Surface design : Marina Molares

Born of a Spanish father and American mother, Marina Molares spent her childhood travelling the globe with her parents. Absorbing a world of customs and cultures, she grew and grew until she became too big for the earth so she built her own cosmos, and filled it with drawings and collages and sheltering cubby houses.

Marina Molares is a practising artist in many disciplines; sculpture, collage, photography, painting, graphic design and surface design. She studied Fine Arts at the Universidad Complutense de Madrid, and went on to receive her Master of Arts Degree from the University of Leeds in 2005.

 

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Part of her practice is to create something every day. It’s a strategy that has resulted in prolific output, and excellent work.

 

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One of her many languages is drawing. It is the basis of all her surface designs; textural lines that are equal parts strong and delicate. I asked her how she started in patterns. “I became very interested when I went to Leeds with my Erasmus Scholarship while studying Fine Arts. I had never seen the process of repeating before and I liked it a lot. Back in Madrid, a friend who’s a fashion designer told me I should print my patterns in fabric and sell them to fashion brands for their collections. I tried and they liked them!”

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Like many designers, in the past she has been the victim of plagiarism. But she hasn’t let it get her down; she focuses strongly on the good instead, because there have been many excellent moments – like when when she was walking down the street and she saw a beautiful woman wearing one of her patterns that she’d made for Spanish fashion label Hoss Intropia. She was thrilled.

“Another great moment was when the Hoss Intropia team asked me if I’d be interested in giving away some of my patterns for a good cause: a collaboration with Oxfam Intermon and the fair trade project Veraluna. I’ve collaborated in three collections already and though I was already helping NGOs a bit economically, I had never thought that I could also help creatively just by making some surface designs for free. It’s very satisfying to be part of this project.”

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Being an artist working in many different disciplines, Marina has a huge list of influences. “For collage,  classics like Hannah Hoch, Duchamp, Man Ray and contemporaries like Beth Hoeckel, Xochi Solis, Brian Cheeck, Jordan Clark, Tom Moglu, Rafafans, Ruth Van Beek, Jessica Bell, Shaun Kardinal, Matthew Craven, Nicholas Lockyer, Tracey Jager, Julien Pacaud…

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“I love photographers like William Eggleston, land artists like Christo and Jean Claude or Andy Goldsworthy, painters like Shiele, Munch, Jenny Saville, sculptors like Calder, Ernesto Neto or Aaron Moran, illustrators like Escher, Julia Pott, Ashley Goldberg, Lizzie Stewart, Sara Falli…”

At that point she stopped listing people, and suggested we check out her Pinterest boards instead…

 

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I’m rather intrigued by her collages as well. Sometimes whimsical, sometimes incredibly gutsy and very definitely food for thought.

 

marina molares - collage

marina molares – collage

 

marina molares - collage

marina molares – collage

 

Her work straddles many mediums and some very different ideas. I asked her what her favourite piece was. “I have to say that my favourite pieces are from long ago: my hugging softies.”

“I made a Hugging Dress that looks like a strange white bug or sloth, and the Hugging Box where you can get in and feel safe and cozy. The Claustrophilia series began with a homage to my mother and her wonderful “bear hugs” and how they made me feel safe when I was a little girl. Also, after reading Gaston Bachelard’s book Poetics of Space, I understood someone else had written about this “back to the womb” feeling. The dwellings, kids forts with blankets, drawers and secret places inspired this period.”

 

marina molares - hugging softie

marina molares – hugging softie

 

Her best piece of advice? “Be nice.”
You can find more of Marina’s vast collection of work on her website, marinamolares.com, and you can find more of her surface designs in her Spoonflower shop, marinamolares.

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