Will you kick this off by telling us how you got your start as an artist/designer?
I have always made art and dabbled in making clothing. When I moved to New York a couple years ago, I set up the clothing line with my husband.
How is your work autobiographical?
My work feels like an extension of myself, I paint mostly from memory and the memory of feelings past. I guess I use it like a diary or journal, it is definitely an outlet.
You work in many mediums, but painting seems to be your first occupation/forte? How have you applied painting to your other work?
My design process always starts with painting and drawing. I don't really consider silhouettes or products until I have a body of artwork to draw inspiration from, everything stems from that.
From looking at your collections, it’s clear that creativity pours out of you— tell me about your process, from the moment inspiration strikes, to a produced piece of art.
I work erratically and sporadically. Sometimes I cannot make work for weeks, and sometimes it's all I can do or think about for days on end… I think it really depends on my mood or state of mind. When I am working on a painting, I never really consider the final outcome, it feels very instinctive to me to work directly onto the canvas without a plan or direction. I usually block out and layer figures and washes of paint and text, again and again, until I create depth or something I find aesthetically pleasing. I usually work from memory, or I will refer to smaller watercolor studies I make as a reference and replicate these onto the canvas.
How did the collaboration with Henzel Studio come about?
I was introduced to Henzel by Joakim, who has been a tremendous support. Ever since we started working on this together, I have been so excited for them to launch. I remember my husband introducing me to the Tom of Finland rug collaboration they did, and I really couldn't believe I would have the opportunity to do work with them, I feel very grateful.
CULTUREEDIT / Tom of Finland Store is now featuring photographs of you alongside your textile and ceramic objects. Can you tell me why these objects are significant to you?
I guess because my work is predominately autobiographical. Every piece is a moment in time and tells a story.
Does the show interact with its host, Tom of Finland? What’s your relationship to the artist?
Tom of Finland was formative in my teens as I was exploring what it meant to be gay and an artist for the first time.
In addition to the exhibition, there are rugs and ceramics for sale, which feature and interact with the artwork. What is the dialogue you hope to have with this trifecta?
As an artist I like exploring all the surfaces around me, I have always looked at art as a way to create my own world. As I explore new surfaces, my hope is to extend this universe to others.
You mother is a ceramicist, which you’ve incorporated into this new multi-media collaboration … How did you decide to involve her? And what was it like working with mom?
Since moving to New York I don't see my mother as often and I think part of the reasons I initially wanted to explore ceramics was because I missed her. So when it came time to create these pieces, I wanted to make sure she was involved. She flew to New York to help me paint and glaze the ceramics, it felt special to share this process with her.
You’ve worked in so many mediums, and often use unconventional materials, why do you find it important to draw outside the lines?
I think as a creative it is always important to evolve and change and challenge yourself, something I often struggle with. I really make a conscious effort now to push myself into working with new processes.
I love the raw aesthetic of your work. Was that always your part of your style? How has that edge become part of your brand?
I always try to be very present and not overthink when making my work. I think this idea of trusting myself creatively is seen as edgy, but I enjoy the discoveries and the process.
Do you identify as a queer brand?
How have you bridged the gap between art and fashion? Is this something you always sought to do? How does your art translate to clothing and other objects?
Initially I just used clothing as another form of canvas, with each new collection I feel more confident with being called a designer and having that be a separate entity to my artwork.
You’ve already led a prolific life… What’s the thing you’re most proud of?
I don't see my life in those terms, but I am definitely most proud of marrying my husband and starting to learn the process of mediation.
Looking forward to this digital exhibition with CULTUREEDIT / Tom of Finland Store, what can we expect after that?
I am still in the process of designing my September collection and have a few other collaborations I am working on which I am really excited about!