Tuesday, November 02, 2010

Ninon Exclusive and Interview

 I am so so excited about this latest exclusive by Berlin based artist, Ninon.  I have been a HUGE fan of her work for a long time now and I am so happy to have her work here.  I finally purchased one of her pieces at the show in LA and I stare at it every day and feel so happy to be doing what I do.  Her work is pure art...three dimensional awesome.  This exclusive will be on sale starting tomorrow, Nov. 3rd.  If you want to check them out beforehand and perhaps put one on hold view them all here.  Let's learn more about this fantastic artist.  

 S- What was your inspiration behind this exclusive?

N- For my Schmancy exclusive I wanted something that was simple yet distinctive of the way I usually work, so I decided  to go for some little creatures with different fabrics and facial expressions, rendered with the free hand machine embroidery technique. I like the fact that in this way their faces are really close to a soft and textured 3D illustration... I've called them "The Little Friends" because they are more human-looking than my regular Les Monstris, and a bit smaller, so you can always  carry one of them around :) 
S- How did you get into making magical creatures?
N- Ten years ago I shared a studio with some other people in northern Italy, and we got plenty of space to mess around... my first creatures were made with papier mache and then painted. During that same period my mother taught me how to use a sewing machine: I always had a passion for fabrics and color combinations, so I transferred my ideas on the softer side of plushies.
 I think I remember the exact moment when I thought "how cool it would be to make a living out of making magical creatures?" it seemed a big challenge, of course, but in the years this dream never abandoned me, and with the help of internet and its growing craft community I got to know many different people that was living the same challenge. This has helped a lot and still helps me everyday, bringing me motivations and big smiles when I see that someone likes what I make :)
S- I love all the fabrics you use in your work.  Where do you find most of your fabrics?
N- I've been collecting fabrics for almost 10 years now... when I travel I always look for fabric shops, or places where I can find vintage fabrics. Sometimes I find a vintage dress that doesn't even fit me, but if it's made of a good vintage fabric I buy it to use for my Les Monstris. Friends or relatives who know about this passion bring me some presents sometimes! I'd say that basically I spend more money on fabric and supplies than on clothes for myself... 
S- I was the one that bought one of your pieces in LA!  I love it so much and look at it every night and smile.  I feel like it really has added to my collection in that way to say, "yeah see this is art!".  How have you seen the plush community evolve and how do you explain that your stuffed creations are really a work of art?
N- WOW, I cannot express how happy  it makes me knowing that you, the Queen of the Plush Community, choose one of my Les Monstris to bring home!!! Thank you a billion times for such enthusiastic words about my works...
I'd say that I still consider myself a crafter more than an artist...  but in a way I see each creature that I make as a work of art in the sense that each piece is unique with its own details and "personality"...
 This is a tricky question also because of the subtle but important difference between seeing an object as a toy or as a work of art. I think that the evolution of the plush community is noticeable especially in this, with the ever growing appreciation of plushies by adults. More and more people have started to buy plushies not for their children, but just because they find that these creatures satisfy their need for something funny, ironic, colorful... just like you said, to look at it and smile :) 
S- I hear that Berlin is very artsy (i hope to visit next summer) and has a great community.  How does it foster your work?
N- Uh, I'd love to be your Berlin guide if you'll make it next summer!!!
You're right, the choice of interesting things to do around Berlin is almost overwhelming... Sometimes I wish I was more outgoing: when there are so many things going on you almost feel guilty staying at home, eheh...
Some of my closest  friends are people I've met at craft markets or at small art galleries openings: it is a great way to get connections and advices, and friendships!
Some of my favorite places are the Stricken Bar (Knitting bar) and La Bastellerie: these are great little spaces that give the opportunity to meet other artists/crafters and trigger new events...
S- What are you looking forward to as winter approaches?

N- Being that last winter has been the worst for me, so incredibly long and cold and snowy, my first thought is "I am looking forward to the beginning of spring!"... but I still enjoy the ugly weather that makes me feel cozy at home, it's perfect for sewing!

In the next weeks I will be working for an exhibition that will be held here in Berlin at Staalplaat, a record store specialized in avantgarde music that hosts also different exhibitions by indipendent artists (opening the 18th of dDecember). I will present some of my new works as well as works in collaboration with Bera, an artist friend who recently moved to Berlin.
And I also hope that a lot of Little Friends will reach new homes for Christmas ;)


JennyTheArtist said...

Ninon is one of my favorites, as well. i just love her work and hope to own one of her monsters in the future,

Cassandra said...

I love Ninon's work! Thanks so much for this interview - I always really like learning more about the artists behind the shops I frequent.

One day when I'm rich and famous - well, how bout when I have a little extra pocket money and am known in the craft community by more than just my family :) - I'll have such a lovely collection of all my favorite plush artists - and Ninon will definitely be in there!

lili est folle said...

I'm a big big fan of her work!! a very inspirational girl for sure!! :)

lookwhaticando said...

These are amazing Tania!!! You are so talented :)