Nina Glaser has always been an artist—she studied at RISD, Syracuse, and the Maryland Institute College of Art. But when a visiting painter pointed out that she seemed to be more interested in the designs she was putting in the background of her paintings than anything else, a light bulb went off. “I’d sort of always known I loved drawing these intricate patterns but didn’t realize how much,” Nina says.
So in 2011, she founded Ash & Anchor, printing her designs—which draw inspiration from art magazines, poetry, and even Greek myths—on card stock. But it was when she put her motifs on fabric in 2012 that she really felt like she was onto something. “These patterns are just buried in my mind,” says the Philly-based designer. “I just try to think about how I can incorporate them into clothing that people are wearing today.”
Her creative process involves a lot of sketching—which she does on a tablet that feeds directly into Photoshop, allowing her to change a pattern’s color a million times. Designs can take anywhere from a couple of days to a week to complete—and sometimes the best result comes from a mash-up of a few different patterns. “I love when it turns out that elements of two different designs would look better together as one brand new piece. It’s exciting seeing things take shape in ways I didn’t expect!” —carrie neill
BEHIND THE SCENES
These are the flowers she brings home with her—in the form of patterns for her stellar scarves.
Key to the City A Tour of Philly’s Most Amazing Murals With Nina Glaser
Who says art has to live in a museum?