Friday 16 June 2017

CHILDISH by Loe Russell- Showcasing BIG ART by Little Artists!

CHILDISH is an art project with a difference. Here the makers are not well known adults but pint sized artists whose creativity is pure joy to behold!

With an ongoing fundraising platform for arts programs and projects for children, Childish is an unique marketplace that showcases and sells beautiful art created by young talents. The founder of Childish is Loe Russell, a well-travelled, multidisciplinary creative, currently based in Berlin.

Loe has spent the last 12 years living between Canada and Dubai, where she worked commercially as an art director, with a focus on digital design, photography and integrated brand campaigns.

Loe's ability to find interesting details in the most basic of circumstances demonstrates her immense curiosity for life and all that it holds. And it comes as no surprise that Loe's new project that she is completely passionate about is 'Childish'. Underpinned by a strong philosophy that believes in the ideology that creativity transcends culture and can be healing, inspiring, and enriching, for any community it reaches, Loe is undoubtedly building a platform that celebrates creativity & helps develop and provides access to creative opportunities for children.

The Childish online store has just launched with a beautiful selection of exciting and unique images in their first collection. And believe me, some of the artwork that I saw on the website is good enough to rival those of many grown-up artists! These young talents are definitely a force to be reckoned with!
I had the opportunity to chat with Loe about the philosophy, inspiration, design process and future plans for Childish. Can you tell us a little bit about yourself?

I am a Canadian Art Director, born in urban Montreal, and raised in rural Prince Edward Island. I have travelled and lived in a many places, including Dubai, Canada, India, Indonesia, Sri Lanka and Europe, and have in the process been exposed to a diverse range of cultures and perspectives.What has been the inspiration behind Childish?

The direct inspiration for Childish was a small drawing my youngest sister drew many years ago on a post-it note, which I was completely charmed by. Over the following years, I continuously found myself drawn to childrens’ artwork that I would see hung on fridges, left on restaurant napkins, or made with chalk on the street. I loved the rawness and the complete lack of pretension in these pieces of art.What is the philosophy behind Childish?

Childish is a celebration of the dynamic creativity of children. It showcases young artists & sells artwork created by children. Funds raised by sales of art come full circle to help more children to access creative resources & opportunities.Can you describe the design process?

In terms of selecting the featured works, I intuitively put together pieces of work, that I can see being striking on their own, and also fit well within the group collection. The goal is to have a range of styles and personalities, from abstract to mixed media and to have children represented from a variety of locations.

Our first collection includes 9 countries. Each image is documented and post-processed in order to be enlarged and reproduced. The artworks are produced by hand with silkscreen, or as an archival Giclée. All of the pieces are currently printed on quality Hahnemühle paper.
What is a typical workday like for you?

Every day, from month to month, is a bit different, which is something I really appreciate about my work. Commercially, I work with many different types of brands, so I get to play detective with many different hats: luxury fashion boutiques, swimming pool builders, photography centres, salons, accountants, etc.

​For​ Childish, as I am doing much of the development myself, I have had to wear many hats for this endeavor as well; from branding, photography, product fulfillment to financials.

A typical day is 8am -Yoga. 10am - Delivery/errands. 11am - Working from co-working space. 6pm -  Free time to explore Berlin. 8pm - Social Media updates.
What are you working on at the moment?

The first collection was launched in May, so I am doing a lot of promotional work for that and fine-tuning the website. I’m looking for independent arts organisations to partner with and also planning for the second collection and new products.
Do you have a favourite print?

I love them all in different ways ;)
What according to you is the next big thing in interior design?

Modular spaces that are flexible and can be easily adapted.
What advice can you give children seeking a career in art?

Advice for children who want to be artists: Play. Make a mess. Don’t be too serious. Draw the things you find interesting. Try as many things as you can. Don’t worry about it being ‘the best’. Colour outside the lines.
What 3 words describe Childish?

Playful. Vibrant. Compassionate.
Can you share 3 things people don’t know about you?

- I live my life intuitively, and make decisions small and large primarily from that place
- I love cities, but long for treehouses, lakes and canoes
- I’ve lived in over 50 different apartments
Which is your favourite room in your home and why?

I have a studio in Berlin, so my favourite room is actually my main living space - which is tiny and charming, and just big enough to cook, work and do yoga.
Where do you see Childish in five years time?

I can imagine collaborations of all kinds with different organisations in different parts of the world,  developing community art projects and providing opportunities for children. A park installation of glow-in-the-dark kids sculptures in Berlin or perhaps a community center in Brazil, decorated by kids from the community. There are so many possibilities. But also, I would like to keep an open mind, and see where the wind takes it.
What's your favourite inspirational quote?

Laugh often, long and loud. Laugh until you gasp for breath. ~ George Carlin
Children are true artists, drawing and painting with joyful abandonment and Childish is the perfect platform to showcase this art. Every art print on the website is as unique as it's maker and each one beautiful and ingenious in it's own right.

Childish features art from different ages, cultures, regions across developed and developing countries and Loe is always on the lookout for new talent. If you know any talented young artists (ages 3-13), you can submit their art on the website and Childish will handpick a series each month to showcase. More details on submissions can be found on the link here.

You can buy these quality screen printed art prints directly from the website. In collaboration with local and international arts organisations, profits raised through sales of artworks will go back to the community, in the form of supplies, scholarships, program development and community projects.

I will definitely be following Loe's journey of creating an artistic, inspiring and unique social business that gives back as much as it gets. You can follow Childish on Instagram here, and check out the entire art collection on their website here.

A huge thank you to Loe for taking time out of her busy schedule for this interview.

Till next time... as Pablo Picasso said, 'Every child is an artist. The problem is how to remain an artist once we grow up'!

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