Q&A | HANOUX

Inside the Hanoux studio

Inside the Hanoux studio

 

Where do you live and what are your favorite things about your city?

Hanoux studio is located in Clinton Hill in Brooklyn, New York. With the Manhattan Garment District just a train ride away, we are surrounded by everything we need to have our fashion and textile house up and running. The trend of sourcing cheap production and materials over-seas has caused the NYC garment district to suffer, with many jobs lost, stores closing, and factories going out of business. Being able to support America's work force and local clothing production is our mission. Every day we are supported by our fellow community of creative individuals; our city is filled with driven artists and entrepreneurs who love to collaborate and want to change the consumer market one small conscious decision at a time.

 Tell us a little bit about yourself. How did you get started and what made you want to become a designer/artist?

We each grew up in very different environments, and consequently our design senses were influenced and molded by what was around us. Kristin, by vibrant colors, turquoise beaches, and the tropical vibe of Miami, Florida. Hannah by the mystic forests, mossy rocks, and peach tree orchards of rural Connecticut. Kristin was fascinated with the abstract nature of art from a young age. Upon being introduced to the practical world of design, she studied communications and graphic design at Pratt where she learned how to organize information into visual story telling. Hannah's passion for construction was born after receiving a sewing machine early on. Then, through studying fashion design at Pratt, she gained knowledge of garment construction, textile sourcing and dyeing. We decided to pursue Hanoux together after a senior year project evolved into a real life, collaborative exploration of form, functionality of clothing, and endless possibilities in colors and dyeing. 

What is the atmosphere of your studio like? Do you have any sort of rhythm or process when starting a new project?

Our plant-filled studio space consists of six working stations for sewing, screen printing, cutting, color mixing and dyeing. Much organization and planning has gone into the work-flow of our shared space. The Hanoux studio is located in a Brooklyn loft space that has housed a multitude of artists and designers over the past five years. We have crates and binders filled with past projects and color tests; documenting the steps to re-create patterns and achieve specific colors is very important. Each new dye bath is a science experiment and the craft requires full attention because even a slight change in the recipe will yield a different result. Having all supplies in order, making a pot of tea, and throwing on a podcast or playlist are all important factors to our work flow. Creating together allows for constant rejuvenation and reassurance.

What are some emotions you try and bring to your work?

The technique and process of Shibori is a form of meditation; it evokes emotions of surprise, suspense and wonder. Our textiles are a form of organic mark making, quite literally they are snapshots of energy: evidence of dye particles reacting with water and taking on shapes created by folds and twists in the fabric. Each piece of fabric is made with intention. Each design is very controlled and chaotic at the same time- always unique and unlike the next. The Hanoux wallpaper designs available at Area Environments are inspired by and named after natural phenomenons; we aim to instill organic beauty in the viewer and take them into a landscape of color and depth.

 What do you like best about being an artist/ designer?

 In the art and design world, there is never one right answer or one right way to do something. Design is based on creativity- bringing something new into existence, and about problem solving and finding solutions. Sometimes it is simply the sheer enjoyment of creating something beautiful to share with the world. The open mindedness of art is comforting because we know we can always transform an idea, or think of a new one entirely.

The Pratt motto has always resonated with us, “be true to your work, and your work will be true to you.” With that in mind, our work becomes a constant meditation on truth seeking, both in regards to self-reflection and what the work is offering outwardly. Our logo incorporates the Seed of Life, an ancient symbol which represents full awareness of one's surroundings and the intersection of all actions.

By celebrating the pure essence of color, shape, pattern, movement, and prayer, we harness raw energy, positive intentions, natural growth and ancient wisdom. Our clothing is about a conscious way of life.

 

Q&A | KAREN DARLING

Where do you live?

I live in a century old home in the downtown of a city just outside Toronto Canada called Brampton. My studio is in a building about 2 blocks from my home.

 What are your favorite things about your city?

Because I live in the downtown I can walk to so many places, and we have a beautiful park a block away with a gorgeous outdoor skating trail in the winter, and rollerblading in the summer.

What are some emotions you try and bring to some of your work?

In my work I really try to have a sense of mystery, some ambiguity that leaves room for the viewer to wonder and contemplate. I also try to have a bold & somewhat simple composition at a distance, but upon closer inspection reveals much more complexity.

 What are some events or tendencies in the world today that affects the way you work?

I have realized that creating something beautiful is not frivolous at all but rather a necessity in the harsh realities of our world today.

 Do you have some favorite periods in art or design story?

Although I started out with a much more realistic style…I’m an Abstract Expressionist at heart! I also really identify with the Bay Area Figurative artists.

Tell us a little bit about yourself. How did you get started and what made you want to become a designer/artist?

I was always drawing and being creative from a very early age and there was nothing else I wanted to do. The only time in my life when I wasn’t drawing or painting was a period of time when I owned and operated a restaurant. But that was a great experience too….for different reasons!

What is the atmosphere of your studio like? Do you have any sort of rhythm or process when starting a new project?

It’s funny but over time my studio time has become quieter and quieter. I used to get energy from loud music but I’ve gradually become quieter and more purposeful and focused.

What are some of the things you like best about being an artist/designer?

I love being in a position of constantly learning and discovering, and getting better as I get older!

Karen's studio

Karen's studio

Sampling Karen's work "Journey" at Area

Sampling Karen's work "Journey"
at Area

"Journey" installed

"Journey" installed

INSPIRATION

 

We came across this the other day and wanted to share.. It's so easy to feel overwhelmed with so much going on when you work full time, pay bill after bill, try and make time for family and friends, take the dog for a walk, exercise, the list goes on and on. How do you make time for your creativity for your own work? Everyone has to manage their lives as they see fit but I want to encourage anyone out there who has a creative spirit and a desire to work in this way to make the time.. somehow. Don't give up.

We work closely with artists here at Area and their lives are all different. While there is risk involved by giving things up to make time for their art all of them have the same response to the sacrifices, it's totally worth it. 

Q&A | ANDREA PRAMUK

It's been a pleasure getting to know Andrea while working on the new collection for Area. Her work has an otherworldly feeling to it as she paints with the elements in mind. Drawing inspiration from the human experience of love, passion, sadness, pain, pleasure, temperature and all things ephemeral she creates work that feels ethereal, airy and soft. Below is a small  glimpse into her  day to day life and her working process. Enjoy!

 

Where do you live and what are some of your favorite things about your city?

I live in Austin, Texas just south of downtown. I work in my home studio, formally a sunroom that was added onto the house by the previous owners.

There is never a shortage of fun; Austin is such a magical place. It’s home to some great art, food and live music, as well as some unique natural and water features like the Lady Bird Lake that runs through the middle of downtown. Lady Bird, subsequently, was responsible for the famous bluebonnet explosion that happens here every Spring. There is interesting wildlife like the Mexican free tail bats that migrate here every summer.

 

Tell us a little bit about yourself. How did you get started and what made you want to become a designer/artist?

I started painting when I was two years old. My father is also a professional artist, and my mother, a museum curator, so I’ve always had a hand in art in some way. I grew up in art galleries, at show openings and art museums.

What are some emotions you try and bring to some of your work?

I approach my work with an open mind and start without knowing what the end result will be. The trials of daily life always influence my work, so related emotions might filter in whether I like it or not. Also, if paint accidentally drops, I let it stay there, allowing it to function as a record of that particular moment in time.

What is the atmosphere of your studio like? Do you have any sort of rhythm or process when starting a new project?

I try to keep my studio uncluttered and peaceful so I don’t get distracted. I listen to music in my headphones so that I can tune out the world as much as possible, and so that all I am focusing on is the work at hand. Lately, I have been listening to psychedelic or ambient music or to music with complex lyrics or storylines like Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds.

What are some things you like best about being an artist/designer?

Being an artist allows me to connect with people at a deeper level as compared to just a handshake or small talk. I am always surprised by how people relate to what I do. I can never predict someone’s reaction or connection to the work, which keeps things fresh. I am a classic introvert, so it’s a profession that suits me the best. I also love that I can use my art to support humanitarian efforts I believe in, like rebuilding the Gulf Coast after the Horizon oil spill.