FEATURED ARTIST :: nicole deponte

I recently came across an etsy shop that is a "must heart". It's Lilian Asterfield by designer Nicole Deponte (lilianasterfield). Nicole creates funky/chic upcycled neckwear, belts, and vests from vintage neckties. They are each hand-sewn and the detailing is brilliant. I spent a good amount of time perusing each design because they're all so incredibly unique and each one is an absolute work of art. I just love these one of a kind, wearable art creations! So I just had to find out more about the genius behind these pieces.

You can also check out nicoledeponte.com and her blog for more fabulosity!

......................... the interview .........................

A random fun fact about yourself:
I have a twin brother and no, we are not identical. It is quite impossible.

The first 3 random words that pop into your mind:
tea, milk, sugar, (sorry, it's morning)

What's your favorite read of all time?
the fig eater

Any guilty pleasures?

fried food

If you could be any place in the world right now, where would it be?
Some place I have not been yet, India perhaps, sunken forests of Madagascar....

(Ok, now onto business)
How would you describe your work?
Upcycled vintage necktie accessories... totally and wildly fantastic.

How long have you been at it?
We turn 1 this month.

So for you, is it an innate talent or practice makes perfect?
Innate, my whole family are artists. it has come naturally since I picked up a crayon. though, math, on the other hand....

From where/how do you find inspiration?
I LOVE natural shapes, keep a garden, weather permitting, my favorite break room:). I watch the runways constantly watching out for how designers are utilizing textures, colors, and patterns. And, most importantly the neckties themselves are like pieces of art. I hand pick each one, so while I'm sourcing, my wheels are turning.

“My process is informed by nature's persistence to survive, human nature to collect and layer, and my own obsession with invention and translation. The materials that I combine feed on our curiosity, our need to identify and catalogue."

What was your most memorable creative experience?
I think the day that I designed the neck kerchief, it was that moment that I realized that I had found my calling. I had been a fine artist for the previous 4 years, which I love, but fashion/wearable art, so much more fun! I work like a scientist, tinkering with materials. I love pushing to make the designs better and coming up with new designs each season.

What do you do when your inspiration and creativity is tapped?
I get out of the studio and experience as much diverse creativity as possible. Gallery shows, theater, music, long walks with my dog, even window shopping at my favorite boutiques. You have to give yourself a break, take care of your creative energy by taking it on vacation.

Any memorable low points that you've learned from?
Dealing with the outside world can be tricky, ha. I am lucky that so many people love and support what I do. I think when people make a face at the price or want to bargain at shows... it's frustrating because this is my lively hood they are trying to bargain with and it doesn't seem to register that what I do is couture. You have to develop a tough skin, smile, and twirl it off. It makes you cranky, which I'd rather not be. But then, you get that customer that adores you pieces and even if they do not purchase one, their energy is so very positive that it picks you right up.

What is your formula for success?
Surround yourself with people you trust who are in the same boat. You will need support! I grew up with creative parents who are small business owners. I knew I could do it, but there is a lot to learn, a lot of trial and error, reading... and 15 hour days.

I have an amazing friend, we met while showing and launching our collections, who has been my saving grace, shoulder to cry on, ear to bitch in... it is essential to have a teammate. That, and challenge yourself, don't get too comfortable, listen to your gut, and do not be afraid to take smart risks( i know that sounds off, but they exist). PR is everything, always have cards, and get your name out there!

Was there a moment when you realized that you'd achieved success?
Oooo, good question! This whole crazy idea started when I was working with my brother and his clothing line to develop a wholesale collection. We had our first trunk show and he invited me to design accessories to go with his collection. They were an odd bunch of brooches, necklaces, belts, made up of ties, feathers, odds and ends. After the show, the boutique kept a few items. The neckpieces hadn't sold and they were unsure whether to keep them. I persuaded them to try a couple. To think, a year later, they are one of their top sellers!

The day my mom looked at this weird piece I made in the very beginning and said, "i have never seen anything like this before, ever. you have to keep going with this", I believed her. I looked at it made a face (it was very odd looking) and started believing in me, the idea, and making it better.

Any advice for those having a bad case of artist woes?
The amount of time it takes to feel sorry for yourself, you could be pushing forward. Don't be pathetic, it isn't the end of the world! Take the time to do something for someone else, collaborate and give yourself a break. Possibly pick up an activity that lets you get out of your head but continues to exercise your creative juices.

Remember that bad ideas are only "bad" if you don't use them to build a good idea. Artist did not pick the easy road, they have to rely mainly on themselves for pats on the back, that's why it is so important to have creative people around you.

When not hard at work on your designs, what would we most likely find you doing?
With my dog, dancing, dinner with friends, reading...

In a parallel universe where you are not an amazing artist, what would you be?
A dancer

What are some of your favorite etsy shops?
crutch, giia, delacyonline, artlab, whichgoose, emilyryan, penguinandfish...... to name a few, there are sooo many talkented people out there creating unique and inventive products.

What's at the top of your etsy wish list?
brown studded gold hobo bag , handmade unique... by delacyonline

.......................... end interview .........................


lilyja said...

What a beautiful work!!! And i love the photos too, simply gorgeous!

Priscila said...

love those!!!!!!!!!
I’m new here to your blog and wanted to “pop” in to say hi! : )
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