We are honored to announce our collaboration with Artist, Cecilia Granata. Her work can be found on one of our Tapestry Blankets, which are all made in USA, as well as a part of our newest collection, the Kitchen Towels.
Tap her to shop her kitchen towel + tapestry blanket and get to know her below!
Photos below of Cecilia were shot by Cecilia's husband, Luca.
When did you start making art?
I started drawing as a kid, I always had an inclination for it, likely because of my mom, who’s a wonderful artist. I would spend hours drawing and painting by myself or with her. In kindergarten my friends and I had a sort of drawing club and we created this theme of “The Heart Women” (Le Donne Cuore in Italian), that is women with a heart shaped head. I recently found a drawing I made when I was 5 of my dad playing soccer with a red heart shaped face and a giant beard. Once I started elementary school I became obsessed with witches and that’s all I would draw. I designed and bound an entire fashion mail order catalog for witches and monsters (this was back in the early Nineties, when mail orders through catalogs were a thing). The Frankenstein family was on the cover, sporting a new Fall collection. I still have it and I never stopped drawing witches and monsters. I also recently made a tattoo flash sheet of heart shaped faced women.
What or who inspired you to start?
Definitely my mom, who’s very talented and has a passion for art history. She would draw me these incredible mermaids and I remember being absolutely mesmerized by them and slightly frustrated at not being able to create something that beautiful. She always gently pushed and inspired me to cultivate my passion, both through teaching me drawing skills and by exposing me to a variety of artists.
What or who are you currently inspired by?
This is a hard question…these days we are exposed to so much cool stuff and talent across social media, it’s kinda hard to keep track. Things seem to flow a lot faster than they did and my interest floats with the stream. I see fascinating things every day and I try to save anything that resonates with me, for any reason, so I can look at it later and find elements I can use in my work. I am intrigued by anything bizarre, ambiguous, unusual. Whether it’s a very chunky knit sweater that looks like a cloud, a photo of a flower seemingly made of eyeballs, visible veins etching hypnotic patterns on a body, a delicious color palette or just a really cool tattoo. I recently visited Meow Wolf and I was really charmed by the interactive and variegated experience. I am usually also incredibly inspired by places I visit and their specific aesthetic and cultural practices, although with Covid travel has been obviously scarce.
Any advice for aspiring artists?
Practice, practice, practice! Take drawing classes if you can. Find what inspires you and be inspired. Take constructive criticism while maintaining your vision and trusting your guts. It’s a fine balance, not easy to maintain. Don’t get too discouraged…or maybe do and then use that to improve your skills. You’ll likely never be satisfied with your work anyway. Indulge your obsessions…if being obsessive was ever a good trait, it’s when it’s in the hands of an artist…use it. Know that depression can be common among creative minds and that’s ok. Advocate chaos and make friends with your demons. Try to take good care of yourself though and make time to be healthy. Meditate. Eat good food and exercise. Go outside. Take time off. Rescue a dog.
Is there a story about the winning art?
I started designing tattoos of vegetables with legs after overhearing a quirky conversation about sexy carrots at work. After that, my coworkers started sending me links or pictures of all kinds of stuff with legs and butts, including some actual mushrooms. I thought they were the cutest and I drew a full flash sheet. My colleague advised me to post it in a Facebook group of fungi enthusiasts and it went viral in a few minutes, even though I only realized it a couple of hours later when I reached for my phone and found hundreds of messages and comments. Since then, my Sexy Mushrooms illustration has become wildly popular. In fact, it became somewhat of a pop phenomenon that has been reproduced and has circulated in a way that I never thought possible. It amazes and surprises me beyond belief. I think what I enjoy the most is how one simple piece of art caught the attention of such a diverse crowd and kinda made them all agree and get along for one silly moment, regardless of all the differences, the views, the life stories…from Madonna to the small DIY craft maker, from the mushroom forager grandfather to his punk teenage grandkid…they all thought that fungi and butts were worth sharing a moment of appreciation for and it absolutely cracks me up. The part of the story I do not enjoy is how much of an issue copyright infringement is these days. Huge bummer.
What is a change you've made in your life that has made the most impact on you or the people around you?
I would say going vegan, over 20 years ago, was probably the most significant change on a large scale, considering the effects on the planet as a whole. Although, while it definitely impacted the ones around me, I am not sure how positively they were impacted hehe. Another life changing event, maybe even more so than Veganism, was the encounter with a very traditional form of Yoga. I was blessed with receiving incredibly precious teachings that help me navigate life on a daily basis and definitely make me a better person.
When you're not creating what are you up to?
I practice Yoga, go to art and punk shows, I see or call family and friends. I take care of my crazy goofball of a dog. I love cooking and I’m learning to knit. I adore traveling, even though I am terrified of flying. I really enjoy swimming but mostly in the Mediterranean Sea, where I am from. I like scuba diving with my husband, who’s way more experienced than I am. I read a lot and of course I binge watch countless tv shows.
What is your dream trip?
It really depends, I enjoy different trips for different reasons. In general, my dream trip is to a place I haven’t seen before. I equally love urban, cultural and natural adventures. I enjoy mountains, oceans, deserts and steel strong cities just as much. I really like to go along with seasons when I travel and I pick the most appropriate destination for that specific time of the year. I hate escaping Winter to find Summer somewhere else. In fact, I love Winter and most of all Autumn. Right now I feel so exhausted by the World, that my dream destination, contrary to my usual slightly neurotic and restless character, would be a peaceful place where I could just do nothing, eat good food and get a massage.
Do you have a favorite product of ours?
I have no doubt, your quick dry towels are the smartest item I packed over my last few trips: super lightweight, sustainable and madly stylish. I got so many compliments too!