Leather art illustrated from New York: Lillian Farag
Lillian, you are creating colourful leather art pieces with fancy designs playing with contrasts such as: pretty and street, delicate and rough, feminine and grunge. How did you come to that style?
I take inspiration from daily life and experiences. Living here in New York City I get exposed to so many unique people and it has always interested me how people choose to express themselves in different ways. I interpret those ideas and styles into happy patterns and colorful artwork. Sometimes, my illustrations come out quite exaggerated. I embrace that style and work some of that into bigger ideas or projects.
Leather and your artworks seem to be a perfect match. What was your initial ignition to work with leather and what kind of leather do you prefer for your bags?
Well, I worked for many years, and still work in the fashion industry as a textile designer. I enjoy translating my artwork onto items you can wear. Executing my designs on fabric has been my main focus for some time.
I have a love for hand painting my patterns and I started to experiment with vegetable tanned leather about a year ago. The feel of leather and how beautifully it wears was really interesting to me. I wanted to explore the idea of hand painted leather art goods further, so I created small collections and have been kept busy ever since!
How do your illustrations come alive on your clutches, wallets and sunglass cases?
In experimenting with the proper materials to use on leather, I discovered the washed the look of a light paint mixed with different textures and pops of bright colors. I tend to add splashes of gold or iridescent paints to my collections as well as leather safe glitter paints. The end result is a unique item that has a mixture of colors and textures that really work beautifully together and can make quite the statement.
You are not only painting on leather, you are also marbling the leather and getting wonderful colour combinations out of it. How does that leather art technique work?
Yes, I recently started to experiment with a marbling technique on leather. I’ve seen it done before but never with bright color combinations and so I really wanted to try it mixed with the gold and iridescent colors I typically use.
The set-up for marbling is quite complex and there are many steps involved. Once you get a rhythm going though it is really fun to play with colors, and the leather takes to the technique well. Our marbled collection has sold well, so we are going to introduce the marbling pattern to some of our other styles in the spring of next year.
What is your favorite colour?
There really is no true answer here. I obsess over certain color combinations and right when I think I’ve nailed my favorite, it changes. If I really had to choose a pattern or color that I seem to always incorporate into my work, I would say very soft tints of pale pink. A close friend of mine also recently pointed out that I own a lot of this color in my wardrobe.
If you were a bag, which one would you like to be and why?
This is a great question! I would immediately say I would be an everyday kind of bag! The kind that you break in, in all the right places. The kind of bag you always find your favorite lipstick in (that you forgot to take out when you switched over to a new bag, haha). The kind of bag that makes you happy because it’s comfortable and you can wear it almost anywhere, even when you’re running around the city and need something that will take you through the day.
What are your plans for the future?
I have a few special collaborations in the works which is always very exciting for me. I would love to expand my line and introduce some new pieces. There are a lot of possibilities out there! I’m just happy to be able to use my creative energy to make some really special pieces that make people happy.
More information about Lillian Farags unique leather art you find on her website.