5 questions with Evi O
Genius graphic designer Evi O has recently turned her hand to art, and serendipitously a striking collection of rugs.
Evi O is a graphic designer by trade who got her start at Penguin Books. She worked there for a decade gaining rare insight into the book publishing industry. When she struck out on her own she quickly became very sought after for her book design and branding. Evi O is a very clever creative with a wonderful knack of being able to capture the unique style of her amazing clients.
In the spirit of creative exploration, Evi O has recently turned her hand to art. In her Marrickville studio she has been creating bold and abstract paintings. Her latest exhibition, Jungle, was inspired by mythical beasts.
Los Angeles-based lifestyle brand Slowdown Studio is a longtime friend of Koskela. We stock their artist designed woven blankets, which are very popular with our customers. Seeking to broaden their range Slowdown Studio approached Evi O to do a rug collaboration. Three artworks from her Jungle show have been transformed into wool rugs that are available exclusively at Koskela.
We caught up with Evi O to find out how this covetable collection came together...
1. You’ve enjoyed huge success as a designer specialising in publication design and branding. Why did you start making art?
When I design I put my brain into my clients’ headspace and come up with solutions to communicate their messages visually. I love this problem-solving exercises and the fast-paced nature of these projects, but I find myself needing a space to explore thoughts and ideas visually, with no ties to planned outcome nor limited by time, to keep my mind fresh and stimulated. The art practise gives me a chance to experiment and gather personal musings. To me though, the two practises can’t exist without each other.
2. What part of your art practice brings you the most joy?
Two things: The process of creating a collection, building a narrative/concept. And sharing the result with your peers. I’m at a happy state when I create art and I think (I hope) the feelings are shared with whomever view the work.
3. What has the experience been like collaborating with Slowdown Studio?
It has been very collaborative. I worked closely with Marc Hendrick, the clever brain behind Slowdown Studio. He gave me free reign to explore the initial stage and we worked on the chosen direction together to the successful sampling point. I’m sure there are other careful works in the Slowdown Studio HQ that I didn’t witness, they made it seamless for their collaborators. It’s a total pleasure.
4. How did you design the rugs?
Slowdown crew had researched some materials that are used in the production of those rugs so it’s actually a great start to be able to design to a specification. Limitation is usually great when it comes to designing, you don’t always want a designer running loose! As with the artworks, just like starting a painting collection, I came up with a view concepts. They started as literally rough pencil sketches, they were then turned into real artworks and then we tweaked and refined the forms and colours.
5. Are you happy with the result?
Can’t be happier, it’s been one of my bucket list collaborations!