We were super excited to sit down and chat with knit artist Magda Sayeg. Considered to be the mother of yarn bombing, Magda’s work has evolved to include the knitted/crocheted covered bus in Mexico City, as well as her first solo exhibit in Rome at La Museo des Esposizione during the summer of 2010. She leads community-based projects and works on commissions around the globe with various companies. Such as Absolut Vodka, Madewell, Insight 51, Mini Cooper, and more recently, Comme des Garcons. She is one cool chick. So we asked and she answered.
HOW DID YOU GET INTO THE ART OF KNITTING?
I kind of stumbled into it. I knew how to knit when I was sixteen, but didn’t really care for it that much. And then. All of a sudden there was a renaissance of knitting and then the D.I.Y. movement. Then a friend invited me to knitting circles. It was fun to go to on a Tuesday night and drink wine and hang out with other women. That was really my incentive; I didn’t really care about the knitting. But when I was in my shop [that I owned at the time], I was bored on a winter day and I decided that it would be pleasant to see something that was bright, warm and human-like (in a sense that was handmade). So I knitted the door handle. I guess in a way, that was how I discovered that knitting could be elevated to an art form. [When I did it] I didn’t say to myself “I’m going to elevate knitting to an art form and put it on this door handle.” It was very much so an organic, slowly conscious thing / process that happened.
Who knew that I would be the founder of the yarn bombing? I never thought that that would be in the cards. I’m really proud of that. Even though I don’t really own it anymore, the world yarn bombs. It’s really cool to see that it started back in 2005 at my shop.
TELL US ABOUT THE BIGGEST THING YOU’VE EVER KNITTED:
I think what I did just recently for The Dover Street Market [in New York] for Comme des Garcons was probably the biggest, most complex and interesting. If I could make all of my projects as compelling as that, I’d be a happy person. It was such a cool feeling. It really touched upon all these different passions I have. I really loved fashion for a while and then getting into this art. To me, it just satisfied me so much. I really enjoyed it.
Magda Sayeg’s installation for Comme des Garcons at the Dover Street Market in New York.
[Photos by: Jonathan Hokklo]
Brooklyn-based artist Bernadette Pascua has us going gaga over her portfolio. Her handwriting is complete perfection. Her sketches are soft and oh so gorgeous. Her textile designs are fun and stylish. She’s so creative – it’s unreal. And we’re not the only ones to hold this opinion. Her clients range from GOOP to Isabel Marant to Victoria Secret. Blah, blah, blah, the list goes on. She even designed the print on the Lizzie Fortunato Kiss Pouch (available on Garmentory here)!
As you can tell, we have a little crush on her. We just can’t believe how talented she is (and she’s super cute too). So we asked and she answered.
CAN YOU TELL US ABOUT YOUR CREATIVE PROCESS?
Just keeping my eyes open and trusting my instincts. I’m a synesthete with a photographic memory, so my perception of the world is very visual. On a daily basis, I will see something that strikes me so I try to explore why that imagery was of importance to me and try to connect it to other permanent visuals in my mind that I’ve held on to. Like a puzzle.
When I do a project, whether it is for myself or for a client, I can close my eyes and see a faint finished image in my mind, so I work towards making the image happen. I never try to force it, I just like to work on things as they come to me and keep it simple.
We looove Vancouver. And we love it even more that it’s home to artist Andy Dixon. Andy is just another example of the amazing talent that Vancouver has to offer. His paintings are utterly gorgeous and his use of colour can bring any dismal room back to life. We needed to know,
DOES LIVING IN VANCOUVER INSPIRE YOUR ARTWORK?
Living in Vancouver is a huge influence on my work. It has to be. How could anyone claim that one’s immediate surroundings don’t have a direct impact on the things that he or she creates?
Growing up in Vancouver has greatly helped to inform my sense of personal aesthetics – colour pallets and form, for example. I seem to use colours that mimic the sea, cherry blossoms, and the green rain forests of North Vancouver, where I was raised.
There is also no denying that the West Coast’s penchant for raising an easy-going populace is in my work as well. Although I take my job as a painter very seriously, I also enjoy the process immensely and hope that that sense of play is obvious in my work.
I read an article somewhere that once described Vancouver as being “culturally prepubescent” – meaning we’re such a young city and are at the very beginning stages of developing our personality. I like this. It makes me feel like we have the capability to pioneer something magnificent. I think my paintings offer the same thing. I contrast modern techniques with subject matter from art history. Appropriating these historical ready-made totems of fine art into something completely new raises questions about what these images mean to us now and what will be coming next. It’s simultaneously a respect for the past and an eagerness to forge ahead.
All Images sourced by: Andy Dixon
Carly Waito is a Toronto Based artist who graduated from Ontario College of Art and Design. She co-founded the ceramic art and design studio Coe&Waito in 2005. We love her oil painting of these amazing minerals and gems. She’s rad.
Damien Gilley is a multidisciplinary artist living in Portland, Oregon. He creates complex optical illusions by using masking tape, drywall and foam core. He begins by finding a location and photographing it; after drawing onto the photo of his vision he starts his project. Each piece enhances the location by playing with the architecture and proportions. With this he aims that the final piece gives people alternative views of an ordinary space.
All photos from Damien Gilley.
These Double Exposure Portraits by Dan Mounford were created “in camera”. Post production work consisted of a change in tone, the removal of odd blemishes and the addition of some vector. Dan Moundford is a 21-year-old graphic design studio living in Brighton, England.
We fell in love with the gorgeous imagery captured by Montreal-based photographer Patrick La Roque and were compelled to get in touch with him. He shoots portrait, editorial, commercial, and motion. Patrick’s a member of the Kage Collective and is an official Fujifilm Photographer. We felt inspired just looking at his photos. So we had to ask him where he gathers his inspiration from.
WE ASKED, HE ANSWERED: WHAT INSPIRES YOU?
Inspiration has never felt like anything tangible. I don’t do conceptual imagery and I don’t get any fully formed precognitive visions… I admire those who do, but that’s not me at all. I rarely move on a preconceived idea. I do however get very wild urges to just pick up the camera and shoot. Not necessarily because I see something, but because I HAVE to shoot – I need that rapport to the world. I long for the hunt. I strongly believe in being ready, as much as possible, for the possibility of an image. Instead of waiting around for inspiration to strike; I’ll take the camera and point it at something. Eventually this will take me somewhere, I’ll find a kind of groove no matter where I am and images will start to happen. Sometimes just a few, sometimes many.
Motivation however is a different matter… I have this visceral need to bring life at a full stop and stare at it, like a gem in a glass case — or an insect trapped in amber.