Photo by Carlie Febo
“I let the drawings speak and find out what wants to emerge.”
Leila [ lee-luh ] is an abstract artist and award-winning designer based in Boston, MA. Her surface pattern designs are born from remixing and reimagining her black and white ink drawings into bold, colorful, unusual patterns that muse on playful scale and color combinations alongside an exploration of rhythm and movement.
Her work can be found on textiles, wallpaper, homewares, book covers and other objects to surround yourself with.
The exploration methods that create her patterns have become a trademark. She is known for combining elements into surprising relationships, made from a meditative dream space, inspired by her curiosity about the universe, and with respect for what we can’t see. Leila’s attention to precision and structure, combined with her understanding of improvisation and movement, is the combination that creates her artistic signature.
“My process flows between craft and art, structure and play, rules and improvisation.”
“I don’t want to be told what to see. I want freedom to interpret and let my interpretations evolve over time. I aim to create abstract patterns that are timeless and contemporary, that evoke a sense of play at the same time.”
For over seventeen years, Leila has partnered with visionaries and powerful thinkers throughout Boston and beyond as a graphic designer, helping them bring their visions to life in print, in galleries, in museum exhibitions, and online. As Creative Director at ICA/Boston, she was responsible for the artful evolution of a world-class brand. Leila worked for some of America’s most treasured and renowned creative and educational institutions including Harvard University, Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum, Museum of Fine Arts, and the New Orleans Museum of Art.
When not immersed in shape, color and pattern, Leila spends her time crafting bluesy rock songs with her band Sensitive Subject, hiking the local woodsy loops near Boston, and raising two lovely and lively kiddos with her science teacher sweetie.
Institute of Contemporary Art/Boston
Museum of Fine Arts, Boston
Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum
deCordova Sculpture Park and Museum
New Orleans Museum of Art
Harvard University, Graduate School of Design
Facing History and Ourselves
Boys & Girls Clubs of Boston
VIA Art Fund
Awards + Press
AAM Museum Publication Design Award
Horizon Interactive Award
HOW InHouse Design Award
Bespoke patterns with beautiful energy and layering, Leila is a master of color and form. It was a delight see the inspiration, process, and conceptual thinking behind her stunning work.
Leila presents a really arresting selection of patterns. She has a bold, confident use of color and interesting, unique mark-making. It is really confident work.
Leila’s confident use of color, texture and shape throughout her vibrant collection of surface patterns, celebrates the familiar in an entirely new way and sets her apart from any work I have seen. Her designs bring any space to life, and it is for this reason I am so happy to collaborate with her on a wallpaper collection.
Not only is she a beautiful person, Leila has been a delight to work with on a collaboration for a project with Life Is Good. I discovered Leila’s bold patterns and beautiful work when I needed her the most!
Leila is an incredibly talented, strong leader, a patient collaborator and endlessly creative.
Leila has the kind of smarts that yield efficient work, great energy to the team, and beautiful results. It is truly a joy to work with her.
Working with Leila is a great pleasure. She’s a highly creative, organized, and clear-thinking designer who is always conscious of the delicate balance between how a design looks and how a design works.
Leila is a very talented designer. Working with her is a true collaboration and uncommonly successful. I also appreciated her sense of humor and enthusiasm.
Leila is superb: honest, intelligent, clear, communicative, sophisticated, and very tuned-in. And at the same time, she’s playful and highly creative. It is a rare and incredible thing to work with such a high-caliber artist. I cannot recommend Leila highly enough.
Leila emanates down-to-earth delight about the design process, making working together feel like fun, not work. Leila is full of creative ideas and never thwarted by daunting challenges. It’s evident that she really cares about the process and the end product, in equal parts.