Wednesday, April 6, 2011
In a field where we can easily utilize the computer and Wacom tablet as our tool of choice, we made the decision to “return to our roots” so to speak, and pick up a paintbrush. We chose to flex our artistic muscles with a series of “art days” where the entire team (office managers and accountant included) participated in intensive 3-hour sessions of painting, drawing and general mark making. And the results were fabulous!
We worked with different grounds like mulberry paper (wet and dry), watercolour paper and news print and covered them in India ink, charcoal,wax and paint. It was messy and brilliant and resulted in over 230 paintings and drawings. From there we collectively created 168 working concepts and were able to whittle these down to a collection of 7.
Now we’re on to the sampling process and with eager anticipation await their arrival! Creative Matters hopes to launch our still unnamed collection at the New York International Carpet Show and then at Domotex 2012. Times are changing and interesting things are happening at our little studio on Annette Street. Stay tuned!
Tuesday, July 20, 2010
As a regular visitor to the city, CMI co-founder, Carol Sebert gets to see the beautiful parts of this South Asian country but also some of the darker images Kathmandu holds. She says:
"While in Nepal last November, I saw a number of kids living on the streets. It gets cold in Kathmandu in the winter and kids are forced to sleep next to dogs to stay warm. I was struck by this tragic existence and wanted to make a difference.”
According to UNICEF, "Street living children are children who may have lost their families through war or illness, or have been abandoned because they had become too much of a burden, or else ran away from their abusive, dysfunctional, poverty-stricken families and now live alone on the streets. Many poor children are struggling for survival out in the streets, sleeping on makeshift cardboard mattresses in main cities like Kathmandu.”
Our event was a success, raising awareness and collecting over 100 coats to send to Kathmandu with the help of Child Welfare Scheme, U.K.- Nepal who will aid in the distribution of the coats and ensure that the outerwear gets to those in need. Our CWS representative, Jeremy Southon wrote to us this morning with his distribution game plan,
“ We will have them delivered to one of your suppliers so that they can clear it through customs as I will be managing distribution in Kathmandu…Once the clothes have arrived I should put together a clear distribution plan for your approval and then get the clothes distributed in early December when the cold season starts.”
We look forward to an update from Jeremy in the coming months. A special thanks for the huge efforts put forth by staff and students of Bishop Marrocco/Thomas Merton Catholic Secondary School, Toronto, for taking up our plight and gathering a great number of coats and outerwear. We also warmly thank friends and neighbors of Creative Matters for their donations as well.
Tuesday, November 24, 2009
Greetings from Creative Matters!
Carol and Ana returned this past weekend from their trip to Nepal. Carol managed to steal a few hours from her busy trip, to visit the Goodweave site where children are taken after being rescued from forced labour in carpet mills. While she was there, she taught an art class for the 33 students who are living there at the moment. After she left, Carol sent the most uplifting email from Nepal - very inspiring! I had to share:
I had such a fun day I felt I had to report right away.
I went to the home where the kids live at Rugmark/Goodweave today with paper, paints (house paint tinted yellow pink and blue) black ink and paintbrushes. The kids were really excited that we were going to have an afternoon of art. I began with them all up on the roof of their home, as it was a gloriously sunny day. We sat in a big circle and started with the ink and did life drawing, which of course, was absolutely hilarious. I got one of them to model and at first they were shy and their poses a bit dull, but one by one (I guess I had about 15 models by the end) the poses became more elaborate. There were lots of judo-like poses by the boys and tiger-like poses from the girls. They all just leapt into painting with marvelous abandon!
I then had them take the black and white paintings and add colour. By this time, the paint was starting to get all over the place, including in my hair as it was quite a flurry - paint pots were spilling, what with 33 kids exuberantly painting... but they were so into it, and so incredibly focused. I've done workshops like this before and there are generally a few goofballs that really can be disruptive, but not these kids - they worked really hard.
After about an hour I wanted to do one larger piece. I wanted them to try working larger so the full sheet that was 24”x36”. I instructed them to paint themselves in a setting that they liked and WOW, the results were amazing. Many of them did houses with the Himalayas in the background with clouds in the sky and big suns. One boy painted the RugMark house that they all currently live in with him on the roof flying a kite; another boy drew himself as almost a cartoon superman type figure in a charming landscape. Gorgeous work. And they were so proud of themselves - I couldn't take enough pictures of them holding their artworks, it was absolutely lovely.
A touching moment was when one girl, who had just arrived the day before, who was too shy to do anything but watch finally picked up a paintbrush (well I may have put it in her hand). She did a lovely figure painting all pinks and blues. You could just sense her feeling more settled and part of the group. The warden and I were both really pleased to see that.
Tuesday, August 4, 2009
It’s been a busy Spring/Summer season at Creative Matters. The month of April saw our fearless leaders trek back to Nepal for almost 2 weeks to visit our mills, weavers, spinners and washers. Quality control is of the utmost importance to CMI and this is how we ensure beautiful carpets and samples. This brief chance to speak with the mill owners and weavers is best opportunity to mesh our visions and instructions, maintaining this strong partnership and that produces our custom carpets and our Aerial Collection.
After all of the work is done, on those long Nepalese days, Carol and Donna manage to find some spare moments to decompress. This comes back to us in the form of their beautiful photography that tells us at the studio in Toronto, a million stories.
May, June and July have provided busy days filled with artworks and colour-matching, samples and carpet installations. One of the most exciting events was the installation of the beautiful lobby carpet at the Soho Grand Hotel in New York.
The sleek new design lends itself beautifully to the chic, luxurious vibe that the Soho seems to float on. And working with Studio Sofield is always a pleasure (especially when the results are this beautiful!)
Now our water-logged summer seems to be in her home stretch as we look forward with anticipation and excitement to our next steps for 2009. Samples of the new additions to the Aerial Collection are trickling in and the buzz is starting to build as we look forward to Domotex 2010. Granted, the big day for Germany is in January, but we at Creative Matters know how fast time flies. This year the team will truly be taking pieces of Canada with them overseas – but that’s all that I’m going to give away.
If you want to see what I’m talking about, you’ll have to meet Creative Matters in Hanover for the launch...