We're so thrilled to introduce you to our next visiting artist, B.Z.R (aka Tiffany Ju). I got the chance to catch up with Tiffany and hear her story.
Louise: First, we’d love to hear a little about you! B.Z.R first caught my eye because you balance a brightly-colored, futuristic vibe with tangible expert craftsmanship. What lead you to start your brand?
Tiffany: Well I started with the ombre tights in 2012. Just a little project, I didn't know what it would lead to at all. But really as soon as they went online, things got crazy quickly. The tights kept me really busy for a few years. Ive always been attracted to bright colors in my work! When I was really young, I spent a ton of time drawing and crafting. The funny thing is even then, my art wasn't really narrative, it was all shapes and colors. And I LOVED to weave and latch hook.
L: In your new weavings, we see you reuse material in a fresh product that gives it a completely new life beyond its original intent. Can you walk us through your creative process in making these tapestries? What is the inspiration?
T: I have had a pile of unusable tights sitting around for a while, not sure what to do with them. I did a lot of experimenting in different mediums but I guess at some point, I was just drawn back to the idea of weaving and the tights were perfect to make yarn out of. I quickly discovered the stretch that the tights yarn has could be used in my weavings to create a sculptural 3D effect. That in combination with graphic pattern, color and texture has me really obsessed with the outcome. A couple of the weavings I planned beforehand, most I improvise. At this point, Im really just spending time getting acquainted again with this very familiar loom from my past and seeing how my current aesthetic is being translated onto it.
L: How does being a solo designer and entrepreneur form your relationship to sustainability? We understand that “sustainability” in this context is not just ecological, but also a creative, economic, and spacial practice.
T: Sustainability is a tricky word for me because it's so attached to it's ecological references. For me, sustainability literally means, 'can I sustain this'? Can my body physically sustain making this product? Can I turn these raw materials into a final product with the least amount of waste or by-product? Can I then use the by-products for something else? Can I make enough money from this to sustain the whole operation again? Does this process sustain and fulfill me as an artist and designer? These are the questions I attempt to answer yes to every day, and if the answer is not yes, then something has to shift or change.
L: What are you most excited for as you continue to expand your brand and aesthetic?
T: I think the past 6 years I have being doing B.Z.R. was an exploration of my brand and aesthetic, but I feel like that's just a part of me now. I bring forth my aesthetic in whatever work that I do. I think I'm at the point in my creative life where I am really yearning to create more meaningful work. The search for that meaningful work is really hard and also exciting. I'm really having to dig up things in my life and figure out what's meaningful to me and what story I have to tell.
Tiffany's bold new work will be on display at our Concept Shop in Chophouse Row. To see these tactile, colorful weavings, stop by during Capitol Hill Art Walk on Thursday, October 11. We can't wait to share it with you!