Here I copy the interview.Thanks so much Jason for this opportunity.
Nora Gonzalez - Customized Clothing
September 4, 2008
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Have you ever worked in the clothing design industry before setting out on your own?
Yes, I did work for a fashion designer from Dominican Republic. She had a brand new Fashion company in Boca Raton, Florida and I was in charge of sketching and designing her whole fall collection for the Montreal Runway, Canada in 2001.
What gave you the idea to make clothing like you do?While working for the above mentioned brand, I was hired to design a commemorative items for the events of September 11th. We discussed the possibility of translating those images to jeans, that is when I started hand painting on denim. After this event I fell in love with denim and the hand painting technique, and right away focused on clothing in this new area of expertise. How long have you been doing this art?
I have been a designer/painter/graphic designer since 1990 but I gave impulse to hand painting after 2001 Has it been a rewarding journey thus far? If so what’s one of your fondest memories on the journey?
It has been a very rewarding experience in terms of creation and new techniques; and also it was very exciting having the chance to meet artists and designers from all over the world. My fondest memory and more recent, has been a trip that I made with my pregnant sister to a show hosted in Tampa. We drove for four hours at night, crossing Florida from east to west, sharing all kinds of experiences, and enjoying the landscape, fauna, birds and wildlife so attractive and typical of our state. I had one of the best weekends ever full of fun, sun and new people, with a touch of support given by my sister that made it a perfect weekend. What kind of clothes do you do the art on? Is it just for women?In the beginning I worked only on women’s clothes, mostly youth and teen styles; jeans and jackets are my first chosen products. After a while I incorporated graphic tees for woman and men. I then turned to baby clothing, printed and painted onesies, toddlers shirts; today I’m featuring my new line of bigger and plus sizes. I also work on accesories such as purses, wrist-lets and canvas tote bags, I also paint denim earrings with paisley adornments. I have a small art gallery using the same technique on fabric for canvas. What is your take on art today, how has it impacted your life.Art is in my daily routine. Sometimes we categorize art as an expression of the artist translated on paper, canvas or clothes, but I believe art is in all we do and there are times when managing certain situations requires a lot of art. How do you keep up with the trends to keep your art fresh and stylish for those who love your work.I spend hours getting feedback and information of todays fashion trends from online websites, magazines, shows and conventions. I keep my eyes open on other designers who inspire me and I learn everyday a little bit more. Knowing where you are now, and how you got here, would you change anything or do anything different?I have more than I expected, I learned more than I expected, and I suffered more too; but I say it with a lot of enthusiasm and thankful for all that I received and done. I wish I had chosen to study fashion design first, before graphic design, because it took me longer to do what I love doing now. Honestly though, I really didn’t know what I wanted to do for sometime after graduating. What is the most satisfying thing for you when you finish a piece of clothing?When I look at my creations after finishing my pieces I feel proud; mostly I love what I see, and I dream of the person wearing it. Another feeling that blows my mind is knowing that the new owner of my piece could be in any other part of the globe. I felt that with the first t-shirt I sold to a customer in Greece and still gives me the chills! Another interesting story, when I designed a peacock dress for a girl who intended to wear it at her Bridal Shower. She bought a skirt too with the same motif because she loved the design; to me this was a wonderful feeling, knowing that my dress was going to be in that very important day of her life. What has been your biggest challenge to date?My biggest challenge has two sides: Budgeting and re-investing money in one side and the distribution of time in the other side. Advertising and marketing, how important are they to your line of work?Very important topic. Since January 2008 I spent many hours and resources getting my name out there and I mean through cyber-space. I advertise in at least 10 websites, forums, fashion pages, shows and events. What’s your view on the appreciation people have with art today, as opposed to when you were younger?
When I was younger I lived in South America, more specifically Argentina, where people love art. Besides the timing, location also makes a big difference. Globally speaking, art after the 70s legacy was very strong in our minds and cultures and now I see it more relaxed, like a light culture of art. On the good side, art now is everywhere, thanks to the Internet; but also due to new disciplines, like art painted or printed on clothing. One of my favorite designers, Roberto Cavalli, makes a piece of art in every outfit. That wasn’t seen in my youngest years, not that I can remember. Your clothing can be done 1 time, for 1 person, that’s it…. who would you choose to have it…. can be anyone?This is a good question. In our culture today we have many stereo-types, like you have to be a supermodel to wear this or that. Happily that doesn’t happen with my clothes, you can have any type of body or any measurement as long as you want to wear my pieces. Another good reason is that I work on custom orders too so you will have what you want, no impositions, just the way you like it. Who inspires you do to what you do?God is my inspiration. He is the first and best designer ever.
If you would like to see Nora’s work, please see any of the links listed below, and feel free to contact her with any idea you would like for a custom piece of clothing.
You can check more pictures of my collection atwww.norakaren.etsy.comwww.nora-handpainted.blogspot.comhttp://www.flickr.com/photos/24119923@N04/
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