Interview with Arantza Vilas, Owner and Creative Director - Pinaki Studios

on 14/1/13

Interview with Arantza Vilas - Pinaki Studios
Arantza Vilas of Pinaki Studios

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Arantza Vilas, founder, owner and creative director at Pinaki Studios shares her insight into the life of a  contemporary textile designer. From her London based studio Arantza works with a network of collaborators to create innovative printing and manipulation techniques. Having featured the work of Arantza and Pinaki Studios on several occasions, The Trend Boutique are pleased to say that Arantza will be speaking at our Student Conference on 30th January 2013.

Pinaki Studios

What are the main duties of your role?

Pinaki Studios is a small company so I do a little bit of everything; concept, design, prototyping, production control, writing and running - a lot of running. But it also depends on the projects and who is involved in them. If it is a costume commission or a collection for a client my role is designing, prototyping and often making or controlling the production. The studio also has an invaluable contributor for all the online/media aspects and a small network of designers who help at different stages. With all of them I work on the vision and direction of whatever project we are working on.

What are the best aspects about your current role?

I set up Pinaki Studios with the idea of creating a studio/ laboratory where the outcomes contributed to other areas, other disciplines. The variety of projects and fantastic professionals I work with are some of the most enjoyable aspects of my work.

The projects vary so much that they force me to keep resourceful and flexible.

Are there any areas that are particularly difficult or challenging?

Lots of them! Keeping a balance of experimentation and the realities of running a business is possible top of that list. 

Pinaki Studios Edible Surfaces
© Edible Surfaces by Pinaki Studios and Chocolátl

When employing a graduate what are the attributes you look for?

Enthusiasm and commitment are essential. Of course technical skills and an understanding of what the studio is about so I can see how they can contribute. 

Do you have any words of wisdom that you would like to pass on?

Never give up and learn from your mistakes!

What is the best piece of advice you have been given?

A family friend once said to me, "If things get tough put your head down and keep going." Perseverance and determination are inspiring words I learnt from the people I admire.

What do you feel are the most important changes/trends happening in the industry that students need to be aware of?

The amazing innovations in technology and science are pushing the field forward. It is such an exciting time to be in the field of textiles. Textiles and surfaces designers seem to be extending into lots of other fields (possibly more than ever) beyond the purely decorative or engineered. We seem to be investigating how the two aspects can merge and finding interesting balances between aesthetics and technicalities.

There is an increasing awareness of the importance of how the tactile qualities of textiles can enhance the world we live in. Textile designers can support digital mediums with their in depth knowledge of non-digital materials, bring innovation to product with their understanding of processes or support the communication to wider audiences with their understanding of interaction and intimacy.

Textiles by Pinaki Studios

Quickfire Q&A:

What would your superpower be?

Who would you most like to meet?
Ferrán Adriá, Akira Kurosawa, Richard Serra

Most inspirational person you have met?
Costume designer Phoebe de Gaye

Who do you consider to be a real pioneer?
Pina Bausch. I find her work really ground breaking. The emotional aspects and the aesthetics of her work are really influential. Sonya Delaunay was another pioneer as she was the first living female artist to have a retrospective at the Louvre in 1964.

Your favourite location?
Above the clouds



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