Angus - What inspired you to enter the Mactac Bright Young things Competition on artsthread.com ?
Linea - I read about the competition on Arts Thread and instinctively felt it was one for me. The mactac material seemed very interesting to work with as well as the competition being connected to the creative area of Hackney in London. Also for me ArtsThread is a great way to try briefs - to be able to reach a new audience - and to get connected with brands, organizations and events.
Angus - How were you made aware of the competition ?
Linea - The first time I got to know about Arts Thread was though my teachers emailing about another competition, but at that time I was very busy working with my graduation project in Stockholm, Sweden, and didn’t have the time to apply. Later on, I was recommended to apply for the Bright Young things Take Hackney Competition, and I am very glad that I did!
Angus - Can you explain the background to your original design, which was entered for phase one of the competition?
Linea - My original design, Merge, was created through drawing with markers on a 150x350cm large white paper. I then photographed the drawing and digitalised it into a print. Merge is one out of six prints in a collection of called Human. All prints are inspired by humans, feelings, interactions and events. Each print has its own story.
Merge. If we hang out long enough, in all different moods, showing the inner you, will we gradually blend into a new form together to become indistinguishable from each other?
Angus - How did you find the experience at the Box in Hackney for the phase two briefing? (meeting the other designers, exploring the Mactac product etc)
Linea - I found it very rewarding, emotional, and inspiring. Each finalist had such a strong visual voice and story. I felt that the judges had really found people that were unique. It was interesting to hear more about Hackney Walk, the community, Arts Thread, Mactac Europe, Avery Dennison and to try out Mactac Europe materials. The material was really amazing to work with: Really bright and really flexible!
Angus - Can you describe the emotion of seeing your final winning design revealed on the wall?
Linea - I felt very excited about the colour quality and how the material wrapped the bricks – Amazed! I feel proud being part of this competition that created the possibility for me to contribute to the Hackney community with a personal mural. I love street art and massive illustrations that take over space and draw your attention – amazing to see my print so large!
Angus - What is next for Linea Matei?
Linea - I love that I am able to work in many areas in the field of art and design. I have my own textile brand, selling my paintings, working on new prints, have had the priviledge to create art for a new school building for the Stureby school in Stockholm, Sweden, that will be installed 2019, but I am currently working with my art project We meet:
We meet - when we meet, we are confronted with our ideas and with our prejudices, something that is important for the development of people and society. The project is a textile art, sculpture, sound and video installation that in a positive way, with warmth and love, highlights the enrichment of meeting and sharing cultures and life experiences. The project was made possible with a grant that I received from Swedish Konstnärsnämnden / the Swedish Arts Grants Committee.
Angus - What advice would you give other graduates who maybe have the opportunity to enter similar competitions?
Linea - I would recommend them to take it seriously and give it all for your own learning. Feel for what you are doing, because then the result will be a part of you and unique. Allow yourself to mourn if you do not win. It’s okay. Be sad, like really sad if needed, for a while, that’s a part of the journey. You are still super talented. See competitions as education and a fun way to try new briefs that you learn a lot from regardless if you win or not. Celebrate if you win, celebrate if you lose.
Angus - What advice would you give other graduates who are looking to launch their own brands?
Linea - First and foremost: take help to strengthen your own brand, and help others. Maybe starting your own brand is not for you, then start a brand together with others so you can lean on each other, strengthen each other, have more eyes and different thoughts and to have a bigger field of contacts.Plan the process of launching your brand, ask, email, call people who have launched their brands and learn from them. Also, maybe you can find support from other brands, companies etc. For example, a classmate of mine had an event shop idea. She emailed and called a lot of store facility companies in central Stockholm, asked if they had any store that was switching boutiques, and that she could use in between. Eventually, she found one in central Stockholm that she could lend for a week, and it was a success.