interview by Brad Holroyd //
1. What is it about fashion that fascinates you?
For me, fashion divides into so many different subcategories- from clothing I covet, to an art-form I get to think about through my work, to everyday things I throw on to wear to my stu-dio... and everything in between. What I love with my work is that I get to explore where fashion meets art, music, paper, scissors, or gets considered over a timeline or in sequences. It is how I can think about this time-old subject that re-interprets it, and puts in a new light. Fashion doesn’t exist on an island it sits and mixes with the most exciting elements of the arts, and in film I get to play with this.
2. What about the Dadaists’ work do you relate to?
I love their freedom of approach, to combine things for that are surprising, and just for the joy of the visual coincidence.
3. Does the environment in which you live in-fluence you in any way? i.e. - living in London vs. New York
I think you can’t help but absorb a bit of what it around you- my cycle ride to work is certain-ly different. It is such a buzz speeding over the Williamsburg Bridge everyday. You start and end on quite a high. But I think the main difference is the teams. The industry is much bigger in NY so you get the chance to work with amazing people.
4. Does your study of philosophy at Cambridge affect how you approach or inform your work in any way?
I would say that studying any academic subject can be useful preparation to going to art school and eventually becoming an artist- learning to think through other people’s ideas rather than spend too long emoting, and living inside one’s own imagination. There is a lot of self indul-gence at art school, in fashion and most of the arts. I think it is good if you can see your work for what it is, and not just from your own van-tage point. I think I get when the humour in my drawings is purile, or when my ideas won’t ap-peal to a certain client. I think studying philos-ophy maybe gives me the right amount of self-doubt. And, perhaps pushing myself to do three years of exams in philosophy was a good train-ing in commitment, when what I really craved doing was taking photographs and painting.
5. What was the catalyst to becoming the subject of some of your art and in what way is it different from focusing on an outside subject?
The only time I chose to be in my own piece was for the film Paint Test, all the stills are led by requests from magazines or brands. For Paint Test, it was a sort of experiment- I usually direct a girl, plan how what she does will relate to an-imation and editing, paint on top of stills of her a then sew everything back together. I wanted to make something that I didn’t have to story-board, explain to anyone at all, shoot without a team, and paint directly onto myself rather than images of myself.
6. How important is it for you to inject humor into your work?
It can be quite important depending on the client. Fashion takes itself way too seriously, when it can/should be a vehicle for entertainment.
7. What are the challenges (if any) of working with commercial clients/brands?
It is about learning to compromise- to allow half your ego to be put aside and not do what you really think is the best option, or edit to your project because of product-led concerns. I keep thinking about those Orange cinema ads, where they have the tag line “don’t let a mobile phone ruin your movie”, when a client asks for their boot to be the focal point of a film, or illustration.
8. Are there any of your films that are particu-lar favorites of yours? And why?
This year I really liked The Paper Boy, with Ni-cole Kidman and John Cusack. Maybe because I enjoyed how terrifying it was. In the last while Pan’s Labyrinth was one of my favorites- the surreal meeting the everyday has always been a theme I enjoy. So for the same reason The Lab-yrinth was a childhood film I watched again and again. I think all of the films share some sort of twisted escapism.
9. Anyone or any brand that you would love to work with that you haven’t yet?
On my hit-list- Stella McCartney, Prada, Beyonce (I know not a brand... or is she??)
10. Do you like to plan or storyboard things out or is your process more instinctual?
Sadly, I have no option but to storyboard. I hate nothing more than the storyboarding process, but it is a necessary evil. You need to be able to show people your ideas to be able to get a team to work with you to help make them happen. Luckily now, I can choose to have storyboarders do them for me if I am too busy to do them myself... but they never quite translate your own ideas as well as you can.