Interview with Art Jewelry Designer & Artist Leah Smithson
Posted on 11/14/2016
Updated on 12/2/2017
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Hi Leah! Can you introduce yourself?
I am an artist and designer for Talon and the Suneaters. I use movement, color, and texture in my art to touch people’s emotions, transporting them to another place in time or a different dimension of perspective.
What motivated you go into the Arts field?
Because people have a necessity for more than just their basic needs of food, water, and shelter. The arts are emotion, our soul. It fills a need that’s hard to put into words. Hopefully helping us to become a better version of ourselves. Letting us make our own little place on this earth special and unique to us. For example, when we think of Paris, most of us naturally think of the Eiffel Tower, which was created by an architect/artist. Well- developed civilizations are associated, even identified, by some form of art, including architecture. Art is intrinsically connected to the maturity of a culture with its community. So why not our own homes and environments?
Tell me about Talon and the Suneaters. That’s your new jewelry line, right?
Yes it is. I design for classic, creative, but extraordinary people. Each piece begins as a painting or work of art before it take shape as tiny little porcelain sculptures that you can wear as jewelry every day.
What made you begin the jewelry line?
Those that collect my art are like treasure hunters who are full of life and adventure. I wanted to blur the lines of reality for them by taking elements of my artwork and bringing it into real life. I think they appreciate that because they know how to recognize and obtain things that matter. My collectors are not average people. They are outstanding and their style is impeccable; uniquely theirs.
How does that relate to your art?
Toying color and surrealistic images can change the feeling of a space, and I wanted to see how it could also change a person’s image. Could it change the way they see themselves or their experiences in day to day life?
And what have you found in your experiment?
It reminds me of a girl who was told that she was not particularly attractive. But she had something better than being beautiful. Something not everyone could obtain. It was style. It was remarkable watching how something as minor as the way you put on garments could completely change a person’s life. She even had her own exhibit at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York based on how she arranged her clothing.
So you’re speaking of Iris Apfel. How does that relate to how you create your jewelry?
Since were talking about Iris, one of my favorite quotes from her is “When you don’t dress like everyone else, you don’t have to think like everyone else.” I would add to that, when you don’t dress like everyone else, people don’t expect you to think like everyone else. That can be especially beneficial, because people that collect my jewelry want to interact with the world unconventionally – in a way that is exciting and full of unexpected opportunity. When you stand out in a positive way, interesting people are naturally drawn to you. And that’s why it is so important for me to make sure the jewelry is an extension of the art. I work hard to make sure each piece is like a gem, in that no two pieces are the same. It’s seen in the the way I drip gold along the petals in contrast to the frosted bisque porcelain. The abstract painting enhances the form of the sculpture, along with the way in which porcelain carries light through each ceramic object. When you wear these sculpted pieces, they have to be as unique as you are.
This is important because the way we dress communicates a message to others. When we successfully curate our own style, we fight the noise, subtly revealing we are distinct, rare, interesting.
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