To celebrate Air Max Day 2018 we welcome in Smoluk who joins us for her debut RUN of handmade mixed media shoe sculptures! Featuring more than a dozen originals and Smoluk’s debut print release, we are excited to present these extremely unique editions and multiples from the Canadian artist. Read on as Smoluk takes us through her first release and a new batch of originals. . .
1xRUN: Tell us a little bit about this piece, anything immediate you would like us to highlight about this image?
Smoluk: I really wanna emphasize on the fact that this image is a 2D representation of my work. I want people to know that I specialize in 3D creations that are also available here.
1x: Was this image part of a recent theme, series or show that you had? If so how did it fit into that given grouping?I
Smoluk: Yes, it is. This image represents my last series honoring the infamous and inspiring Nike Air Max 90.
1x: What materials were used to create this original piece?
Smoluk: Devoted to protecting the environment, I mostly use recycled materials: plastic, raffia or empty boxes. I also use acrylic paint, glue and gloss varnish.
1x: When was it originally drawn and created? If it was part of a larger continue series when was that begun?
Smoluk: My first collection was born in January after a hectic shopping session. Because of my tiny foot, I couldn’t find a pair of kicks in my size: I felt so frustrated that I decided to start my own collection.
1x: Tell us how the idea and execution came about for this image? How long did this image take to create from start to finish?
Smoluk: Sneakers addicts accumulate tons of kicks and often don’t wear them at all: shoes are turned into pieces of art. I wanted to represent my collection of kicks in the same way. Additionally, using carton was also a way for me to denounce mass consumption. It usually takes me 20 hours approximately to produce one shoe. All my creations are handmade.
1x: What is unique about this piece compared with your other work?
Smoluk: I had a lot of fun creating this series even though it was quite challenging because of the bubble air and all the details that make the Air Max 90 so unique. These creations are also bigger (10.5US) than my previous works.
1x: Why should people buy this one of these prints?
Smoluk: As an environmental activist, I wanna inspire people through my work by showing them how important recycling is and helping them seeing things differently.
1x: Describe this image in one gut reaction word.
1x: When did you first start making art? What was your first piece?
Smoluk: I’ve always wanted to be a designer unfortunately I was too broke to afford a design school. While in France, I discovered cardboard art early 2010s and immediately fell in love with it. I gave birth to my first creations made out of empty boxes in 2012. After moving to Montreal, I had the opportunity in 2015 to collaborate with the talented Laurence Vallières. Working with such inspiring artist has been a game changer. After spending two years by her side, I have finally decided to fly the nest a few months ago to launch my own business. My first piece was an Adidas Stan Smith.
1x: What artists inspired you early on?
Smoluk: Laurence Vallières obviously became a mentor over the years. Jeremy Scott has also made a big impact on my life. Traveling all over the world, I had the chance to meet many fascinating and gifted artists, such as Dulk, Robert Williams and Bordalo among others.
1x: What artists inspire you now?
Smoluk: I recently fell in love with Ben Frostisdead and Joshua Vides’ works. I actually have many different sources of inspiration. Nike and Adidas sneakers releases are very inspiring. The empty boxes I find randomly also give me tons of ideas.
1x: Do you listen to music while you work? If so what? If not, then what is your environment like when you work?
Smoluk: Erykah Badu, Jazz Liberators, IAMDDB, Stevie Wonder, Evelyn “Champagne” King, FKJ… I always listen to music while working. It helps me focusing.
1x: If you could collaborate with any living artist who would it be and why? Any deceased artists?
Smoluk: Jeremy Scott because I think he understood the effectiveness and the creative power of empty boxes. Creating a line of clothes made of cardboard is actually one of my biggest dreams. (For the latter) Coco Chanel. Rebellious and feminist, she was so ahead of her time and made such a massive impact on fashion. She really is a great source of inspiration to me.
1x: What was the first piece of art that you bought? Do you still have it? The last?
Smoluk: I never bought a piece of art, unfortunately. My first one was a gift from Laurence Vallières. And of course, I still have it. It’s invaluable! The last one I got was from my dear friend, ankh’one, a Montreal based street artist with whom I am currently working on a new project soon to be released.
1x: Any big shows or events coming up that you’d like to share?
Smoluk: I will be featured during a show at Kebbekskateboards, a famous skateboard store in Montreal (4257 Rue St Denis) on April 22nd for Earth Day! I am also collaborating with Robbie Lariviere on some new models of kicks. There’s a lot coming up, stay tuned!
1xRUN: Where else can people find you?
Smoluk: Website – Instagram @smoluk.box