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How my Armenian Culture Influences my Design Process


When I am designing the clothing of my characters, I don’t limit myself to any specific colors because my goal is to represent a modern version of our traditional garments. I have been criticized before for using the wrong shade of blue or using pink in general, because they are not true to the Armenian heritage but my response has always been that we are and should be constantly evolving. I’m a firm believer in moving forward while honoring the past. The icons I use are my versions of icons seen historically with my own twist and design sense integrated within. That’s the beauty of being an artist. You present what you’re passionate about as seen through your eyes. I must admit, I do use a lot of reds and blues because not only those are very traditional colors in traditional Armenian garments but I personally love the way they complement each other. 

Use of Shapes

To create both the background patterns and the details of the garments, I always research icons used in ancient Armenian architecture, needlework, tile work, carpets, textiles, as well as details in Khachkars (elaborate crosses carved in stone: a very identifiable form of Armenian art). They may include pomegranates which have been a symbol of fertility and abundance, the Armenian Eternity symbol also called Arevakhach (Sun cross), floral shapes, and symbols of the sun, and Christianity.

How I create my patterns

I start with some inspiration from my research and I finish it intuitively. After I have created a black and white version, I upload the pattern into Photoshop and play with multiple combinations of colors digitally until I find one that makes me smile.

My Ambitions for these patterns

It’s a dream of mine to see my patterns on dinnerware and glassware in Anthropology, World Market and Crate and Barrel. I usually do not have the end product in mind when I am designing.

After the patterns are completed, I mock up the patterns on different products to see which they would be a best fit for whether they are pot holders, journals, plates, serving trays or any other item. I would love to license my patterns and see Armenian representation in the mass market through Art Licensing, which is something I have not explored yet but is on my agenda for 2022!


Would you like to see these patterns in your home or workplace?

Let me know by emailing hello@arpikrikorian.com.

Thank you for reading!


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