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#PAUSECreatives – Taking Design Into Their Own Hands

Debuting our #PAUSECreatives feature, we talk with Toronto-based creative, customiser and self-professed Nike lover @cerealartist about her love for customisation, her design process, inspirations and how she got into design. Check out the exclusive feature below:

Tell us who you are and what you do

Hi, I’m Vivian a.k.a. Cereal Artist. I’m an artist aspiring to create new and unique art and accessories using mixes of existing materials with other materials, mainly vinyl.

How did you first get into designing?

I’ve always loved art and drawing since I was little and was always great at it, and I dreamt about being a designer of sort one day. But due to life challenges, I never got to start doing it nor had the guts to. Until September last year (2019), I finally snapped and decided that I just got to do it, so then I bought a sewing machine and learned sewing from YouTube in a day or two. I didn’t know how to sew nor knew what I was doing, but I knew this is what I love to do, and I just have to do it.

Where did you learn the skills to design?

I never went to any art or design school or anything. I just have ideas of what I want to make at the time, and I just try to figure out how to achieve/do it, skills-wise. I just learned sewing from YouTube, and everything else either Google search or sitting there for hours figuring out the steps I needed to do myself.

Your take on fashion is unique, what made you want to recreate your own sneakers, bags and slides?

Ahh, thank you! I started recreating things due to the lack of availability of certain things from the brand I love (Nike). I started making bags because I couldn’t find a fashionable bag from them that I’d rock (I’m sorry, Nike!), they only have basic side bags or totes. Then I just continue to recreate the slides, lamp, bucket hat, and the sneakers (only for decoration) in the design I’d love to see. I get bored easily, and when certain things become too common, and everyone has it, I lost interest in them. Hence I made my own design how I like them, and nobody else would have it haha.

What/who inspires your design process?

Honestly anything and everything, most of the time it’s from what I wanted to have for myself, but I am also inspired by other artists from visual artists, painters, designers, illustrators, just doing what they are doing with their own unique take on what they create. And it motivates me to do just as great as them.

Tell us about your 5 favourite designs you’ve created and why?

The bucket hat I made from Nike socks – because it challenged me to use something that has a totally different purpose itself.

The slides – because people rarely pay attention to them, as it’s not an item people think too much of compared to sneakers. So I like the fact that they’re not overdone like the sneakers customization.

The bag made with black and white Nike slides – because again it’s made out of unusual items that was a different item itself.

The burger set – I just thought they’d be a cool reusable art piece! (apart front the cup!) And I had visioned the cool products shot with the burger and fries before I even made them haha.

The sneakers (decoration) – I just thought to myself wouldn’t it be cool if I have a completely see-through sneaker as a decoration piece and again I had the finished product image in my head before I made them. And the Jordan1 and the Dunk Low are just iconic and my favourites.

Describe what goes through your mind when you’re designing in one word?

Uniqueness.

Would you say Instagram has an influence on fashion designers, if so, how? And has this impacted the way you design?

I think so, yes, to some degree. Instagram is like the test market these days. You can see artists and designers dropping previews and samples before the actual product comes out, I guess to see how people respond to the said product. And in general, I guess to see what’s trending currently.
I personally don’t think it has impacted me in any way, as I am just designing and creating based on my personal taste of what I want at this point. Maybe one day if I were to design for the mass then I might have to consider lots of other factors in but at the end of the day I will make sure to stay true to myself.

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