Interview with Carla Martin- Founder & Designer of Jeanne Chavany

From the humble beginnings of our ancestors writing symbols with a stylus, the flight feathers of geese to fountain pens, and nowadays, digital pen, this instrument “has been mightier than the sword.”An understated elegance that has been used by royalties to change the course of history. By enlightenment figures who shed light on reason and science, by freedom fighters shaping ideas, scientists that changed everything through their theories, by musicians that touch the soul the deepest, or by a hero soldier that seeks hope and solace by penning “remember that I love you.” A symbol of education, dreams, status, power, hope, affinity, unity, consolation, and purpose, a pen channels ideas and feelings to make a difference. Knowing that your words have an impact, protecting and managing your thoughts should not be taken lightly. As it happens to the best of us, our emotional wellbeing can provocatively be ruffled, and we lose perspective. To shield our reactions, we need a reminder, a protective gear that makes us examine the voice and the thoughts in our head before taking any action. For some can be a mantra or taking a walk, but how about a pen holder. Every time you are about to sign an agreement, write a letter of request, a to-do list, or create a vision, a pen holder serving as an amulet will remind your intentions, purpose, and how it all fits in with the common good.

New Beginnings - Jeanne Chavany
New Beginnings – Jeanne.Chavany

Speaking of which, an exquisite pen holder, named “New Beginnings” created by Carla Martin, designer and founder of JEANNE.CHAVANY can definitely compliment your style and be effective like a charm. JEANNE.CHAVANY, a French brand of luxury handbags and accessories, specifically designed and produced the leather pen holder in support of Professors Without Borders”, a non-profit organization founded by HRH Princess Tessy de Luxembourg that aims to provide free and accessible education to all students, especially women. JEANNE.CHAVANY champions the philanthropic mission by donating 10% of each purchase of “New Beginnings” to Professors Without Borders.

I had the opportunity to interview Carla Martin, to learn about her creations and how she handles challenges. I invite you to read and explore her leather accessories.

Jeanne.Chavany

Jupilings: Please tell us your story a.k.a. JEANNE.CHAVANY – 

Carla MARTINI’ve built my background in the fashion industry working as a purchasing manager for several famous houses. My entire journey has started out of necessity. A few years ago, I needed a new handbag. I was looking for something distinctive, something that would make me stand out, and fit my personality. My husband suggested, as a joke, that if I couldn’t find the right handbag, I should create one. I was hooked on this idea, as I have always been in love with leather. From that moment, I got more interested in leather and started to visit tanneries to learn and understand this noble material while surrounding myself with amazingly skilled artisans to make my ideas and designs come true. Thus Jeanne Chavany was born.

Jeanne Chavany

Jupilings: How do you describe yourself- 

Carla MARTIN: Drawing a self-portrait description might sound “pretentious”, therefore it would be preferable to mention that I have earned a reputation of being ambitious, passionate, generous, and competitive.

Jeanne.Chavany

Jupilings: How do you describe your brand- 

Carla MARTINJEANNE.CHAVANY is a cocktail of passion, integrity, boldness, ethics, innovation, and sustainability. A family-owned business, all products are handmade in our workshop in France. Each piece is made to order, unique in its own way. Customers need to pre-order and join the waiting list, it takes time to create the magic with a wait of 10, up to 18, weeks for a handbag to be made. This is one of our answers to reducing waste, whilst having transparency during production by sharing with customers the steps in the handcrafting process. Mass production does not fit our philosophy.

Here at JEANNE.CHAVANY we believe that creating by hand is more meaningful.

If something is beautiful and fair and made without harming people, that object has a spiritual dimension of dignity and appreciation of the work.

We are a Human Brand built on respect for each other. Our customers, partners, and artisans are our biggest assets.

Jupilings: Please tell us about the philanthropic aspect of JEANNE.CHAVANY –

Carla MARTIN: We all have a sense of social concern to support charities. It is the ethical importance of our social responsibility.

Philanthropy is not only the ‘right thing to do’ but also strengthens company culture. Helping others and giving back to communities is hugely empowering and rewarding.

From the creation of the brand, I injected all my personal values, principals and ethics. As JEANNE CHAVANY caters to contemporary businesswomen, it was obvious for us to support education. Education is the key to becoming an entrepreneur.

And so it made complete sense to team up with NGO Professors Without Borders, which relates directly to the brand’s values, to support education and empowerment in schools.

Professors Without Borders NGO was founded by HRH Princess Tessy de Luxembourg, whose mission is to provide free and equal access to quality education to all students, especially women.

Their vision is to create a global community of academics and professionals who want to share their passion for knowledge with students around the world.

Professors Without Borders aims to bridge the educational divide between countries, as well as between students and their teachers. They aspire to halt the brain drain by bringing teachers in rather than taking students out.

In support of this venture, JEANNE.CHAVANY has designed a pen holder aptly named “New Beginnings”. 10% of each purchase will be donated to support empowerment in schools.

“Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world”. – Nelson Mandela.

Jupilings: Do you have a daily ritual to help you de-stress- 

Carla MARTIN: What creates stress during the day, is that we try hard to find a balance between work, life, and family and this requires discipline and organization.

My daily ritual: I look after my mind through study, after my soul through meditation and prayer, then I focus all my attention on work.

Jeanne.Chavany

Jupilings: The best piece of advice you have been given-

Carla MARTIN: Time flies by so fast, use it wisely as we do not have a second chance/life. 

Jupilings: What challenges did you face when you were starting your business? 3 tips on how to avoid or overcome them-

Carla MARTINStarting and creating a business from scratch is an “up and down” journey. I call it a roller-coaster. Beware to those who are afraid of high adrenaline. The challenges are multiple: from finding skilled artisans to the supply chain, sales and production, from marketing to communication … we face challenges every single day. Some are easier to deal with, some are more complicated. And the more difficult it gets, the more I enjoy it as this requires mind-stretching, looking at situations from different perspectives and trying new things. I am a “scientist” who changes the “formula” again and again and again until it works. If it would be easy, it would be too easy.

Simplicité Naturelle » cuff bracelet
Simplicité Naturelle » cuff bracelet

Jupilings: 3 tips on how to avoid or overcome challenges-

Carla MARTINThis is a tough question as it depends on so many criteria. Entrepreneurship is not a destination, it’s a long journey and its secret lies in the mindset. It is crucial to continuously push yourself to step outside of your comfort zone and grow from both personal and professional perspectives.

I would say:

  • Patience: overnight success does not exist.
  • Become the best version of yourself
  • Believe in yourself as the way up to the top is a lonely and often painful journey.

Jupilings: How do you motivate yourself-

Carla MARTIN: “Be miserable or motivate yourself. Whatever has to be done, it’s always your choice” Wayne Dyer.

On any journey, there are times of joy that make me feel like I can accomplish anything, which gives me strength and motivation to move forward, but also moments of hesitation, of doubts, of negative feelings and emotions that could easily take over. It’s simply human nature.

Never wait for motivation to get started. So I have created some “strategies” that work well for me:

  • Work out for at least one hour. This will give me a lot of energy, good vibes, and endorphins.
  • Listen to favourite music
  • Reward me with a nice and delicious meal
  • Meditate and express my gratitude for what I got.

Jupilings: How do you deal with setbacks-

Carla MARTIN: My way of getting through obstacles firstly is to start by acknowledging that they’re there, to be honest to myself. To put me back on track all I need to do is to remind myself why I started and what lit the fire…I am very fortunate to do what I love and I do it with passion, this simplifies the situation.

Jupilings: Who inspires you and why- 

Carla MARTIN: There are so many amazing people out there who do and achieve so much in their lives. I look up to them with admiration as they inspire me so much. People like Melinda Gates, Michelle Obama, Lady Diana, Greta Thunberg, Nelson Mandela, Sheryl Sandberg, Serena Williams … just to name a few. If I had to choose only one name, this person would be Leonardo Da Vinci. He does not only inspire me but fascinates me. I would love to travel back in time to meet this genius and discover the “anatomy” of his creativity …

UCHIWA

Jupilings: Tips on building resilience- 

Carla MARTIN: There is no magic formula. Just be positive, be optimistic, be kind to yourself. And take action.

Jeanne.Chavany

Jupilings: What is the issue you want media to talk about most-

Carla MARTIN: Most of the subjects are well covered by media. To answer your question I would say; Education, Education, Education.

“Education is the foundation for our future. It is empowerment to make choices and emboldens the youth to chase their dreams”. Nita Ambani

HONORE CARD HOLDER

Jupilings: What is your life motto:

Carla MARTIN: Well, I do not have a motto on which my life should be lived or built around. It is more like a personal philosophy: believe in myself, I am curious about everything in life; also dedicated and very patient, never rush the process of “creation”.

Interview​ with Antonio Mora – Surreal & Lucid Artist

Imagine walking to the deep end of your subconscious and learn about your true desires.  Imagine reaching your highest level of awareness. Imagine an extraordinary experience that explores your resilience which flows through the self-imposed boundaries of the intellect. Feel the sensation of the current of your own agency to revive your strength and the superhero within you. Skillfully, this journey is depicted by Antonio Mora. He leads you to discover your absurd, somber, or brave emotions through self-reflective imagery which captures your cognitive clarity to get closer to yourself.

Jungle - Antonio Mora
Jungle – Antonio Mora

Antonio Mora, a surreal creative and art director, frames the mystery of our pursuit in life and the endless possibilities of our being in an uncompromising artistic narrative. Patching emotions of cultural impressions to the advent of modern life and crushing the overprotective surrogate inner-self to the extent that fantasy becomes a tangible reality is what Antonio Mora offers.

young caribdis
Young Caribdis, Antonio Mora 

He studied psychology and philology, later completing his training with a Master of Art in Graphic Design and creatively continues to encourage self-reflection and deliberation to summon up the courage to connect with oneself. I had the opportunity to interview him, one of the most expressive artists of the present time, to learn about him and his spirit:

sevilla in red
Sevilla in Red – Antonio Mora

Jupilings: Tell us about yourself and how you got into art-

AM: I have always been a creative person. For more than 25 years I have worked as a graphic designer and art director in my own design studio.

In 2011, after a serious physical crisis, I decided to give free rein to my own creative desires and to leave the work commissioned by clients. I had no options after that long and hard process, so I decided to put all the meat in the grill, overcome my fears and trust in my vision. That’s how I came to this.

Jupilings: Who are your protagonists- 

AM: I want to believe that my protagonists are the hybrid beings that appear in our dreams, inhabitants of a parallel world that we only access either during deep sleep or through the use of psychotropic substances, and that nevertheless, we perceive them as coming, like a déjà vu that reminds us that there is more to reality than what we perceive with our physical senses.

déjà vu
Déjà vu – Antonio Mora

Jupilings: What inner force shapes your artistic concepts-

AM: I think that throughout my work emerges a certain mystical, mythological sense in the classical sense, where the forces of nature take on a human form. Many titles are The Young Zeus, the Cyclops, Nymph, Persephone, Caribdis, Aquarida.

Nature as a soul-endowed force that, when transmuted in person, brings us closer to it. My portraits are often portraits of gods or heroes that we could have been.

Jupilings: As an artist, what role and social responsibility you shoulder-

AM: Although there are innumerable ways of understanding it, I conceive art in the classical sense, the search for intrinsic truth for beauty. In a society like the current one where through social networks we see tons of ugliness, trash, and injustice, my modest contribution is to create beauty that inspires others and that raises a wall against the mediocrity and vulgarity that invades us. I think that is my duty as an artist.

Jupilings: “Creative people are an idealist and live a colourful and chaotic life”, what do you think of this statement-

AM: It is a generality and as such susceptible to be interpreted in different ways but in my case, it is correct, although the colour is sometimes of a rather dark hue, and indeed the chaos is a constant in my life, I am messy, often imprecise and erratic. I wrote a long time ago that the artist feels himself with stupor as if he should not be there, as if he were not part of the reality in which the whole world lives. I thought it was a gift and it turned out to be a condemnation, once said an artist friend, my mentor, who died, unfortunately. Someone like him, chaotic by nature, knew how to inspire in me, and in many others (he was an art teacher) that life and therefore beauty arise from chaos.

into the wall
Into the wall, Antonio Mora

Jupilings: As a creative individual, you have a reflective nature, hence you are inclined to dive deeper into your fears, insecurities, or setbacks, where do you draw a line to stop and regain your sense of motivation and meaning in life to keep charging ahead? What is your coping mechanism, a routine, a friend, ….?-

AM: My mechanism is the constant creation, the progressive approach through creative work to the idea that I intend to bring to light. This, which often produces a feeling of ecstasy, also in many cases generates enormous anguish. To shake it off, fortunately, is my wife, my children, my dogs, who walk daily through the palm groves that surround my atelier in Elche (Spain).

It relaxes me to cook, to drink wine with my friends. Fortunately, very close to where I live, is the sea and a small and beautiful island where I go very often. As soon as I reach her, my anguish dissipates. In short, my life is the life of a normal person, or at least as normal as my nature allows me to be.

sea girl
Sea Girl, Antonio Mora

Jupilings: What is one undisclosed or mysterious piece of information about yourself, you would bravely share with your audience:

AM: Hahaha, that question could put me in a compromise. When I was 18 years old I tried LSD, since then my perspective on the world changed. I perceived that there were parallel worlds. No, of course, I did not take it for a long time, it scares me. However, I do allow myself to smoke some marijuana when I am faced with a creative process. It is the key through which I can reopen that door that opened in my youth.

red wind
Red wind, Antonio Mora

Jupilings: What does women empowerment mean to you-

AM: It jumps to the sight that I am an admirer of the woman, of the power of the woman, of its beauty. More than 90% of my portraits have women as protagonists. As a creator of life and a source of inspiration. I wrote once that the passion of the woman is the force that moves the world, I continue to subscribe. I am sure that the world would work much better if it were the women who governed it.

mother
Mother, Antonio Mora

Jupilings: When you start a creative project, how do you overcome self-doubt –

AM: Fortunately, I have a lot of experience and many years of preparation that allow me to save the initial doubts with a certain ease. However, that doubt always lurks, especially if I will be able to generate something really new and not copy myself.

I receive many custom orders. There yes, the doubts begin, since not only I have to satisfy myself but to manage to transmit my satisfaction to the client and that is not an easy task.

ruins
Ruins, Antonio Mora

Jupilings: What superpower you would like to have ? and why-

AM: I would be Lucidman. Always able to have immediately the creative response at hand that would allow me to disturb the conscience of others.

Jupilings: Which movie you would have liked to be the leading actor- 

AM: I would have liked to be George Baines (Harvey Keitel), in The Piano. A tormented and unforgettable character.

Jupilings: What is your life motto-

AM: Live and let live.

 

To learn more and for commissioned artwork please refer to mylovt.com.

 

Interview with Visual Artist, Faith XLVII

Faith XLVII is an internationally-acclaimed visual artist from South Africa who is currently based in Los Angeles.
Faith XLVII is an internationally-acclaimed visual artist from South Africa who is currently based in Los Angeles.

Street art is one of the powerful forms of self-expression that Faith XLVII, an internationally-acclaimed visual artist from South Africa, uses to touch souls, raise hope, and expose hurt and oppression. Each time a metamorphosized perspective comes to light through her creations, from raising questions about issues that affect our daily lives to reflect on our society. Smart and resourceful muralists, Faith XLVII, explores human experiences, interconnectedness, and the affinity to nature in a creative approach. She captures metaphors, fragility with an intent to provoke universal love.

A disciple of enlightenment, philosophy, and activism, Faith XLVII shares her visual stories through different media such as printmaking, projection mapping, video installation, drawings on streets, and galleries.

Read my interview with Faith XLVII:

Jupilings: What motivates you to create-

FAITH XLVII: Just being alive is motivation enough. The constant flux and challenges of life and perception.

.Courtesy of Faith XLVII
Courtesy of Faith XLVII

Jupilings: Pragmatism and flexibility are an effective response to global challenges still your art is a protest against them- 

FAITH XLVII: Firstly, I don’t think you’re correct in saying that my work is a protest against Pragmatism and Flexibility. I walk the line between reality and the unseen. I believe the two are interrelated.  So awakening to the mystical and the fantastic can also open one to real-world possibilities.  Working on our inner understanding, helps us to be able to understand and make sense of the outer realities.  Global challenges are very overwhelming for the individual to take on, but when you understand that they are a product of our collective mindsets, then that brings the conclusion that working on the individual helps with the consciousness of the whole.  I don’t draw lines between spiritual/personal/ political perspectives. You cannot separate one from the other.

Courtesy of faith47 - lay your weapons down, 1 NYC 2015
Courtesy of faith47 – lay your weapons down, 1 NYC 2015

Jupilings: What does spirituality mean to you-

FAITH XLVII: The constant practice and perseverance in living a conscious, self-aware life.

Courtesy of Faith XLVII - 315 BC - 307 BC Detroit 2016
Courtesy of Faith XLVII – 315 BC – 307 BC Detroit 2016

Jupilings: What is your perspective in life- 

FAITH XLVII: My perspective is still a work in progress.  I do agree with the Wiccan Rede:

‘Do as thy will and harm none.’

I also feel that nature contains all the solutions to the problems we are facing personally, politically and ecologically, and that we should meditate on this.

Courtesy of Faith XLVII - Salus Populi Suprema Lex Esto4 - "The health (welfare, good, salvation, felicity) of the people should be the supreme law".
Courtesy of Faith XLVII Salus Populi Suprema Lex Esto4 – “The health (welfare, good, salvation, felicity) of the people should be the supreme law”.

Jupilings: What does women empowerment mean to you?

FAITH XLVII: Woman empowerment, like Black empowerment, or any kind of civil rights movement, is the attempt to balance the scales after decades of oppression due to monotheistic white male power structures.  Essentially these movements attempt to move us towards a more EQUAL society where all demographics can have a say in how we are progressing as a species.  We must insist on the dignity of all human beings! I also add animals and the planet to that statement.

Courtesy of FaithXLVII - 580 BC - 265 BC Athens
Courtesy of FaithXLVII – 580 BC – 265 BC Athens

Jupilings: What do you do to conquer fear or self-doubt:

FAITH XLVII: I realise my own insignificance in the scheme of things. Fragility is something we are told to be ashamed of and fight through. But I find some strength therein. We are all impermanent, and our lives fleeting. By accepting the very notion of your own short existence, we can gain perspective. Working from that space allows for a certain amount of freedom and realism.

Courtesy of Faith XLVII - Astronomia Nova Sweden
Courtesy of Faith XLVII – Astronomia Nova Sweden

Jupilings: Best piece of advice you have been given-

FAITH XLVII: “If the world appears to be filled with suffering, it is, nevertheless, radiating pure wisdom.”  – Rudolf Steiner.

Courtesy of Faith XLVII - ENCHANTED WORLD
Courtesy of Faith XLVII – ENCHANTED WORLD

Jupilings: Which movie you would have liked to be the leading actor: 

FAITH XLVII: Princess Mononoke and/or Spirited Away

Jupilings: What is your life motto?

FAITH XLVII: Focus on the Breath

Courtesy of Faith XLVII - THE UNBOUND
Courtesy of Faith XLVII – THE UNBOUND

Interview with Robert Vanderhorst – Surrealist Painter

Robert Vanderhorst’s creativity propels us to squint and examine the original or the rational with intention. At that point, you discover the conflict, the unacceptable, the unpleasant or the hidden desire. The imagery gushes over, the psyche is liberated, and the visual stimulus unravels the nuances of our ideas and rules.  He is adept at bringing together various mental pictures into a fusion of tenacious conventions, compromised perceptions, and wavering imaginations. His capability to point out that impressions, symbols, and patterns have unrealized possibilities, rattles the viewer. Although he deliberately composes the uncertainties, the freedom of thought, choice and the inclination of progress orbit symbolically and eminently in his artwork.

This painting explores the concept of choice. The choices we’re presented, the ones we make, the ones we don’t and the ones that are made for us. Through these choices, we can either find our way or we can be ‘LOST. Two divers, who know each other from past adventures, find themselves in an unlikely environment swimming down an empty country road next to a farmer’s field. The scenery is bleak and grey with the only colour being a hint of silvery purple on the distant tree branches. The corn field next to the road had been long since been hacked down. Snow fills the furrows and the remaining bleached grasses at the roadside crackle as the wind shakes off thin shards of ice. A light snow is falling. One of the divers notices a series of repetitive rectangular shapes running along the tree line and begins heading across the field towards them. A set of doorways come into focus through the cold mist. The other diver stops, hovering above the dirt road. He’s confronted by a foreboding black carriage with two harnessed horses standing before him, motionless. The diver stares directly ahead and is transfixed by the stars in the universe that envelopes the darkness of the horse’s head. Where am I he wonders? What direction should I go?
Lost – By Robert Vanderhorst – This painting explores the concept of choice. The choices we’re presented, the ones we make, the ones we don’t and the ones that are made for us. Through these choices, we can either find our way or we can be ‘LOST. Two divers, who know each other from past adventures, find themselves in an unlikely environment swimming down an empty country road next to a farmer’s field. The scenery is bleak and grey with the only colour being a hint of silvery purple on the distant tree branches. The corn field next to the road had been long since been hacked down. Snow fills the furrows and the remaining bleached grasses at the roadside crackle as the wind shakes off thin shards of ice. A light snow is falling. One of the divers notices a series of repetitive rectangular shapes running along the tree line and begins heading across the field towards them. A set of doorways come into focus through the cold mist. The other diver stops, hovering above the dirt road. He’s confronted by a foreboding black carriage with two harnessed horses standing before him, motionless. The diver stares directly ahead and is transfixed by the stars in the universe that envelopes the darkness of the horse’s head. Where am I he wonders? What direction should I go?

 

Fate's Passage Robert Vanderhorst
Fate’s Passage Robert Vanderhorst – The scene takes place in the Jardin des Plantes in Paris. At the end of the light dappled gravel path is the Museum of Natural History. The ‘Museum’ is on this side of the doorway, not through it. The mother and her young son are going out through ’Fate’s Passage’. As she exits, she slowly becomes the space around her. The man standing at the doorway is the museum’s greeter. The astronaut has recently arrived, confused but intrigued. Near the exit, the shadow of a stooped Churchill leans heavily on his cane and the grey figure of an arrogant Napoleon standing on the balcony both suggest that they been guests of the museum for quite some time. This ‘Museum’ is a spectre of our future. Last thing I remember, I was Running for the door I had to find the passage back To the place I was before “Relax, ” said the night man, “We are programmed to receive. You can check-out any time you like, But you can never leave! ” Hotel California – The Eagles

Jupilings: Tell us about yourself and how you got into art-

RV: My talent comes through my father’s side of the family. He was an artist/graphic artist in Holland, and he continued that profession after coming to Canada post-WWII. Once I understood that art was my passion, my career path was set. Seeing Dali and Magritte’s work for the first time cemented my love for surrealism.

VIEW FROM THE GALLERY, Part One by Robert Vanderhorst
VIEW FROM THE GALLERY, Part One by Robert Vanderhorst

Jupilings: The fundamental principle in your creations-

RV: Exploration and mystery. Keep everyone thinking and guessing.

Jupilings: What is your perspective on life-

RV: Life is short. Be kind and generous, work hard and stay true to your passion, play when you can, travel and experience life as much as possible and keep your sense of humour intact.

The Immigrant Robert Vanderhorst
The Immigrant Robert Vanderhorst

Jupilings: What do you sell in your art-

RV: To think outside the box.

VIEW FROM THE GALLERY, Part Two by Robert Vanderhorst
VIEW FROM THE GALLERY, Part Two by Robert Vanderhorst

Jupilings: What motivates you to create, is it an emotional state, philosophy of life, politics or advocacy- 

RV: A desire to create realistic imagery that engages, asks questions and searches for answers where the answers ask more questions.

Jupilings: What is your favourite subject to illustrate-

RV: Time and space.

MICOMICON by Robert Vanderhorst
MICOMICON by Robert Vanderhorst

Jupilings: What does “confusion” mean to you? Also, what about “Normality”-

RV: I’m most fond of one of my image titles, ‘And You Thought You Were Normal.’ Says what I need to about confusion and what we perceive as normal.

Jupilings: What does women empowerment mean to you-

RV: Equality.

THE AMERICANIZATION OF GUSTAVE’S PARIS by Robert Vanderhorst
THE AMERICANIZATION OF GUSTAVE’S PARIS by Robert Vanderhorst

Jupilings: What are your tips about building a brand name as an artist-

RV: Develop a unique personal style and stay true to your art. Work your ass off, don’t compromise, network and promote using new and old technologies as much as possible.

Jupilings: What do you do to conquer fear or self-doubt-

RV: Ignore it. Believe in yourself and what you’re trying to accomplish and ignore anyone who tells you it can’t be done.

Magritte's Dark Angel By Robert Vanderhorst
Magritte’s Dark Angel By Robert Vanderhorst

Jupilings: The disruptive blockchain technology is addressing the problems of transparency and authenticity for artists; it will increase art sales, democratize art investment, and last but not least allow artists to be fairly paid.  What are your thoughts about the blockchain technology especially in support of art? Would you consider using the blockchain technology platform to reach global art enthusiasts? What are the problems in your industry do you want these platforms to solve?

RV: I am not versed in this platform and at this stage not particularly interested in another tech learning curve. Everyone should be paid fairly and on time, artists, in particular, considering they are often taken for granted and put at the bottom of the list. If this tech addresses the issues you’ve stated above effectively, then I’m all for it.

Jupilings: What superpower you would like to have ? and why- 

RV: I’m happy as is.

Jupilings: Which movie you would have liked to be the lead actor- 

RV: I was a Zombie in a George A. Romero film, and that was perfect for me. Don’t need to be a lead.

THE SENTINEL by Robert Vanderhorst
THE SENTINEL by Robert Vanderhorst

Jupilings: What is your life motto-

RV: Life is complicated. Keep your sense of humour and try not to be an ass.

In the Absence of Light Robert Vanderhorst
In the Absence of Light Robert Vanderhorst
COUNTERVAIL by Robert Vanderhorst
COUNTERVAIL by Robert Vanderhorst
THE YACHT CLUB by Robert Vanderhorst
THE YACHT CLUB by Robert Vanderhorst
ROBERT VANDERHORST
ROBERT VANDERHORST

 

Images: Lost & Fate Passage courtesy of Robert Vanderhorst, other images from Saatchi Art Gallery.

The woman behind Spallanzani Jewels – Interview with Gaia Spallanzani

GAIA

Dazzling, radiant, appreciated, loved or inspired are among the many attributes & feelings that we all experience whether through our intimate relations to another or our relationship with ourselves. Over the course of centuries,  people tried to appease Gods with gifts, a gesture of gratitude and honour or exchanged them when they met another tribe to build trust. Increasingly, many other celebrations expanded the gift-giving culture. However, at its core, the symbolic act is to honour someone or oneself for personality traits and achievements.

ONLY YOU - LOVE ring Spallanzani Jewels
ONLY YOU – LOVE ring Spallanzani Jewels

Gracefully, communicating the message of recognition based on deep affections and best wishes is not always easy.  Still, explaining oneself with a single word that says it all, is pleasantly indulging.

Only you Bracelet - Spallanzani Jewels
Only you Bracelet – Spallanzani Jewels

The House of Spallanzani Jewels, founded in 1880, is the embodiment of that stylish and elegance admiration. A Milanese jewelry house with 130 years of savoir-faire and a portfolio of iconic designs, Spallanzani has successfully moved through modern times. Only You, the signature design of the house was inspired by Guido Spallanzani’s, (son of the founder) gift to his wife Rosabianca, a coded bracelet with the message – TSTQCA (Tu sei tutto quello che amo / you are all that I love). 

Stella Bracelet Spallanzani Jewels
Stella Bracelet Spallanzani Jewels

Today, Gaia Spallanzani, at the helm of the family business, has taken the jewellery house to new heights. Inspired by the glamour deeply rooted in a desire to influence the power of belief, she captures the “Oomph” in the collections. With her vision and the craftsmanship of Italian finest artisans, the Spallanzani’s jewelry makes an exceptional gift.

Interview

Jupilings: How do you describe yourself-

GS: I am a positive person, very superstitious but also very determined. My brain never stops, and I am always looking for new ideas and inspirations. I can also define myself as a very active woman because I balance my work life and my family life… (I have three kids)

Forever Spallanzani Jewels
Forever Spallanzani Jewels

Jupilings: What are the principles in lifestyle that you want to manifest in Spallanzani brand-

GS: At Spallanzani, we represent quality, originality of the design, the pride from being made in Italy and also the history of our brand. It’s in our DNA. We are jewellers for 5 generations; we designed our most signature pieces from scratch. We were the innovators of the style (letter bracelets) that became popular in the fine jewelry in the 80’s.

AMOUR Spallanzani Jewels
AMOUR Spallanzani Jewels

Jupilings: What does elegant design mean to you-

GS: An elegant design to me means something that gives you an ‘allure’ but is timeless at the same time.

Stella hoop earring Spallanzani Jewels
Stella hoop earring Spallanzani Jewels

Jupilings: What does luxury mean to you-

GS: Luxury is something that is not for everybody. It is for a niche of clients.

Jupilings: What is the favourite aspect of your business-

GS: Creativity is what I love in my business and originality. We need shoes to walk, we need clothes to go out in, but we don’t need jewelry. Jewelry is a plus that makes you look beautiful, powerful, elegant, bold; it is like a cherry on top of the sundae. It is the “touche d’eclat” that makes you different and unique. I love that part of my business.

Jupilings: What is the hardest part of your business

GS: The hardest part of my business is sometimes what our client see the products but overlook the effort that has been employed through the process of making jewelry, especially in Italy. Nowadays, people see a product and buy a bag or a pair of shoes because of the price and the look, and they don’t care anymore about the quality. The clients want to work on consignment, and this kills the market. Gold has a price and so does good quality diamonds.

Only You - Sigillo ring B Spallanzani Jewels
Only You – Sigillo ring B Spallanzani Jewels

Jupilings: What kind of creative patterns, routines or rituals do you have-

GS: I don’t have any routines. I can wake up in the middle of the night and send info of an idea I had while sleeping to my team and when I go into work the next morning (if I don’t do it I will forget it), we brainstorm to create one of a kind pieces. I also decide on a theme, we research for all the info, symbols, icons linked to that idea. Alternatively, I also look at our old designs, and from one single piece, I imagine a full collection.

Stella Bracelet with pearls Spallanzani Jewels
Stella Bracelet with pearls Spallanzani Jewels

Jupilings: Best piece of advice you’ve been given-

GS: The best piece of advice I have been given is for sure: “you are a good seller only when you will be able to sell your pieces”. It is difficult to sell your pieces, your designs as there is always this limit when you don’t know if people will like it or not and worst if the will tell you or not, so I consider it very difficult, but this is something I am working on it.

Jupilings: What’s one branding lesson you’ve learned in your career and ventures-

GS: For our branding, we pride ourselves on our individuality that brings our clients one of a kind, luxurious pieces. As I’ve been handed down this company through my family, I want to represent Spallanzani as not just another jewelry company. To me, Spallanzani is like no other Jewellery House, and we show this pride through our products by using only the best stones, gold and designs.

stella starlight bracelet pink sapphires Spallanzani Jewels
Stella starlight bracelet pink sapphires Spallanzani Jewels

Jupilings: How do you deal with setbacks-

GS: A moto that inspires me is ”When there is a problem there is a solution,” so I do all my superstitious routines and then I try to figure out a solution.

Stella chain earring full diamonds Spallanzani Jewels
Stella chain earring full diamonds Spallanzani Jewels

Jupilings: Who inspires you and why-

GS: Who inspires me? I keep thinking of my mother and grandmother. Beautiful, elegant, classy, active and such a determined women, but also very funny.

Jupilings: What does it mean to be a woman today-

GS: A woman in today world does everything. She works, she manages the family, the kids, the house, she organizes the holidays and also the day to day. For me, women are SUPERWOMAN today. I am impressed every day by all a woman can truly handle.

Jupilings: Which movie you would have liked to be the leading actor-

GS: I would have loved to be the leading actor of so many movies….above all the movies from the 50’s and 60’s. Sabrina, Breakfast at Tiffany’s, Vacanze Romane...I love Audrey Hepburn she was so classy, natural elegance… so I think I would have loved to be her in one of her movies, but another movie I keep remembering is Sliding Doors with ‘Gwyneth Paltrow.’ This movie explains very well what I firmly think as another motto of mine: “That what has to happen at the end will happen.”

Jupilings: What is your life motto-

GS:  I do have many mottos, one of my favorites would be: “where there is a problem there is a solution and make it happen.”

Only you "I woke up like this" necklace - Spallanzani Jewels Only you "I woke up like this" necklace - Spallanzani Jewels
Only you “I woke up like this” necklace – Spallanzani Jewels

Luxury Bags for Successful Women – Interview with Julie Cantor, Founder & Chief Executive of Harlen

As a woman, as a leader, as a professional we strive on subjective experiences by pushing onto new boundaries, leveraging our skills and strengths to help others while embracing our femininity. Along the way, we learn to be versatile, organized and pragmatic yet equally with style. We recognize that to be in control; we need unique accessories that support our performance. Other than a smartphone, handbags are one of the essential accessories to flair our convictions, our way of life and our composure.

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LINE | TIBETAN FUR
Screen Shot 2018-06-07 at 3.53.20 PM
LINE | TIBETAN FUR
https://www.instagram.com/harlencollection/
https://www.instagram.com/harlencollection/

Harlen collections, designed out of a need for excellence by the graduate of Stanford University (BA, MA), Berkeley Law (JD), and the Yale University School of Medicine (MD), Julie Cantor, embodies sophistication, independence, and stature. Effortlessly stylish, the collection supports the tale of emancipated woman carrying a load in the twists and turns of her career labyrinth. Cleverly designed, Harlen bags are a perfected evolution rooted in practical and timeless quality, intended to gratify the hard work of powerful women.

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https://harlencollection.com/collection/curve-black

An investment in an amalgamation of simplicity, elegance, tasteful and contemporary style made by the Italian master artisans perfects our desire to do good. For every Harlen you own, the company supports one student in Room to Read’s Girls Education program for one year. A feel-good luxury item that unveils our unassuming libertarian ethos and complies with our standards of quality.

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https://harlencollection.com/collection/arc-taupe
Screen Shot 2018-06-07 at 3.55.34 PM
https://harlencollection.com/collection/arc-taupe
https://www.instagram.com/harlencollection/
https://www.instagram.com/harlencollection/

I had the opportunity to interview the brilliant Julie Cantor to learn about her and Harlen:

Jupilings: How do you describe yourself-

JC: A modern minimalist.  An optimist.  Creative.  Tenacious.  Organized.  Usually wearing black.  An avid fan of art, design, and nearly all things made in Italy.  Advocate for science, integrity, and human rights.  Engaged in the world.  Always striving.

Jupilings: What set you off on your entrepreneurial venture-

JC: I was working at an elite law firm in downtown Los Angeles, and I needed a way to carry my career essentials from home to work, from a meeting to mediation, from day to evening.  The options I found missed the mark.  One wheeled bag was too small, and its handle broke.  A leather tote sagged at the bottom from the weight of my things.  The look was always off, and I could never find my keys.  So I created a few prototypes that reflected my vision of what this perfect work bag would be.  When friends, colleagues, and even strangers were enthusiastic about the pieces and the brand vision, I decided to create a line of “modern career pieces”—designed for the modern professional woman who values quality, needs an accessory with form and function, and wants to move opportunity forward for girls worldwide.  She is a person leading a life of significance with style.

Jupilings: What is the story of your brand name “Harlen”-

JC: The brand is named after my grandparents, Harriet and Lenny.  (I adored them.)  Our brand values of juxtaposing style, savvy, and significance with equality, empowerment, and education can be traced to them.  My grandmother had great personal style—the kind you either have or you don’t.  She had a career.  And she had an endless collection of handbags and shoes.  I can remember clomping around my grandparents’ house as a three-year-old in her heels with one of her handbags draped over my arm.  Very fancy preschooler.

My grandfather was an advocate for girls.  When his two daughters were young, he saw endless organized sports options for boys, but nothing for the girls.  So he started the first girls’ sports league in their town (Levittown, New York).  This was the mid-1950s, long before Title IX, so culturally and socially, he was really swimming upstream.  But he made it happen, and my mom, my aunt, and their friends played softball and basketball in that league.  He also was a firm believer in the power of education and the doors that academic excellence can open.

Their house was designed with lots of blacks and whites and a hint of glamour, which inspired our aesthetic.  Their vintage black, grey, and white couches are in our showroom.

Jupilings: What are the principles in lifestyle that you want to manifest in your brand Harlen-

JC: Modern.  Intelligent.  Design.  Our client needs utility and style, and she understands the quality of pieces made in Italy by second- and third-generation artisans.  She moves the world forward on her terms.  She needs a piece that works in a variety of work environments, and that moves seamlessly from day to night.  She is inspired by the past as well as the possibilities for the future.  She is a mentor and a leader with ambition.  And she is unapologetic about it.

Jupilings: What does refined and simple design mean to you-

JC: Symmetry and clean lines.  Extraordinary materials.  The finest craftsmanship.  Making a statement through style.

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https://harlencollection.com/collection/diag-alligator
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https://harlencollection.com/collection/diag-alligator

Jupilings: What does intelligent and elegant design mean to you-

JC: We thought endlessly about intelligent design and the needs of women as they move through their day and their careers.  An example: Every Harlen closes with a zipper or magnets and a carabiner.  Because things fall out.  Because we deserve privacy.  Because security demands a closure.

We use—exclusively—Raccagni’s Super-R zips.  (In Italy, zippers are “zips.”)  These are, without question, the world’s finest.  I’ve visited the Bergamo facilities, and they hum with a unique blend of technology, creativity, and perfection.  And the Raccagani family lives and breathes zips.  They constantly innovate.  You’d think that after more than 45 years of creating zips that are as exquisite as they are functional that they’d be done.  Not yet.

That kind of intelligent design permeates every aspect of a Harlen.  It’s why we plate our hardware in palladium—it’s stunning, and it is strong.  These are, after all, work bags.  So they are designed to withstand the rigors of daily use and still look as good on day 1,000 as they did on day 1.  We don’t use the kind of leathers that are designed to patina, scratch, and age.  Ours are chosen for beauty and durability.  I like a clean look.

And all of our materials and ateliers follow best environmental practices.  Again, intelligence meeting design to protect our collective future.

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https://harlencollection.com/collection/diag-black
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https://harlencollection.com/collection/diag-black

 

Jupilings: What is the favourite aspect of your business (Harlen)-

JC: Without question, I love seeing how thrilled our clients are to own our pieces.  It’s so gratifying—especially after a decade of work to bring Harlen and its collection to them.  I also love working with our amazing ateliers in Italy.  They are the absolute best in the world at their craft.  It’s like working with the Steven Spielberg of bags, hardware, zippers, plating, lining, leather, and so on.  We are incredibly fortunate to have found these amazing families who also create for the world’s most recognizable and enduring brands.

Jupilings: What is the hardest part of your business (Harlen)-

JC: I think the greatest challenge of any business these days is to have your message rise above the noise.  We are all inundated with information, between your Twitter feed and breaking news and work emails, which can be more like instant messaging than a letter since people expect an instant response.  It’s overwhelming.  And our clients are not 9-5, Monday through Friday people.  They are working.  So the challenge is to engage these incredible people in a meaningful way in a world of constant messaging.

Jupilings: Please tell us about the philanthropic aspect of Harlen-

JC: When a client owns a Harlen, we provide the financial support for one student to participate in Room to Read’s Girls’ Education Program for one full year.  That contribution provides girls with the tools they need to thrive and succeed: mentoring and life skills education, tuition and fees, books and uniforms, and additional resources, like a bike, if needed, to get to school.  It is a significant contribution with a significant impact.

We partnered with Room to Read because it is the leading non-profit for literacy and girls’ education, because it employs evidence-based interventions and continues to collect data on and evaluate its work, and because it works hand-in-hand with communities.  It doesn’t just drop off books and leave.  Quite the opposite.  It is a privilege to work with this organization.  Accolades and recognition from groups like Charity Navigator reinforce its quality.

We support girls’ education because, as Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Nicholas Kristof has said, it may not be a silver bullet for fixing the world’s ills, but it’s the closest thing we have to it.  Widely considered to be the world’s best investment, girls’ education and empowerment can end illiteracy, improve health, stabilize societies, curb extremism, boost economies, combat child marriage, foster independence, and advance equality.  Its impact is breathtaking.  It reverberates across societies and throughout generations.  And it alters the trajectory of a life.

And our clients are unbelievably well-educated.  So we move forward the transformative power of education that they’ve experienced—and pay tribute to the countless girls who simply want a chance to learn.

We support other efforts to further education, empowerment, and equality.  For example, we have supported the Women Lawyers Association of Los Angeles and the Japanese American Bar Association’s Educational Foundation.  And I am always interested in speaking with people and organizations whose values align with our own to pursue partnerships or support them in unique and creative ways.

https://harlencollection.com/philanthropy/
https://harlencollection.com/philanthropy/

Jupilings: What is the commonality between a social change agent as a law professor and a fashion accessory designer who is a culture-based creative –

JC: My work as a litigator and law professor led directly to Harlen.  And both of my roles—professor and entrepreneur—are about curating choices.  In my reproductive rights course, for example, I discuss women’s rights during pregnancy and how to advocate for clients—and yourself—within a system that does not always follow the best scientific evidence.  It’s about finding solutions within systems.  And that’s very Harlen.  I cultivated relationships with the very finest creators in Italy so women could have the best option for their daily career essentials that strives to be as extraordinary as they are.

Jupilings: Best piece of advice you’ve been given-

JC: Keep going.

Jupilings: As a Lecturer in Law, a litigator and female entrepreneur, can you please share five tips to tap into one’s potential to achieve one’s career or entrepreneurial aspirations-

JC:

  • Details matter.  Pay attention to them.
  • Be prepared.  Unless you’re doing improv, winging it isn’t inspiring.
  • Exceed expectations.  Surprise clients and colleagues with excellence, not just adequacy.
  • Develop good judgment and work with people who have it.
  • Be ethical.  And don’t work with people who aren’t.

Jupilings: What’s one branding lesson you’ve learned in your career and ventures-

JC: Develop and follow a style guide.  Consistency is crucial when sharing your vision and voice.

Jupilings: How do you deal with setbacks-

JC: Stay focused on the big picture, reset your goals, and be grateful.  Then keep moving.  In.  Around.  Over.  Through.  Whatever.  Keep moving.

Jupilings: Who inspires you and why-

JC: Fearless women.  And women who face the fear and do it anyway.

Jupilings: What does it mean to be a woman today-

JC: To have more opportunity than ever in human history and still confront a playing field that is far from level.

Jupilings: What is the issue you want media to talk about most-

JC: As a reader and viewer, I would love information at the end of a story or on a website with non-partisan calls to action, so we feel empowered, not just informed, and have the opportunity to take steps to use the information for good.

Jupilings: What is your life motto- 

JC: Forward.  It’s also my license plate.

 

Josh Rossi – Digital Artist Who Touches Your Heart

Non nobis solum nati sumus.

(Not for ourselves alone are we born.)” – Marcus Tullius Cicero

JOSH ROSSI – DIGITAL ARTIST from Jupilings on Vimeo.

Exercising our talents & sharing our knowledge, unselfishly, to change, bring hope or transform someone’s life is above all, the lasting fulfilment with high dose of ecstasy.   Purposely using our gifts to create real and tangible impact in our societies is the ultimate purpose of humanity. Digital artist and photographer, Josh Rossi uses his talents to bring awareness to the real superheroes of our world. With clients such as Warner Bros, Adobe, Nickelodeon, D.C. Comics, and many more major brands, with the help of his wife, Roxana, they transformed children with major illnesses and disabilities into members of the Justice League. The artwork received more than 100 million online views.

Five-year-old Simon Fuller, diagnosed with neuroblastoma, was featured as the Justice League's Batman. Image courtesy of Josh Rossi
Justice League – Image courtesy of Josh Rossi
Nine-year-old Teagan Pettit was born with a congenital heart defect as is featured as Superman. Images Courtesy of Josh Rossi
Justice League – Images Courtesy of Josh Rossi
Justice League - Images Courtesy of Josh Rossi
Justice League – Images Courtesy of Josh Rossi
Justice League - Images Courtesy of Josh Rossi
Justice League – Images Courtesy of Josh Rossi
Justice League - Images Courtesy of Josh Rossi
Justice League – Images Courtesy of Josh Rossi
Justice League - Images Courtesy of Josh Rossi
Justice League – Images Courtesy of Josh Rossi

The project was created after a Halloween photo shoot of his daughter, Nellee. The digital images illustrate his healthy and enthusiastic little girl as Wonder Woman. The series acted as a catalyst, he was contacted by emotionally inspired parents of            critically-ill children around the world, expressing that “their children are the real superheroes”.

Wonder woman - Images courtesy of Josh Rossi
Wonder woman – Images courtesy of Josh Rossi
Wonder woman - Images courtesy of Josh Rossi
Wonder woman – Images courtesy of Josh Rossi

Here is my exclusive interview with Josh Rossi to learn about his gifts and talents:

Jupilings –  Tell us about yourself and how you got into digital art/photography:

Josh Rossi: When I was a young boy I was obsessed with art. I was born in Florence, Italy where I lived for 7 years. When I hit high school I saw no need to pursue art and so I dropped it and got into other things. After high school I got an internship with a film production company and started getting more into film. When I was 22 I realized that I wasn’t satisfied with what I was doing so I needed a change. I decided that advertising was a lot more exciting and chose to go to Miami Ad School and that’s where my passion for photography came in. At school I had to rely on my own skills to produce print ads and online media. I had to convey a message and I didn’t want to just snap one shot and be done. I wanted to include a lot of different elements that told a story. That’s when I started getting into compositing. I realized that I could actually create the images that were inside my head. I never thought that was possible before. I became literally obsessed with ad photography. I would stay up every night until 2 or 3 studying my favorite photographers. I would study every single detail and try to recreate what I saw. It took me a year and a half before I decided to put my style out there to the public. Once I put my work out there for people to see I got a surprising response. People loved it! I dropped my 9 to 5 job and have been working full time doing what I love ever since. Whenever I create an image I try to think of a story behind it. I want my viewer to get into the picture and imagine a whole scenario. What brings me joy is when I can inspire others to do bigger and greater things. I am based out of Los Angeles and Puerto Rico where I specialize in Commercial and Advertising photography.

Jupilings – What is the fundamental principal in your creations?

Josh Rossi:  The image has to have emotion in it before it’s even created. You need to envision it and the emotion behind it. 

Jupilings – Are you a digital artist that uses photography to express an idea or a photographer who captures the moment of the idea?

Josh Rossi: Digital artist who uses photography to create my art.

Jupilings – Do you have a preference in camera, software or technology ? & why

Josh Rossi: Photoshop, Sony A7r2. The Sony is mirrorless and it’s easy to carry around. It’s very high quality too and is great for traveling. Photoshop has so many options that it lets me do anything I want with an image.

Jupilings – Which photographer has influenced you most?

Josh Rossi: Dave hill, Erik Almas

Jupilings – What is the secret of being a successful digital artist/photographer?

Josh Rossi: The secret is finding the best inspiration you can, practicing endless hours to perfect a look and keep learning.

Jupilings – What is your favourite subject to capture?

Josh Rossi: I love capturing people and landscapes together.

Jupilings – What does women empowerment mean to you?

Josh Rossi: Woman empowerment means to acknowledge the power and strength that they have. It means to allow them to express those strengths and not be shy to show them.

Jupilings – What are your tips about building a brand name as a digital artist / photographer?

Josh Rossi: To build a brand name you need a specific style that people know you for. Not just a better style but something different and new. People don’t care so much about better, they care about new and different.

Jupilings – What do you do to conquer fear or self doubt:

Josh Rossi: I learn to control my thoughts and push those out. Everyone feels fear but few people know how to manage it and push through the fear when necessary. You can’t listen to the voices in your head that create self doubt. Push them out immediately. The more you let them linger the more self doubt will build within you. No one knows your potential except your own self. How can you conquer the world if you can’t conquer your own mind?

Jupilings – What super power you would like to have ? and why?

Josh Rossi: Ability to change someones life just by deciding to do so.

Jupilings – Which movie you would have liked to be the lead actor:

Josh Rossi: Mission Impossible or James Bond

Jupilings – What is your life motto?

Make others rich like unto yourself.

Images courtesy of Josh Rossi http://www.joshrossi.com