Adriana Torres’ Miga de Pan is (literally) her dream come true.
You just have to smile when you see one of Adriana Torres’ delicately embroidered lions or crocheted armadillos. They’re fun, they’re quirky, and they’re absolutely gorgeous. The Buenos Aires-based artist worked for years as a graphic designer and then as an art director before channeling her creativity into her own whimsical, wildly imaginative brand. Called Miga de Pan—meaning breadcrumb— Torres says it’s inspired as much by her love of animals, plants, and children as it is by the images that come to her in dreams. Putting a modern spin on an old craft, her creations are often marked by rich textures and unexpected pops of color. She’s recently expanded Miga de Pan to include a delightful collection of housewares, including rugs and poufs, that are made by hand in limited batches by Torres herself and local artisans who she welcomes into her home each morning. And when she’s not creating her own art, she’s teaching others to be artists in their own right at workshops around the world.
Sweet Paul’s Aimee Swartz talked with Adriana about learning to embroider, some of her favorite creations, and the joy of teaching.
SP: You work in many mediums. Is there one that is particularly special to you?
AT:Absolutely embroidery! Textiles are my weakness. I think I will embroider for the rest of my life. When I travel, I go to shops to buy threads—new and old. I have a huge collection.
SP: How and when did you learn how to embroider?
AT:I started embroidering seven years ago. I thought I was going to attend embroidery classes only for a month, but I went for almost three years!
SP: Do you remember any of your first pieces?
AT:Yes—I made some of my first pieces while I was pregnant with my daughter, Felicitas. She was my inspiration, so I didn’t want to sell them. Now they are in Felicitas’ room.
AS: Are there any recent pieces you’ve made that are particularly special to you?
AT: I embroidered a piece last year called A Buddha Lion and Dancing Lions with Lion Masks that I think is my best embroidery to date. It was inspired by a vision I had after reading a Rudolf Steiner book.
SP: Where does your inspiration come from?
AT:I often find inspiration when I’m alone in my studio, setting up what has become a creative ritual—choosing the right music, having some tea, and burning good-smelling stuff. Then I take notes and make sketches. When I am in the process of creating, I usually have dreams, or what I sometimes call visions, just after I go to sleep or right before I wake up. I keep a Moleskin on my night table so I don’t miss any of them!
SP: How do you feel when you’re working?
AT: It depends if I am doing the part I don’t like, such as making invoices, sending payment requests, or delivering orders. But on the days when I start a new project, I feel completely happy and grateful—so much so that I sometimes sing and dance to express how I’m feeling.
SP: You are a teacher as well as a designer. Tell me what you like best about both.
AT:I love to be a designer because above all I can express my feelings and ideas through my creations. Being a teacher is similar in that I am creating—I can express myself. But what I like more about being a teacher is happiness of the students.
SP: What’s the best piece of advice given to you that you’d share with others?
AT:Follow your instincts. When you feel in your stomach that something is OK, then you’re right.
SP: If you could create anything, what would it be?
AT:My dream is to illustrate a book for kids through embroidery.
SP: What’s the best part of what you do?
AT: Design allows my dreams and ideas to come true. And teaching all over the world is the most awesome way of meeting interesting and creative people and making new friends.
Adriana Torres will be part of the Sweet Paul Makerie in Philadelphia on April 11+12, 2015. Visit thethemakerie.com for more info.
Adriana Torres was part of the Sweet Paul Makerie in Philadelphia on April 11+12, 2015. Visit thethemakerie.com for more info.
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