I met Nana over instagram around a year ago, well just about when lockdown started. And over the year we found we share many things in common besides being born on the same date. We both love flowers, bright colours and we both care for a better today and tomorrow by spreading positive small steps and encouraging people to join us.
We also did a little collaboration in the beginning of the summer last year; a series of three upcycled and embroidered shirts and I can’t wait to do more of such collaborations soon.
Well one little collab is actually on the way this Friday! As part of Fashion Revolution Week we are hosting a workshop called ‘‘Zine umetnine iz (moje) sobe’' – Zines – artworks from (my) room. You can join us at 19h over zoom where we will be making zines out of waste paper and textile, discussing sustainability and challenging waste culture. If you want to join us, please contact us and we will provide you with more info!
What is zine? It is a small publication or artwork of original texts and images; it’s a self-made unique work of your mind; your thoughts… So if you are that kind of a person with a drawer full of waste paper or magazines, maybe you have some waste textiles lying around and you want to transform it all into a piece of artwork you are most welcome to join us!
Last month, while we were discussing for the workshop over zoom we also talked a little bit about life, her work, dreams and wishes for the future. You can read more below!
What is the most important thing in life to you?
I’d say respect for fellow man; being there and trying to understand situations one is in to know how to react – more understanding, rational, kind. Being kind to all creatures in the world and knowing that everything you do has some kind of an impact. Being tolerant. Also to know your way around in every situation you find yourself – to know how to find a way to the goal you want to reach. Or maybe sometimes you find yourself on a path that leads to a destination you never knew you wanted to reach.
What drives you forward? What motivates you?
Freedom that I wish to have in my life. A free wo/man can live life to the fullest, without any limits; so I can grow and evolve as a human. And creativity with which I also wish to influence people to do better in their everyday. I don’t really want to judge anyone about their habits, since I know I love clothes and I used to shop fast fashion a lot – but there are terrible things happening within the fashion industry that many people don’t know about. You don’t think about fashion as a problem when you know people have to be dressed and when a shop offers you a 3€ shirt you will buy 5 of them, because you get more for less.
But then I think about how long it takes me to make little details on a clothing piece and how much longer it takes to sew the entire garment together and it’s wrong that clothes are so cheap. I wish people would change their mindset – for garments to become artworks in which they feel good.
I know not everyone can afford more sustainable clothing, but the thing is consumers’ mindset changed a lot over the years. In the past people would buy less clothes of higher quality, and yes clothing was expensive even then. But they would treat them better. And now you have a wardrobe full of clothes and yet nothing to wear. But on the other hand – you can buy vintage and second hand clothes that are not so expensive and be more conscious about your shopping this way.
As I said before, I’m not judging people who have a lot of clothing since my closet is full. I’m always searching for some unique pieces that I can combine together with others; but I try to buy and support local shops and small businesses or trift at second hand/vintage shops.
Can you explain shortly what you do and when did you start?
I renew second hand and vintage clothes with embroidery. Idea came up in my last year of college at my painting class when we had open hands with creating whatever we want. I’ve always been inspired by textures, textiles, patterns and sewing. To me, hand sewing feels like a meditation. So I changed the canvas and brushes with textile and a needle. I also wanted to connect this idea with my master thesis where I dealt with waste fabric as a form of artistic expressive asset. I also wanted to make something practical. My first product was made in collaboration with high school design students in Maribor where we made motives out of waste textiles and sewn them on white t-shirts. That’s when I knew it’s what I want to do more. But my first embroidered piece was made when I was visiting my brother in Sweden; if I didn’t go for a walk while he had soccer practice, I’d do embroidery.
Who or what inspires you to create?
Flowers ever since I was a little girl; I feel as if they bring me luck in life. It was my grandma who evoked this love in me. And we also have lots of flowers around our house. I’m really fascinated with the colours. I think this inspiration will be with me my whole life. I’m also amazed by architecture. I also don’t think it’s wrong to change style – we walk through different phases of life and we change, grow, evolve. So I believe my work will change with time too. I wish to experiment with different techniques too. My best and favourite projects are the ones I create very spontaneously and instinctively. I don’t want my products to all be the same.
Are there any problems you struggle with?
Maybe the fact that the current market isn’t ready for prices of my unique embroidered clothing. I believe there are people that do support and value my hand craftsmanship, I just got to get to them. I also want to reach foreign markets, so I’m also searching for ways to find foreign customers.
What are your thoughts about sustainability and trends?
I think if a trend is positive, it’s ok. But I know there are corporations and brands who take advantage of trends – when they don’t have true or pure intentions; wanting the best for the environment and people. This angers me. It’s not only about using natural fibres in textiles; the background picture is much much bigger. I want to know who made my clothes. How the material was produced, coloured, the use of water…
Is there anything you want to add for the end?
Well maybe just this – you used to be weird if you did things differently than the others, well it’s the same today. But when you grow older and you develop your character, you don’t care about being weird anymore. I never liked to stand out, be different; especially when you live in a small city and everyone knows everyone, it can be unpleasant at times. It’s only now that I dare to develop my style.
Thank you Nana for your thoughts and time, till Friday then!
*Nana is wearing upcycled custom made shirt I made for her last year and I think it really shines her bright and positive energy* <3