Well, why don’t you meet artist Zaria Forman?

We’ve blogged about Zaria Formans work before, it is nothing short of spectacular.  Currently exhibiting in New York and California with more shows planned for 2014.  We found a great interview with her on Need Supply that we just had to share with you…

Tell us about yourself, how did you get into art?

I grew up in Piermont, NY, about 30 min north of NYC. I went to Green Meadow Waldorf school from 6th grade through high school – a very small school with an alternative approach to education, in which art is greatly infused. After my formal art training at Skidmore college I now exhibit extensively in galleries and venues throughout the United States and overseas.
In addition to exhibitions, recent projects include a series of drawings that served as the set design for the classic ballet Giselle, which premiered in October 2012 at the Grand Theatre of Geneva, Switzerland (see the drawings and performance photos on the Giselle page) Ten of my drawings were also used in the set design for House of Cards, a Netflix TV series directed by David Fincher and starring Kevin Spacey.
In August 2012 I led Chasing the Light, an art expedition sailing up the northwest coast of Greenland, retracing the 1869 journey of American painter William Bradford and artistically documenting the rapidly changing arctic landscape. Continuing to address climate change in my work, I spent September 2013 in the Maldives, the lowest-lying country in the world, and arguably the most vulnerable to rising sea levels.

What was it like traveling the world growing up, and how did it shape your artwork?

The inspiration for my drawings began in my early childhood when I traveled with my family throughout several of the worlds most remote landscapes, which became the subject of my mother’s fine art photography. I developed an appreciation for the beauty and vastness of the ever-changing sky and sea. I loved watching a far-off storm on the western desert plains; the monsoon rains of southern India; and the cold arctic light illuminating Greenland’s waters. In my work I explore moments of transition, turbulence and tranquility in the landscape and their impact on the viewer. In this process I am reminded of how small we are when confronted with the powerful forces of nature. The act of drawing can be a meditation for me, and my hope is that the viewer can share this experience of tranquil escape when engaging the work.

Can you tell us about your process? How do you create such beautifully realistic work?

When I travel, I take thousands of photographs and make small sketches. Once I am back in the studio, I draw from my memory of the experience, as well as the photographs to create large scale compositions. I add layers of color onto the paper, smudging everything with my fingers and hand.

What do you hope others take away from your work?

I hope they are inspired by it. That could mean a myriad of things. Perhaps they might just find it beautiful to look at. I hope the viewer can feel transported to that place and time that I have depicted, allowing them to experience a landscape they might never have the chance to see. And finally I hope my work will inspire people to protect and preserve these landscapes in whatever way they can, whether that be donating money to organizations like 350.org, or opening a window instead of turning the AC on when it’s 60′s outside.

What are you working on now? Any upcoming exhibitions or projects you can tell us about?

At the moment I am entirely focused on my solo show that opens June 10th in Seattle, at Winston Wachter Fine Art. It will feature the Greenland and Maldives work, and make a connection to the melting ice, rising seas, and drowning island nations. Two other artists that came to Greenland and the Maldives with me, Lisa Lebofsky and Drew Denny, and I are also working as a collective called “Ice to Islands”. We are working towards exhibitions that will include our work as well as other artists focusing on the same subjects. I very much want to visit Antarctica next, but nothing is set in stone!

Where can we find you online?

Website – http://www.zariaforman.com
Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/aristZariaForman
Instagram – http://instagram.com/zarialynn


Well why don’t you check out some cool people from back in the day?

After looking at these photos it does appear that everyone was cooler in the 50s and 60s.  It may have to do with the way they were dressed, well cut suits and beautiful necklines, or maybe it was the casual way they looked in pictures.    Everything seems so effortless and chic.   I found these images of 50 Classy People From The Past off of Distractify, and thought a few of these hanging in any home would be perfect.   To see all 50 classy people and more info on the pictures check out the article on Distractify.








Well, why don’t you visit the studio of surrealist Francois Houtin?

I was drawn the some studio pictures of Francois Houtin’s workspace that were taken in 2010 when Houtin was collaborating with Hermès. François Houtin is a French artist and engraver, who back in 1975 he designed his first Hermes shop window, and since has done more windows with nature as the theme. In 2008 his design was used to create the ‘Fantaisie Pittoresque’ scarves. This time he was working for La Table Hermès on a tableware collection called Les Maisons Enchantées when he got a visit from the Australian magazine Vogue Living.

Well, why don’t you meet photographer Tim Walker?

Tim Walker has a way of capturing emotion and personality in an obscure way, bringing imagination to reality.  Last year he exhibited at Somerset House, bringing out a book Storyteller to coincide with the show.  We love his imagery, and found a great interview he did with Harper Bazaar, here are a few snipits from it to give you an idea of his inspiration and process…

Tell us about your work?

I do a lot of portraiture now. It’s my biggest challenge; you can’t rely on set design. You’re liberated and have to just work with the theatricality of the person, be it John Cleese or Lee McQueen. Your aim as a photographer is to get a picture of that person that means something. Portraits aren’t fantasies; they need to tell a truth.  You are dabbling in their character and you have to persuade someone to play with you and their identity. It’s a very different exercise; it’s the antithesis of being on set. The portrait of a person who has not had a revelation about themselves is irrelevant.

How would you draw out the essence of a person?

Research is key. I did a portrait of David Attenborough the other day, I’ve been fascinated by him since I was a child and everything he represents. But how do you photograph a man like that? After speaking to him, he told me about he was in love with an egg – the biggest egg ever laid by a bird – and after we knew that, we got the sense of play you need. Everyone’s theatrical deep down, even if they don’t know it – and it all comes out with research.

The element of play you refer to, it seems so intrinsic to a Tim Walker shot – do you agree? Is that how you see your work?

Fantasy isn’t something I put into the pictures; I don’t try and inject them with a sense of play. But it’s about being an honest photographer; a photograph is as much of a mirror of the photographer as it is the subject. A lot of links and inspiration come from my childhood and my reluctance to give it up. You lose a lot as you mature, but if you lose it completely you couldn’t possibly be a photographer – you need that sense of curiosity.

Tell us about the shot that never happened… Have you ever had a brilliant idea that you just couldn’t realise?

Yes, did you know there is an elephant that swims in Indonesia underwater? I wanted to do a couture shoot of a girl swimming underwater with this elephant. But in the end we couldn’t do it because the clothes were too valuable. I thought maybe swimwear could work, but then it would have looked like the National Geographic.

And are there ambitions you want to achieve?

When you work in photography, you freeze everything. But on the shoot there is so much movement and sound, so the idea of making something that’s moving is very appealing. I’ve made some shorts already, but I would love to do a feature length film. I’m just still searching for the perfect plot. When people sit in a dark cinema with a flickering film, they give themselves to a plot; they need more than just a mood or a vision. If you miss the story, the film falls flat on its face.

Well, why don’t you hang it with a variety of frames?

One of the best ways to display art in your home is with a gallery wall.  It can big or small, several pieces or just a small amount.    You can pull all these varied pieces you love onto one wall.    My favorite type of gallery walls  are the ones that include different types of frames.  It might be a simple black metal frame along with an ornate golden one, or a white modern frame next to some neutral woods.     I love the eclectic look!   I have found many fantastic frames at flea markets and antique fairs.  It just adds more depth to your home and the pieces around you.

Bohemian - A gallery wall of art in a bedroom with a fur throw

 #inspiration #interior #gallerywallgallery wall

The cool Copenhagen home of a typographer. I Love My Type.








Well, why don’t you take a look at artists tools?

One of the great things about art is the variety of tools available to us and the infinite amount of outcomes we can get from combining them.  I wanted to show a few different artists tools that have been used, the colours alone are amazing.  I know I have a few favourite brushes and they end up with years worth of painting on them, here are a few pictures of tools used by different artists…I hope they make you want to create

Photo by Liam Keown

Photo by Liam Keown