This week, our windows got a sweet holiday makeover. The woman behind the magic is L.A.-based artist Sara Czosnyka, whose work with bold, geometric shapes speaks to the spirit of our Holiday 2012 collection. We caught up with her to find out what inspired the work, her favorite L.A. hot spots, and what’s up next.
As you know, we’re big fans of FACET and HEX6AGON, your collections of vinyl patterns used to decorate surfaces such as walls, floors, and glass. Can you tell us how you came up with the original concepts for those products, which were applied to the INTERMIX windows this season?
I like to assign restrictions to my projects and then push the limits. FACET grew out of an affinity for area rugs. They delineate space and add pattern, texture, and color; but can be expensive, require maintenance, and limiting in size. I wanted to develop an accessible and flexible product that could cover as much or as little ground as desired, be easily shipped, and define a space with character. Slicing the pattern and color of a traditional floor covering into individual tiling vinyls that fit together in a variety of combinations became my answer to my own question. As the FACET tiles crept up onto walls, furniture, and ceilings, windows showed a need for attention. So with the same overall starting place, I deconstructed a stained glass window into HEX6AGON tiling vinyls.
What influenced your choice of colors, textures, and metallics used in the Intermix collaboration?
Contrast is what helps us see beauty. Combining color, texture and varied visual properties of the materials heightens the vibrancy of individual elements to a dimensional and unified whole.
If you could describe the final design in three words, what would they be?
Rich, dimensional/multi-faceted, and playful.
When you work, who or what do you turn to for inspiration?
I enjoy sorting through images I have pulled for reference from any number of publications. I also rummage through bins of “found treasure” that I have stockpiled over the course of countless previous projects. My work is ultimately inspired by a need I have for a product — and then I go into a stream of consciousness, or blue-sky space of exploring material options and form, and explore breaking the expectations or limitations of the end product or material. I enjoy working around other creatives’ energies, usually with music. It’s easy to strike a rhythm with both.
Any favorite spots in L.A.?
I’m a maker and a thrifter. I’m always on the lookout for a good yard sale or roadside furniture that I can breathe new life into. I enjoy places with character and products with stories: The Trails Cafe, a tranquil escape in the middle of the city, where you get to sit under lush trees, eat handmade pastries, look at the hills, and work on a shoddy Internet connection. The Getty – its incredible architecture is on par with the setting and art works on-site. (I get a latte, and sit with a notebook, doodling or making lists by the water features or in the garden.) And The Dresden, a step back in time for 1960s decor, live music, and a dirty martini. But my home is still Chicago, where I love the museum campus, Millennium Park, and window shopping on State Street and Michigan Avenue, especially during the holidays.
What’s next on your to-do list professionally?
I would like to see HEX6AGON on shelves of museum gift shops or home design retailers, so I’ll challenge myself to leave my design work bubble, reach out to buyers and chase leads. Creatively, I enjoy exploring processes, so even though I have several new vinyl projects queued in mind, I’m tempted to change things up. Dog toys inspired by my pup may be on the horizon.
And since it’s the holiday season, we have to ask: What’s on your wish list?
A hammer drill (for home and work), a weighted hula hoop (to burn anxiety and calories), a record player (to complete a vintage sound system I’ve complied), and striped socks (for fashion and function).