Sunday 5 February 2012

Inspiration Sunday with Gaia Monsta

Many moons ago, I worked as a live-in English teacher, to two cute kids in Italy, now they are all grown up but still as cheeky! This is my favourite photo from the time I spent there, Gaia pretending to be a super model as usual and Andrea, well Andrea is being Andrea - take a look at his hand, little nowt!

So, this is the story of the cheeky little girl now all grown up....
Hello, my name is Gaia, Gaia Monsta. I was born in 1980! And I live in Rome, Italy.
What is your day job? What does that entail?

My daily job is as Creative Coordinator/Art director in an International Television: Turner Broadcasting System. I’m in charged of the design, communication and promotion of 4 Kids channels (Cartoon Network, Boomerang, Boing and Cartoonito).
image: gaiart
When you are not working, what do you get up to?
When I’m not working my favourite activities are:
  •  Travelling around the world! 
  • Playing music 
  • Shopping at flee markets 
  • Building up crazy stuff, painting, doing collages, ceramics, etc. 
  • Referring to point no.4, it is all about giving life to my “Unconventional Creatures”,  together with my partner LoOka.
You are the creator of Unconventional Creatures, can you tell us a bit about them? 

Me and LoOka chose the name “Unconventional Creatures”, because this not only refers to our unusual characters, but also to us two and to our vision of life. 
“Unconventional” because we like things to be out of the ordinary. Our passion for collecting crazy things, makes us say “WOW” even if looking at old objects we might find thrown away in the street… with some paint and imagination they can turn out to be our new “flat mates”! Indeed our apartment/studio is becoming more and more a gallery of unconventional creatures! With our “Creatures” we also do some collaborations: with different Companies, which ask us to invent characters, illustrations for magazines or with fashion brands… and sometimes we take part to art events and expose our work. I’m about to prepare a personal exposition in June 2012, so stay tuned to our website or facebook page  and you will know more about it soon!
You recently had some work exhibited in Paris, can you tell me more about that? 

Talking about expos, one of my characters was recently chosen for a quiet famous event called Pictoplasma, and was shown during an installation at la Gaite Lyrique in Paris, France. The theme of the expo was the YETI, in the picture below you can meet my Yeti. He’s pretty shy, that’s why he is hiding in the snow. Can you see him?

As an artist what inspires you?
Since I work as a Creative everyday, I’m paid to have daily “inspirations”, this has become a must in my everyday life. But as you know inspiration is something you can not control, it just comes whenever it wants to come and often when you less expect it. But let’s say I believe you have to cultivate your creative mind by giving it regular inputs, that’s why I love to travel, to go to art galleries, to markets, to watch movies and cartoons …That’s why I’m absolutely addicted to any visual input, this helps me giving life to my work.And I must say that in my education, at an early age, I was very stimulated by a crazy English girl who made me do crazy games and read funny books… and all this was for sure a big influence for what I have become today! Thank you JO!
I know you enjoy travelling, is there one place you absolutely fell in love with? why?

I loved every place I’ve seen so far. There is no favourite!
What are you plans for the future?

I prefer not to make too many plans, because in life you just never know how things go and you might sometimes just prefer to follow the flow!
As for our project “Unconventional Creatures”, we are producing a limited fashion collection of t-shirts and bags which we will start distributing in stores this spring, and I just hope we will be able to move on and expand our Ideas to many different fields. I’m also preparing a special line just for kids: Little Unconventional Creatures.

As a kid you and your brother always left a trail of dirty washing from your bedroom to the bathroom, have you improved at all or are you just the same?
I was your first and obviously your favourite English teacher, do you have a story from the time I spent with you that you would like to share?

I have too many stories in my head, which remind me those funny days of my childhood, that it is hard just to mention one.
I remember……When I used to horse ride with you with no saddle! When we played Guess Who or memory to “learn English”, when you used to fill my mouth with dirty socks* if I was too messy, when I got really mad and I decided to run away from home, (but that just lasted about one hour)! When I was in love with your brother Tom, who I had only seen in photo, and of course I so remember the night I was leaving for the scout camp and you were leaving Italy to go back home so we sadly had to say goodbye, but this goodbye was luckily just an “arrivederci” because I had the chance to see you over and over again during the years!

anything else you would like to add?

ZOOBERS** for everyone!!! 
*disclaimer - no socks were hurt in the process of tidying the room
** Zoobers are 'raspberries' when you blow a raspberry onto someones cheek

Find Gaia on Facebook, Twitter and her Unconventional Creatures website.

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