Looking to have accessories that tell a story? Well, the friendly and talented Nessa, an Iranian born Canadian accessories designer re-creates fantastic tales and symbolic images that ensure originality. Creating stories to illustrate “My Wonderland”, “What if” and “My fantasies” are at the core of her artistry. She tastefully adorns the thematically focused accessories, capturing the bygone eras by hand painting and print collage. Nessa’s unpretentious wanderings to the art world and the realm of imagination characterizes her timeless accessories.
Tell me about your beginnings, what set you on this path: Well, this all started at the time I was living in Dubai. I had spent quite some time concentrating on paintings with a focus on very feminine themes. Dubai was a haven for anything luxury, but I thought most of the fashion being offered lacked a touch of individuality. That is when I started experimenting with painting designs, more spcifically traditional/nostalgic Persian designs, on women’s shoes and accessories. I received great feedback from family, friends, and a small group of followers I had and the rest is history.
What does Nessa means: It means women/ feminine in Arabic but to my surprise the word also has origins with different meanings in Hebrew, Irish and Greek.
Walk me through the process of your creations: it all starts with anything that inspires me. It could be a poem, a nostalgic image, a character or a story. Then I start playing with ideas on how to incorporate the vision into a design and what to put the design on. Would it work better on bags, shoes or something else, what material would best suit the design, what kind of colors should I use, and things like that. Sometimes it can happen as quickly as the first try, sometimes it would take many many failed attempts after which I might change the idea altogether. I have a whole collection of items I have started work on, but had to abandon the idea one way or another.
Why “by Nessa”: well, since I love arts in any shape or form, and because I love working on different things, I didn’t want a name that would pigeon hole the scope of my work, so I guess “By Nessa” allows me to do anything, or even change direction completely without having to change the name.
What does individuality mean to you: I guess is to see things a little different than most. I mean almost everyone has their individual interpretation on nuances of daily life, events, fashion and etc, but some people are capable of seeing certain things in a different light. I strive for that.
How do you choose words / quotes for your calligraphy designs: sometimes its just the matter of using certain words that simply look great on a design, but most of my inspiration comes from Rumi’s and Khayam’s poems.
When you are commissioned, what is your advice for an anniversary gift: anything that represents a memory or personality of the receiver. If one sees the gift and immediately relates it to that individual, then it’s the right gift, and it could be anything.
And your advice to a woman buying her partner a birthday gift: The same applies.
What inspires you: being an artist, I have the privilege to let my mood determine a source of inspiration. Therefore, it really could be anything.
Do you have a muse or fashion icon: I like anything old and classic in fashion from 1920’s to the 1950’s.
Who is your favourite designer: Chanel
What is your style, Gucci or Roots: Gucci of course, if I can afford it.
What is your favourite accessory: I like any big, crazy and out of ordinary, specially rings most.
What is power: The freedom to choose, and to control the outcome.
Are you a Coachella person or attending a Symphony Orchestra performance at Royal Thomspon Hall: Symphony Orchestra at Royal Thomson Hall.
How do you overcome fear and doubt: just believe, if in nothing else but at least in yourself. I read somewhere, courage is not being fearless, it is being scared but doing what you have to do regardless.
As an immigrant, a woman and a designer, what are the challenges in your vocation that government/ community should be aware and subdue: I wish there were more venues specially in rural areas that offer a space for artists to work and display their art. Toronto is great at that, however the small towns as part of Greater Toronto, (I live in Newmarket) lack these types of facilities.
What is your idea of social responsibility: that is a tough one. Not sure, I guess to remain true to the message the artwork is trying to represent and refrain from misinterpretations and assumptions.
Favourite book, and why: I generally stay away from fiction. I like philosophy and psychology subjects, things I can actually apply in real life.
Among celebrities, politicians, overall public figures who would you like to create an accessory for: l have created quite a few pieces for some celebrities and public figures still I like to design for “Farah Diba” and “Golshifteh” as well.
Your life Motto: You can reach anything if you want it bad enough.