captured my attention.

Describe the problem your work solves: My work takes a wall and transforms it to another dimension. Wallpapers act as a portal to another world. It all started with laying on my bed as a child and staring up at the cottage cheese ceilings, finding new forms every day from the same set of projected dots. I wanted to find a way to provide this feeling of transporting others to another realm, hence taking a wall and giving it life. I find that wallpaper has endless distractions.

Shibori Banding Wallpaper by Manuka Textiles, Metallic Gold on Azurite Blue

Shibori Banding Wallpaper by Manuka Textiles, Metallic Gold on Azurite Blue

Describe the project you are working on now: Three projects come to mind. I’m working on peel-and-stick wallpapers that are both tropical and abstract. Before, wallpaper, I began weaving on an 8 shaft floor loom. My current project is a tubular weave. I like the sound of it because it makes me feel like a surfer. But in reality, it’s just a tube, like a giant pair of pantyhose. My third project encompasses art videos. The moving picture is the current and most pertinent form of art in our society. I studied under video artists Jennifer West and Erika Vogt, which made a huge impact on my art and how to express myself through video. 

A new or forthcoming project we should know about: Illustrative and tropical mural wallpapers, as well as peel and stick options. These collections will launch in the spring. It has been my goal for a while to add jungle vibes to my line. 

Manuka Textiles studio in Eagle Rock, Los Angeles. Photography by Alyce Saad @_Calysto

What you absolutely must have in your studio: Cheese and wine. Many dinners have consisted of cheese and wine while gallery hopping. I think that combo is the ultimate comfort food. I also need a lot of plants. I’m constantly dreaming of tropical locations, and what better way than to create your own hidden paradise?

What you do when you’re not working: I look for urban jungles or modern-day ruins especially in Pasadena, which has a sentimental, old-world vibe with sprawling greenery in the freeway underpasses. I feel like I’m part of Jurassic Park or Indiana Jones, discovering old plaques and bridges that are aging beautifully.

Sources of creative envy: Olga de Amaral’s work makes my mouth drop to the floor. Her gilded tapestries are out of this world. The way they undulate and catch light is enthralling. She truly inspired the use of metallics in my wallpaper designs. 

Rift Wallpaper by Manuka Textiles, Metallic Gold on Matte Black

Rift Wallpaper by Manuka Textiles, Metallic Gold on Matte Black

The distraction you want to eliminate: Too many hobbies. When I’m done with textiles, I’m moving on to sculpture, and don’t forget that I need to become a pro tennis player. But gosh it’s hard to silence this enthusiastic dreamer inside my mind. Daily mantra: keep it simple.

Manuka Textiles Studio

Manuka Textiles studio in Eagle Rock, Los Angeles. Photography by Alyce Saad @_Calysto

Concrete or marble? Concrete all the way. Concrete is liquid stone. Though the world seems to be weighed down by an abundance of concrete, I can’t help but feel incredibly excited by its ability to take on the form of nearly anything. Concrete is modern. Concrete is utilitarian. Concrete can embody any texture.

High-rise or townhouse? Townhouse on a mountain. You can have a view anywhere. Living in an earthquake-prone area, I would prefer to stay away from high-rises.

Remember or forget? Remember to forget? I forget to remember. I’m becoming more and more forgetful.

Aliens or ghosts? I’ve seen a ghost so I think it’s time to see an alien, although I feel like aliens are shape-shifters and are already here on Earth.

Dark or light? Twilight. I’m most comfortable in between the cracks of moon and sun, when light is streaming through darkness.

Pressed Cane wallpaper in Metallic Gold and Matte Black in a project by Caitlin McCarthy @caitlinmccarthydesign. Photography by Gin & Tar Studio

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