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Craft With Conscience: Serena García Dalla Venezia

Craft With Conscience

'Craft With Conscience' began in early 2016 as a weekly Instagram series dedicated to sharing the work of other creatives and as a platform to openly discuss certain aspects of ethical art-making and consuming in the age of the internet and social media.  

This series arose out of my own frustrations related to seeing my work constantly copied stitch-for-stitch, sold without permission, and credited to other people.  Rather than wallowing in unproductive negative emotions, I wanted to find a way to bring this common issue to light in a positive way.  My solution was to share the work of artists, crafters, designers, and makers who I greatly admire for their originality and dedication. Initially, I shared work similar in materials or subject matter to my own, having heard the argument, "There are only so many ways to stitch plants, I'm not copying you..." one too many times.  The truth is, no matter what the medium or subject, every artist from hobby crafter to professional painter has their own perspective and voice. It takes effort to develop one's visual vocabulary and it can be disheartening when your's is taken and misused by other individuals and sometimes larger companies.

All that being said, now is an incredible time for working artists because of the vast resources of the internet including sources of inspiration, the ability to reach a large and global audience, and as a community building tool. As you may know, I love sharing my work on Instagram and following other makers. It's a wonderful way to connect with other artists, be inspired, and feel supported, but we all need to be aware of how we use these resources and what effect it may have on others.

Since the start of 2016, 'Craft With Conscience' has grown and evolved just like any other creative pursuit and has recently expanded to include short interviews with featured artists. I've asked participating artists a series of questions about their studio process, sources of inspiration, and how image-sharing sites like Instagram and Pinterest influence and affect them. I hope you read on to see what they have to say!

Craft With Conscience: Serena García Dalla Venezia

Sarah Benning

 Serena García Dalla Venezia // Fiber Artist // Santiago, Chile


 Serena García Dalla Venezia's work originates from an interest in handcrafts and is carried out in a patient and laborious process. It uses the sum of gestures that are repeated and prolonged through time in order to transform materials as simple as fabric and thread into large sculptural and pictorial objects that are structured in an a way that's organic and flexible.

By wrapping, tying, and intertwining fabrics and thread Serena produces smaller individual pieces that connect and adhere in order to form a larger total which may continue to grow.

Serena is an observer of nature and natural processes. Her work resembles plants, roots and other organic beings that interconnect forming real construction systems in which the total is formed by many small parts.

Her pieces are driven by the personal pleasure that meticulous work gives her, labor that requires time and dedication as well as the challenge that results in seeing what large dimensions can be reached or how much a piece can grow from these small actions and simple materials.

Check out her amazing work on her website or Instagram.

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1. I began my #CraftWithConscience series as a way to simultaneously promote the work of other makers and to discuss the complicated issues surrounding creative inspiration and developing one’s own visual vocabulary. The internet is an ever growing fixture in many artists’ lives and businesses, could you talk about the role the internet plays in your artistic and professional life?

The internet has been very important for my professional life, thanks to social networks I have been able to spread my work and get it to be seen by people from all over the world. I think that currently the internet is fundamental for the self-management of artists, we no longer need a gallery or a manager to show our work.

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2. Where do you find inspiration for your work?  In what ways has the internet and/or social media impacted your design process?

My inspiration comes mainly from the observation of nature and what the materials suggest me to do.

I like to see other artists and creators on the internet, but I try to be true to myself and not to be influenced by other people's things to maintain originality.

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3. How have you, as an artist, found your creative voice?

I found this by working hard and believing in my ideas.

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4. Sites like Pinterest and Instagram are popular places for artists’ to share their own work. They also act as public visual archives, often leading to creative work by others that walks the line between ‘inspiration’ and ‘infringement.’ Have you encountered copies of your work online and how does it affect you? What are your strategies for dealing with it?

It has happened to me a few times and it is very disappointing, the work that an artist does is so personal that when someone copies them or does not recognize the value of creativity it hurts. But I am aware that by sharing the images they are made public, and finally I can only trust in my work and continue creating. A good consolation is to think that things are copied when they are good.

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5. Do you have any advice for aspiring artists or creative business people?

My advice is to work hard. perseverance is fundamental.

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6. Do you have any favorite blogs, artists, or Instagram accounts that you’d like to share?

There are two Chilean instagram accounts that inspire me a
lot: @laderasur and @chileaereo

and an artist that fascinates me is Hanne Friis.

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All images provided by the artist.