Microview | Carolina Lopez Cruz, Textile Artist

Carolina is a textile designer from Cali, Colombia living in Philadelphia, PA. She recently graduated from the Savannah college of Art and Design with a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in fibers. She is now a print and pattern freelance designer at Urban Outfitters.

INTERVIEW

Name: Carolina Lopez Cruz

Current City: Philadelphia, PA

Hometown: Cali, Colombia, South America, Earth

Currently reading on 12/07/15: My parents bought me this super cute book, nothing like a novel, but extremely cute, it is in Spanish, written by a girl from my home town (I wish there was an English translation to the book). It is called: Uno siempre cambia al amor de su vida (por otro amor o por otra vida), which translates: You always change the love of your life (for another love or for another life). The author is Amalia Andrade, super cool girl, I don’t know her, but she looks pretty cool on Instagram!  

Currently listening to: Right this second I’m listening to Was All Talk – Kurt Vile

1.   Who is your muse? Why are they your muse and how do they influence you?

Oh my god, do I have to pick only one? I have so many! From famous artists like Sheila Hicks, to all of my artist friends and all my non artist friends, my family, dear Jesus I don’t even know where to start! They all influence me and inspire me in very different ways. I am inspired by other artists like all of my “art” friends, they are always creating beautiful things, textiles, photos, websites, you name it. They are all very very talented, and I am glad to have them in my life since their inventiveness and creativity really pushes me to be as great as they are. My family also inspires me to create, they have been very supportive and have always backed me up no matter what, which makes me want to make more and more.

 

2.   What is the oddest thing you find inspiration in?

Hmm…Well most of my inspiration I get it from casual normal things people do everyday and that I get to see every day. Grocery shopping, walking, the floor the street. I am inspired by simple things I would say. Not many strange things. One thing that I guess is kind of strange that I like to do is turn my tv, music or what ever is playing off and then just stare at my blank wall until something pops up in my mind and then I get super exited and start drawing.

 3.   What’s your background and has it played a role in your work today?

Well I am Colombian I am from Cali, capital of salsa dancing. I lived there all my life before I started college (18 years). I first went to college in Milan, Italy for fashion design, and then decided to leave and come to the states, which is one of the best decisions I have made, since I got introduced to textile design and all its wonders, Savannah, GA. I think not only where I am from but all the places I have lived have affected my work, since I work with what I see everyday.     

4. What does the perfect morning look like to you?

Hmm tough…. But… I have been craving pancakes for the longest time. So my perfect morning would be waking up at 5 or 6 am (I love waking up early, although I rarely manage to do it) and having the biggest stack of the worlds best pancakes on my bed (half blueberry, half chocolate chip), with maple syrup and butter. Who cooked them? I don’t know, but they are delicious. Then after I eat my wonderful breakfast, I would go to my studio aka my living room and draw all morning, The Velvet Underground or Led Zepellin playing in the background.   

5. What was it like living in Savannah? What were some of the differences about living in the states and living in Colombia? 

Savannah was wonderful, lived there for four years! I miss it so much! Can’t believe that I had to leave. It is so magical! It is a strange lovely place, so many memories. I don’t know how to describe living in Savannah in so little words. It is like living in another planet. Every time I got there I felt like had been transported somewhere far far away. I miss it and I hope I get to go back soon.

I am still living in the States and I love it. I miss home but America is great. One of the biggest differences is the way people think. People here are so much more liberal and open to new things, and that is something that I love. Here art is viewed as something very important, which is something I think we lack in Colombia, and that makes me very unhappy, because it is where I’ll probably live the rest of my after after my journey here in the states is done. I hope I can help change that.   

6. Your favorite piece of art work? or any works (any specifics that inspire you?)

Well lately I have been obsessed with Matisse's cut outs, because how can anyone not be obsessed with those. And also I’ve been obsessed with Kiki Smith. I had forgotten about her until recently I watched an episode of Gilmore Girls, where the grandmother gives Lorelai and her husband “Wolf Girl,” and I have been obsessed with her again ever since. 

7. How would you describe your style? Do you have a favorite piece that you wear?

I like to wear all black most of the time. 98% of my closet I would say consists of black clothes, not for any specific reason. I just love how it looks and how it feels, and it is my favorite color after yellow. Although all my clothes are black, my favorite item right now, aside from my BDG black high rise jeans that I wear almost every single day, is my new Madewell “Stagedoor faux-fur coat” it is pink or “pale muslin” as it says on their webpage. It was love at first sight.  

8. Take us through your creative process :)

Ok… so my creative process… Lets see…Well I start with an idea of course, then I research, look up images, read about whatever my idea is and then start sketching and drawing (which is my favorite part!) Then for making patterns for example, I scan my drawings and use photoshop to alter them, play around with them until I feel I have a good repeat and then VOILA! (I don’t even speak French, but VOILA!)

9. If you could live anywhere in the world, where would that be?

Well right now I am obsessed with New York (cliché), but I think its because all of my good friends from college live there and I am jealous that they all get to hang out and I am far far away in a far away land an hour and a half away called Philadelphia >:( But if I could put everyone that I love in a bag and take them somewhere with me forever, it would be back home in Cali. It is the best city in the world what can I say. Piece of heaven on earth.  

 10. What do you have to say about textiles? I feel a lot of people skip over the importance of what makes the clothes, what gives them their shape and feel...

Textiles are everything. The word “textiles” just makes me feel butterflies inside. I think it might be one of my favorite words in the whole entire universe. Well since we are talking about clothes, then what are clothes without textiles? Nothing. A great design is beautiful, but what makes that great design come to live are the textiles. The drape, the pattern, the structure, everything, ughh gotta love em! Textiles are everything.