Editor Frank Scott (FS) from DesignPRWire has interviewed designer Samira Mazloom (SM) for A’ Design Awards and Competition. You can access the full profile of Samira Mazloom by clicking here.
Interview with Samira Mazloom at Sunday 24th of February 2013
FS: Could you please tell us more about your art and design background? What made you become an artist/designer? Have you always wanted to be a designer?
SM: I am the third generation of Jewellers and Silversmiths in my family. My grandfather was a Master Gold/Silversmith and his sons including my father followed his footsteps. My parents are keen artists specially my mom who loves art in all forms. She loves drawing and painting and she is never satisfied with a purchase, whether its clothes, accessories or just furniture. She always believes that the designer had to think of some other detail that is not there and she starts changing them and making amendments. My father collected precious stones and he had this magic box full of gems and colourful stones. As I grew up he gave them to me on different occasions and that magic box became mine. Growing up in an environment like this, falling in love with Jewellry was inevitable.
FS: What is "design" for you?
SM: when we use our emotions, imagination and skill to creat something new.
FS: What kinds of works do you like designing most?
SM: I like designing Jewellery. This is where I feel most comfortable at. I enjoy working with precious and semi-precious metals. I also like colour and enjoy using precious and semi-precious stones in my work.
FS: What is your most favorite design, could you please tell more about it?
SM: I am extremely proud of all my collections. "Poseidon", "Angels OR Demons" and "Melek Taus". They are all powerful collections and I enjoy people's reactions to the collections and the story behind them. As a designer, I believe it is very important that our creations bond with the viewer and I think they all do this beautifully. Of course "Poseidon", being my first collection, has a special place in my heart.
FS: What was the first thing you designed for a company?
SM: I was commissioned to design a small collection called "Birds of a Feather" when I was a third year student at Middlesex university. The pieces became very popular that I still get orders on them.
FS: What is your favorite material / platform / technology?
SM: I have explored a wide range of material but I have a passion for working with precious and semi-precious metals. I also like colour and enjoy working with precious and semi-precious stones.
FS: When do you feel the most creative?
SM: When I am very happy or very sad or experiencing extreme emotions and feelings, also when I am falling sleep. I sometimes can't distinguish if I came up with an idea when I was still awake or when I was sleeping.
FS: Which aspects of a design do you focus more during designing?
SM: I try to focus on the art side which most of the times gets lost in practicality and science during the design process. As a Jewellery designer, I would like my client to bond with the piece and feel a connection. It is not just about adding a piece of accessory. It is about how it makes you feel when you are wearing it. I believe that the right piece of jewellery can give it's wearer the feeling of strength, power, elegance, confidence and...
FS: What kind of emotions do you feel when you design?
SM: Usually when I start designing, I get very excited and my heart starts racing. Sometimes, I get so hyper that it becomes really difficult to sleep. I usually get so many ideas at the same time, I'm afraid I might forget them.
FS: What kind of emotions do you feel when your designs are realized?
SM: It makes me extremely happy to see people bonding with my work and asking questions about my work or even telling me what they think of the work before knowing the story behind it.
FS: What makes a design successful?
SM: Success is subjective. For example, when a medical device is designed, it has to be practical and user friendly. When a dining table is designed, it has to be comfortable. When I design Jewellery, I think of intrigue. so I guess when a design meets its expectations, it becomes successful. However, expectation are different for different designs.
FS: When judging a design as good or bad, which aspects do you consider first?
SM: I pay special attention to originality. No two people are the same or think the same, so they could not possibly design the same.
FS: From your point of view, what are the responsibilities of a designer for society and environment?
SM: I think our responsibilities are no different from any other human being. If people from all walks of life, in every job and with every religion and belief, feel responsible towards each other and mother earth, the world can easily become a better place. It is a problem when people think that this responsibility falls only on the shoulders of a certain group like politicians.
FS: How do you think the "design field" is evolving? What is the future of design?
SM: It is truly amazing how the design world has evolved from being very conservative to becoming more and more fearless. An increasing number of designers are thinking differently and are not afraid to break the boundaries. I think this is how amazing designs are created.
FS: When was your last exhibition and where was it? And when do you want to hold your next exhibition?
SM: Last year I had a number of exhibitions in Italy, London and in the USA. I would love to have a private exhibition in New York in the next couple of months.
FS: Where does the design inspiration for your works come from? How do you feed your creativity? What are your sources of inspirations?
SM: Nature inspires me. I read a lot and I love poetry and literature. Beautiful poetry touches and inspires me. I am a member in the Opera chorus and I find the Opera truly powerful and inspirational. I also keep up to date by visiting lots of Museums and Exhibitions. Travelling is always great. When I travel to a new country, one of the places I like to visit is old cemeteries. I find cemeteries very intriguing.
FS: How would you describe your design style? What made you explore more this style and what are the main characteristics of your style? What's your approach to design?
SM: When I was working on Poseidon, I started looking at the mourning culture and the mourning jewellery of the Victorian era. This some how led to meeting people from the Punk and Goth culture and reading about them. I also looked at Naturalism and Symbolic art. For some reason, I also started reading The Odyssey and after that The Devine Comedy, which I never finished by the way. When I started my research for the "Angels Or Demons" and the" Melek Taus" collection, I started studying different Ideologies and religions. I am lucky because I have different interests and I get inspired by so many different things. I don’t think I can specifically say what my design style is because it has been affected by every single one of these factors and it interests me to see how the viewer categorizes my work.
FS: Where do you live? Do you feel the cultural heritage of your country affects your designs? What are the pros and cons during designing as a result of living in your country?
SM: I am originally Iranian. When I was a child we moved to America with my parents but decided to go back to Iran after a while. After this I moved to London and lived there for more than seven years before moving to the USA again. I also travel often. My father believes that travelling is the best education and he did his best to provide us with this education. I consider myself a citizen of the world. It is inevitable that our life experiences affects us as human beings and as a result affects our work. I am no exception. I think living in different countries and travelling has changed me as a person and my vision and has helped me as an artist and a designer.
FS: What are your suggestions to companies for working with a designer? How can companies select a good designer?
SM: I don't think there is a "one rule fits all". It really depends on the company. A very good designer for one company could destroy another.
FS: Can you talk a little about your design process?
SM: I usually have a story in my mind first then start thinking of pieces that correspond to my story. Most of the times I start having a finished piece in my mind. I then start making prototypes and samples and at the same time do a lot of research. Compared to other designers, I work backwards but the final piece is very different from the one I first envisioned. It always evolves and changes.
FS: What are 5 of your favorite design items at home?
SM: The only thing I can think of is Clear shoe boxes. I think it is genius.
FS: Could you please share some pearls of wisdom for young designers? What are your suggestions to young, up and coming designers?
SM: Be yourself, you are unique. It is better to be an original you, than someone else's copy. There is only one person who thinks like you and that person is you. Take advantage of your uniqueness.
FS: From your perspective, what would you say are some positives and negatives of being a designer?
SM: I have loved and enjoyed being a designer since the beginning. I Just cannot think of anything negative. Sorry.
FS: What is your "golden rule" in design?
SM: Dont be afraid. Think outside the box.
FS: What skills are most important for a designer?
SM: A different Vision. I think as a designer you see the world differently and you question almost everything.
FS: Which tools do you use during design? What is inside your toolbox? Such as software, application, hardware, books, sources of inspiration etc.?
SM: I love my pendant drill.
FS: Designing can sometimes be a really time consuming task, how do you manage your time?
SM: For me, design is a 24/7 process. Its not like I walk out of my office and the day is over. No. From the time I wake up in the morning until I go to sleep and even when I am sleep I am still actively thinking and designing.
FS: How long does it take to design an object from beginning to end?
SM: It really depends on the object. I have seen designs being done in just a few minutes or as long as years.
FS: What is the most frequently asked question to you, as a designer?
SM: What made you choose this field?
FS: What are your future plans? What is next for you?
SM: For the next few months, I will be working on both the "Angels Or Demons" collection and the Melek Taus collection. The designing stage of these collections is almost over but the production has faced some challenges which has caused a delay in the marketing.
FS: Do you work as a team, or do you develop your designs yourself?
SM: I have worked as part of a team but I prefer to design for myself while collaborating with other artists and designers.
FS: Do you have any works-in-progress being designed that you would like to talk about?
SM: Both the "Angel Or Demon" collection and the "Melek Taus" are ongoing projects. because of the highly detailed nature of these pieces, the production took much longer than expected. I will be working on other pieces from these collections.
FS: How can people contact you?
SM: My website is "www.samirajewellery.com". There is a link in my website that can be used to send me messages and to contact me.
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