Coveted Reader: Samantha Zaza

by jennine on December 11, 2008

One of the best parts of blogging, and probably one of the reasons why I keep going is because of the readers, the people who leave comments and really  share their experiences and anecdotes really add to the experience of blogging. I”m always amazed how great all the people who read this blog are, yet some of them don’t have their own blogs so I can’t stalk them… like Samantha Zaza, a lover of vintage and wonderful illustrator, trapeze artist. I was so delighted to browse through her work, series called ‘Angry Women in Party Dresses’ and ‘Les Petits Désirs’ a bunch of Marie Antoinettes talking on their cell phones. Ms. Zaza has had a long love affair with fashion and art, and has lived all over the world in Istanbul, Waterloo,  Cairo, and for the moment San Francisco…

Your drawings have a very distinct fashion theme about them… can you tell us more about how fashion inspires your art? and how art inspires your fashion?

The movement of clothing is mesmerizing, I love to sketch people in public and find myself often watching the way a dress flutters in the wind or how a sleeve hangs off of a shoulder…

I see fashion as an art form that’s both sculptural and architectural, and an amazing way to express one’s self. I find it inspiring how people can turn an object meant for warmth and protection into an extension of themselves. I love how an article of clothing can stand alone as a beautiful piece of art, and how it comes alive when worn. The movement of clothing is mesmerizing, I love to sketch people in public and find myself often watching the way a dress flutters in the wind or how a sleeve hangs off of a shoulder. I love to imagine who my subjects are— you can tell a lot about a person by what they chose to put on before they walked out the door. Capturing a sense of character in my drawings (whether they are street sketches or pigeons with Napoleonic complexes) is something I aim for, and fashion is a great part of that.

My personal approach to fashion is driven by many of the same things that drive me to draw: an attraction to colour, texture and shape. I gravitate toward unusual pieces and have a particular fondness for vintage dresses with unique patterns. I have a great respect for items with fine stitching and details, and one day hope to own a hand-beaded ’20s dress. When I get dressed up, I often have a “story” in mind, something imagined that I want to project, just like I do with my drawings. Having fun with it all is most important.

One of the things you’ve been involved with is the international moleskinne exchange… what is that?

I love being exposed to different styles and ideas, and the exchanges have kept me on my toes by pushing my skills and imagination. It gets quite personal, and friendships form. One of my books came back to me this summer after completing a rotation around the world, and it was very moving. I just stared and stared at it.

The International Moleskine Exchange, or Moly-X, is a brilliant and fun project created by fellow artist Marty Harris, to connect artists around the world through art. The whole project is run by Moly-X members (with Marty at the helm) through Flickr— at this point we have 58 exchanges going. Artists interested in participating join the group by visiting the Moly-X Flickr group page, and either join an existing exchange or ask other artists to form a new one. Once an exchange has formed, the group gets a blog and each artist goes out and buys their own Moleskine sketchbook. Moleskine is a lovely brand of sketchbooks and journals that has one book in particular that lends itself well to artistic collaboration— the Japanese folding Moleskine. It is essentially a nine foot long piece of paper folded according-style into 60 pages.

After each artist has a book, they have a month to draw, paint or collage a piece of art on the first three or so pages. Then a rotation plan is set up, and the artists swap sketchbooks in the rotation order. The next artist has one month to draw in the book that was sent to them, then they send it off to the next artist and so on. Once the books are filled, they are sent back the original owners, and the result is a stunning nine feet of ink, paint, pencil and collage. It’s a fun way to connect with artists near and far, and to create some magnificent work. I’m in seven exchanges right now with artists in 13 different countries. I love being exposed to different styles and ideas, and the exchanges have kept me on my toes by pushing my skills and imagination. It gets quite personal, and friendships form. One of my books came back to me this summer after completing a rotation around the world, and it was very moving. I just stared and stared at it.

You can find the Moly-X Flickr group pool at: http://www.flickr.com/groups/moly_x/


Can you tell us a bit about your upcoming plans?
I am wrapping up my life in San Francisco at the moment, to embark on a new adventure living in Istanbul. I plan on focusing on my artwork, traveling and starting a blog— which I have never done before, so I am hoping it will be interesting and entertaining! One goal of mine is to find a place in Istanbul to continue training on the static trapeze, which I started back in June in SF. Long-term planning has never been a forté of mine, but it’s been one of my dreams to one day take a train from Beijing to Moscow. And ducks when I’m an old lady! Wouldn’t it be grand to have ducks?

You can find out more about Samantha here:

szaza.com szaza on flickr Interview on Lulu’s Vintage

{ 5 comments… read them below or add one }

Miss Glitzy December 11, 2008 at 10:07 am

As a reader I thank you for keeping on blogging and sharing. This interview is really interesting and the Moleskine Exchange pretty brilliant. And I love her drawings.

Reply

Ashe Mischief December 11, 2008 at 1:32 pm

Her artwork is so stunning- I absolutely love the first piece!

Reply

Aidan December 12, 2008 at 12:23 pm

Gorgeous painting of the girl and lion in red poppies. Should totally be a book cover. Does Ms. Zaza intend to sell prints? People would buy!

Reply

Ana Himes December 16, 2008 at 6:15 am

Love n admire her work. It´s so delicate n wonderful…
Really personal style!

Reply

jennine December 16, 2008 at 9:24 am

oh i’m so glad you all like her work, she’s just an amazing woman! aidan, i’m sure you can buy her work if you contact her…

Reply

Leave a Comment

CommentLuv Enabled

Previous post:

Next post: