Alex Russell is a designer, graphic artist and creative coder, based in Manchester (UK). He makes original, one-off generative art using a system called ApeiroPattern. It assembles libraries of his images into unique artworks. Alex’s code combines algorithms that model composition methods (from art and design) with complex systems theory (from science and maths). His art work explores concepts of non-repeating, infinite pattern.
Alex also designs surface pattern, printed textiles and fashion graphics. He creates artwork for an extensive range of uses including home/interiors, contract, fashion, stationery and giftware. Alex has built an international client list over nearly 30 years of professional experience. His work features widely in books and magazines about pattern and print. Alex has wide-ranging experience in trend forecasting/prediction and illustration as well.
Clients and shows
Alex’s client list includes Alexander Henry, Almedahls, Bjorn Borg, C and A, Carven, Eco Tapeter, Etam, European Library, H and M, Intersport, Kendix, Lee, Lego, Levi Strauss, Matinique/InWear, Moschino, Nanso, Nokia, Oilily, Roberto Cavalli, Schiesser, Speedo, Tom Taylor, Thomas Pink, Tommy Hilfiger, Vero Moda/Jack and Jones and Vlisco
He has exhibited and presented his work internationally, including in Aarhus (DK), Amsterdam (NL), Auckland (NZ), Frankfurt (DE), London (UK), Ljubljana (RS), Manchester (UK), New York (US), Nottingham (UK), Paris (FR) and Xuzhou (CH).
Academia and education
Alex lectured for 11 at Manchester Metropolitan University (UK) and 7 years at Nottingham Trent University (UK). Whilst at MMU, Alex was Pathway Leader for MA Fashion and Textiles routes, Programme Leader of BA Textile Design for Fashion and Senior Lecturer on BA Textiles in Practice (not all at the same time). He was also an External Examiner and Subject Reviewer. His academic research was presented internationally and submitted for the REF.
He has given talks and presentations at a wide range of institutions all over the UK, including universities, colleges, museums and galleries.
Alex has a BA and MA in printed textile design from Manchester Polytechnic/MMU (UK). Before embarking on his art education, he briefly studied Electronic Engineering at Bristol University (UK).
Writing and books
Alex has written at length on printed textiles and surface pattern. Most notably, the second edition of his book The Fundamentals of Printed Textile Design will be published by Bloomsbury on 7 October 2021. The first edition, published in 2011, was translated into French and Spanish. Find out more here.
His studio is in Manchester (UK). Previously, it’s been based in Brussels (BE), Amsterdam (NL) and Leicester (UK). Alex is originally from Briantspuddle (UK). (Two villages east of Tolpuddle, where the Martyrs were from.)
List of inspirations
Ten things Alex finds inspiring:
Things that look like nothing he’s ever seen before.
Things that look like everything he’s ever seen before.
Things he wishes he’d thought of.
Things that happen randomly, by mistake and at the edges of things (okay, that’s three things).
Connecting new things together.
Wanting to understand why things that look amazing look amazing.
Trying to work out how to make good work.
Things that happen because of the limitations of technology.
Things that happen because of the possibilities of technology.
List of likes
Ten things Alex likes doing:
Drawing (everything he creates starts with drawing).
Printing (especially mono-printing and screen printing).
Drinking coffee (his brain apparently runs on it).
Looking at colour (especially lime green, ultramarine and mustard yellow).
Tinkering with computers (he’s all geek).
Reading maps (the ones printed on paper).
Making cartoons (he does a thing called Halfdropped).
Riding bicycles (road ones).
Making lists (and putting things in brackets).
Playing keyboards (he’s in The Shops).