Leticia Credidio is an artist and illustrator I’ve had the pleasure of working with in the day job and for personal projects. She works for record labels, charities and more, and has exhibited her artwork internationally. She tells me here about deadlines, her sense of creative satisfaction and the risks of creating edible artwork.
How do you go about generating ideas for your artwork? Do you have a philosophy that you follow, or is it more random than that?
I heard once that creativity doesn’t come from intelligence. It is very true as most of my ideas come from random places and observations. Nature, children, languages and architectural/construction materials are my main sources of inspiration. My projects are generated for the purpose of passing a message or telling a story.
The last big piece I saw was your Sweet Furniture installation (video above) for the Taste Festival Berlin. Can you talk us through what it was, and was it a lot of work to go from original idea to execution?
When the curators of Direktorenhaus asked me if I could supply a project for the Taste Festival I tried to explain my idea over the phone but they could not understand. I said that I was going to reproduce my dream of having a house full of sweets.
I shipped 32 kilos of assorted liquorice and Haribo bears to Berlin and produced part of the furniture live at the festival opening. It was great, and fun to be there to hear that most people get very excited to imagine that it is actually possible to enjoy the sweets even without eating them. The sweets become furniture, made permanent and water-resistant. I couldn’t complete the installation at the opening as people and the media had many questions, shared their stories and ate the sweets. I found it very funny that the “material” I had left to prepare one of the chairs was eaten.
What’s your favourite piece you’ve done? Are you working on anything at the moment?
For a while my favourite pieces were the ones I developed without a proper brief. But now thinking, I reckon they were the ones done without a briefing at all. Maybe because I’ve been seen it every day, but I quite like my the Blap Boom skateboard, it’s few years old now.
I’m working on a commission given by a New Yorker-Italian artist to design his book. It includes his beautiful etchings which illustrate a very interesting novel. It’ll be printed and produced in Rome over the next few weeks. All future chapters are going to be separate books so it’ll be an ongoing project for at least another year.
Is there any difference in your approach when you’re commissioned to do something, as opposed to doing something completely of your own initiation?
I can only work if I have a deadline on my neck. Even if it’s a self-initiated, I have to restrict time for it. The creative approach is mainly the same. The only difference is, if it’s a commission, I would involve the client as maximum as I can.
Is there someone you follow for inspiration/are there people you know/do you proactively send your work out to people in some way?
I’ve been lucky enough to meet most of my favourite designers. The best thing is that the most inspiring designers I know are extremely successful, run big design agencies but are humble and constantly admire other’s people work. They give me confidence so I carry on. I get my inspiration mainly from art and music. I’d love to meet Yayoi Kusama, Riusuke Fukahori and Yoko Ono. I wish I had met Roy Lichtenstein and Clarice Lispector.
I think people would be interested in how something gets produced, and then finds life out in a gallery or event or wherever.
Normally the ideas are born through a commission request. If I’m given just a theme, I use the opportunity to produce something that I’ve never done before or to use a material that isn’t familiar to me. This can very stressful but the result is somehow always rewarding. It can look quite silly to try to deliver something, most of times, on tight deadlines, using bonkers materials and processes but it does work.
At least I constantly have the sense of achievement – and that’s what matters to me. If people connect with my work and like it, is even better.