Fashion Designer & Creative Director Angie Brutus on Juggling Many Side Projects & Staying Grateful

Posted by Magdalena Georgieva

Jun 15, 2015 9:11:22 AM

Angie Brutus is a 22-year-old jewelry maker, fashion designer, creative director and a student at Framingham State University majoring in fashion design and minoring in psychology. She recently got featured in New York Magazine for her jewelry design. Besides being an artist and a student, Angie works two jobs - she is a guest service representative at a Boston theater and serves at a family-owned restaurant in the area. I met up with Angie a few weeks ago in Jamaica Plain to learn how she manages so many projects at such an young age and how she stays positive and inspired.

What drew you to making art projects?

My dad was an engineer, and he taught me how to sew. I think that watching him build things and fix things inspired me to have that sort of fixing mentality. I was at work today and the doorstep kept falling and I told my boss, "I know how to fix it. Give me some pliers." And I just fixed it. I go around and fix things. I think this is where the seed was planted. I don't think my dad knew that just being an example, just me watching him, would inspire me to do all this.

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Topics: art

Children's Book Author Jef Czekaj on Doodling, Giving in to Goofy Stories & Cross-Disciplinary Passions

Posted by Magdalena Georgieva

May 7, 2015 8:30:00 AM

Jef Czekaj is a children's book writer and illustrator who works and lives in Somerville, MA. Among some of his whimsical books you will find A Call for a New Alphabet, Hip and Hop, Don't Stop! and Cat Secrets. In addition to drawing and writing books, Jef is also a musician and presents at schools and libraries. I got a chance to catch up with Jef at cafe Rustica and he told me about how he ended up in this space, where he gets his ideas from, and how you too can pursue something as colorful and goofy as authoring children's books.

How did you get into making children's books?

It's kind of a backwards story. I really liked to draw when I was little. I used to make books all the time with cardboard, fold it, and just draw. By the time I got to high school I was a super shy kid and really self-conscious, so I didn't take art classes. I was also really interested in science. I had a super heavy workload and played violin so I didn't really have room for art classes. I still drew with friends and stuff, but I had stopped doing art.

By the time I got to college I didn't take any art classes. I was pretty shy so I was scared of showing my work and I didn't want to take studio classes that were three hours long, so I ended up majoring in linguistics. When I graduated I couldn't find a job, so I just started drawing again and once again, it was just for me when I was making mini comics and zines. And I started selling them.

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Topics: art

Enter Alex Olivier's World: Floating Jellyfish, Controlling Music with DJ Costumes & Other Fun Projects

Posted by Magdalena Georgieva

Sep 10, 2014 9:23:00 AM

Alex Olivier is a Boston-based electronics tinkerer, installation artist, and an explorer of physical things that can be made to swirl, float, light up, and generally be interactive. Her work has been featured in various shows, exhibits, and international conferences. I had the pleasure of sharing a lemon pie bar with Alex at Union Square's Bloc 11 where she told me about her passion for the playful intersection between art and engineering.

How did you get into this field?

All through high school I really wanted to be a virologist, and work for the CDC (Center for Disease Control), and I used to read all these really dorky books. So when I got to Wellesley I was very set on majoring in biochemistry. My first semester I took chemistry and it was a good class, but there was something missing... I always wanted to have more of a hands-on approach. At some point I got this stipend to do research with a faculty member. We were encouraged to choose a professor to work with and I found this guy named Robbie Berg. He did a lot of very scientific things, like laser cooling of atoms. He also did less scientific things, like build robots that were made out of felt and perform a puppet show. So I was like, "OK, I will talk to this guy and see what he has to say."

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Topics: art

Jon Walley on Filmmaking, the Value of Passing Skills Down & the Traits of Craftsmen

Posted by Magdalena Georgieva

Jun 26, 2014 7:30:00 AM

Jon Walley is a Boston-based independent filmmaker and video producer at Berklee College of Music. He recently launched a documentary series titled "American Hand" that explores the lives and work of local craftsmen. Take a peek into what Jon has learned from them so far and where he draws inspiration from.

How did you get into filmmaking?

When I was a teenager, 9th or 10th grade, I started riding BMX. I really wanted to film what we were doing. So I got a camera - which was crappy at the time; I think my first camera was a Sony Hi-8 Handycam. That was my first exposure to shooting anything, really. I'd take it home, and I'd try to edit it in Windows Moviemaker. I did an okay job for the tools that I had, I suppose.

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Topics: art

Kenan Rubenstein on Imperfection in Art, the Intersection of Objects & Content, and Solving Problems in Self-Publishing

Posted by Magdalena Georgieva

Jun 9, 2014 1:09:00 PM

Kenan Rubenstein is a comics and web design artist and also the creator of Decision Bot and Homebase, among other projects. In fact, Kenan is running at least a thousand different projects at all times, so we got together with him to learn where he draws all his energy and inspiration from!

When did your interest in comics start?

When I was nine, I would sell subscriptions to my mom and dad’s co-workers. I photocopied them and stapled them, and once every month I’d give everyone a comic. Each one was a hodgepodge of different stuff that I consumed at that time - there were comics based on nintendo games and comics based on the Mets because I loved baseball. There were a lot of me and my friends with superpowers - it is really hard to tell what we were doing... I guess at the time I knew, but it looks like we were blasting things with our arms.

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Topics: art

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