Fine Little Day Art Award
JOHANNA GRIGAROVÁ A.K.A. @USHYTE
The Fine Little Day Art Award is an independent award for contemporary art, open to all kinds of visual, creative artists. Genre, background and career experience is irrelevant, only the work is taken into consideration. The award is granted without application. Every year the Fine Little Day jury will pick and award 2500 EUR to an artist from around the world. The award’s aim is to highlight and encourage the chosen artist.
Since Fine Little Day’s establishment in 2007, its platform has passionately spread the word about artists and their work across the globe to showcase their work through social media, products, publications and exhibitions.
The jury: Elisabeth Dunker, co-founder and creative director.
Ulrika E. Engberg, co-founder and CEO.
Johanna Grigarová is a free spirit with her own distinctive and authentic aesthetics. Johanna is a fashion textile designer, with a Bachelor degree from Textile design (2017) and a Master from Fashion design (2019) at the Academy of Fine Arts and Design in Bratislava, Slovakia. Besides that she also has a a bachelor degree in social work.
Grigarová’s work embellishes and enhances textiles in a very immediate, sensual fashion. The skillfully made creations and visually surrounding contexts are often wildly and involves elements of narratives, with almost mystical qualities.
We praise Grigarová’s work and have appointed her to be the first one to receive the Fine Little Day Art Award. Keep going Johanna, you’re a shining, beautiful star!
Tell us a bit about yourself, where did you grow up, and when did you realize you where a creative person?
I am from Bratislava, the capital of Slovakia. I grew up in 90s and this fact affected many things. Before I was born, communism ruled the country, and people owned the same things, the same furniture, bought clothes or food of a limited choice. People were waiting to own the cars, prams were inherited. From my grandmother’s stories, I remember that she got to other new pieces and also to fabrics from abroad and cared a lot about what she owned. So in the decade I was born in, a new world changed with the old one. I sometimes see the thinking of “scarcity” in the older generation. My mother sewed our clothes at night so that we had original pieces. I took creativity and hard work from my grandfather, who got up with hens and worked with wood as a carpenter from the morning. In his garden, he cared for animals, raised bees and produced homemade honey. I remember the sound of a circular saw and the smell of wood until now. Many small pieces that connected, and I began to realize in high school that I was trying to do things differently. First, however, I tried to study social work, because I have a deep social feeling in me. But I still felt that it was not 100% me and I searched and searched until I finally got to the Academy of Fine Arts in the studio of textile design. And after a few months at school, I found out that I finally felt “at home”. Textiles have become my medium of personal expression. Over time, I felt grateful that I had to work towards this and did not have my profession automatically.
Who or what inspires you right now? Are there any anything particular that speaks to you at the moment?
To be honest, my inspiration is “imperfection”. Social networks, media and many times we ourselves show people only perfection, btw. a perfect picture of yourself and the world. Therefore, what makes me alive and inspires me when I see the so-called “behind the scene”. Recently, it is mainly women. Women who are mothers and show life as it is. Women who are looking for something to do in life and do not give up. Women artists who balance between their work, which they love, and their personal life, or family. A prototype of my description and life as it is for me e.g. Julie D. O’Rouke, who has her brand Rudy Jude. In addition to “imperfect people”, I am inspired by perfectly imperfect nature. It is through nature that I perceive that it is naturally organic and at the same time totally organized. Nature knows exactly when to bloom and when to go to sleep. There are so many patterns and colors in it that I would not be able to include them in my life.
How do you prefer to work?
I need security for my job. A place where I feel at home. That is the basis for me. Surrounded by beautiful things, wood, paintings and fabrics. My studio is currently such a place. I loved our workshop at school. Not because of the equipment, but because we were all at one huge table. Each of us worked on our semestral work and in addition to work we could have any talks. I now fully manage them with illustrator Mária Nerádová, with whom we consult each other’s work. However, my workflow is always different. When I create a new pattern, I always start with paper, watercolors and a brush. I love it when it has a “non-computer” touch. When I work on a clothing, I create it either by consultation with another person (it’s important to me to understand what he’s doing to make a piece which represents his/her life) or I create it so that I personally like it and it is based on, what I actually want to wear. My job is like a jigsaw puzzle. There is a time I am at my studio and at the machine. When I wash the fabric, I cut the patterns and sew. There is a time when I’m sitting at a computer writing to people for their messages, when I’m buying material and visiting haberdashery. When I try on clothes, when I teach someone to sew. In the tangle of these activities, however, I cut time to sew clothes that I “like to create”. That’s when I revive the feeling that my job is my hobby and vice versa. Last couple of months I have spent time preparing costumes for one theater. It’s a completely different way of working and creating and it disrupts the system I have. And I need such interruptions sometimes.
What drives you to create?
Music is the perfect energy for me. My mind and creativity work audiovisual. A strong beat and music in me will start the process of the head. I always imagine a video in which I put my clothes in a different reality, I create a story in my head and I work with it. Sometimes I feel that when we buy something, we don’t just want a specific fabric or clothes, but we want to experience the feeling or way of life that is presented to us by those clothes. And I always visualize that way of life. When I need to process an emotion, or someone writes me a positive e-mail or addresses me with an interesting project, I automatically need to process it with dance and “greasy” music. Most often by some hip-hop. I also perceive stimuli for creation in ordinary things. When I see someone sew something or create. When I see an interesting minimal cut, when I see a fabric, that interests me. I also want to create after conversations with my friends who are working on other things and through them I know that I can think big. And especially the realization that I would not be able to live fully without creation.
If you had a couple of years with unlimited resources, time and money — what would you do with it?
This is an excellent question. The world I grew up in was set up to “live in limits” as I mentioned. Many times my creativity manifested itself precisely because I had to make something out of nothing. And sometimes it’s important to me. Be limited. If I had a few years of unlimited time and money, I would certainly use them “outside of myself”. I would build a community around my brand. People who would like to learn to sew, create their fabrics, experiment, could experience all this under one roof. I’ve been given a lot in my life, so I see money and time only as a means to move things better. I imagine my own factory for the production of woven, knitted fabrics, etc. I would employ people who would have good working conditions and would like to go to it every morning. The whole space would be a “textile house”. Somewhere in the middle of the forest, among the trees, by the river, I would have this factory built. Everyone could come there to recharge after a week of sedentary work or hard time. In the morning, people would work, create, think by large glass windows overlooking the nature, and in the evening this place would be filled with good music and quality wine. The best part is that it’s not impossible :).
Ushyté is a way for me to join minimal shape, wearability and print all into one design. A design that is light, universal and with a touch of femininity, combined with details that give the clothing distinctive characteristic. It is everything that I love to wear and everything that makes me feel unique. Ushyté is my world and you are a part of it as well.
– Johanna Grigarová
Pattern Bird, Bouquet, Mushroom: Adam Lukáč
Olive dungarees, Uups long dress, Rose overall, Striped shaped dress : Zuzana Jakabová
Pattern Water Lilies Pink: Elisabeth Dunker
Pattern Rutig Brown: Johanna Grigarová
Videography: Filip Morjak
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