INTERVIEW WITH BROOKLYN BASED
How did you get into t-shirt design?
A peacock feather, a Japanese gocco, an ex-boyfriend who knew how to make silkscreens at home, a new york sales tax id number, and a little table set up in soho, and a nervous creative tick that needs to be expressed.
Where do you look to for inspiration?
branches, bodies of water, fields of city flowers, birds and botanics, feathers of all shapes and sizes, nature, nature, and more nature. Poetry inspires the metaphor of the visual images so often the shirts tell stories. Like a drawing in a journal. Or a photograph in a photo album. Marks some kind of place in time in my history mapped out by image.
What are you hoping to say with your line?
I view my prints as works of art and my body of clothing as the canvas. Each print is considered a lithograph. With a master's in poetry, I self-publish my poetry on shirts. A poet's got to make a living somehow. Wink.
I'm trying to take the typical bread and butter t-shirt print and make it into the unexpected, printing on more interesting bodies ready to wear and to make clothes into art we can hang in a gallery, every day objects like duvet covers and surfboards as things you hang in museums. i like to collaborate with other artists and designers. as collaboration makes the world grow round.
I'm working on the idea of maintaining a business with a consciousness, whether it's making people happy and feel pretty and positive in my pieces, or creating awareness about a social or political issue, or helping someone be inspired to live their dream.
It's a very small company, nothing is mass produced, everything is printed in Fort Greene in Brooklyn, and I maintain that it's hand-made, limited edition, made with heart, and a dream.
Why should people buy handmade?
Plain and simple, it's good for the earth.
Buying handmade is buying with consciousness and promoting business with consciousness. Not only is it supporting small business, which hopefully is sweat-shop free, positive, happy, earth friendly environment-creating less waste then a large mass produced line, but also, supports someone's dream, and helps keep things person to person and personal. Handmade gear is a part of living the dream: the artist dreams when they make their work, and you buying it, helps support them to live their dream. It's a wonderful give and take. Each piece then means much more when the value and majic of the work is understood in this way.
What does it mean to be an artist in New York? Does your location have a big influence on your work?
Funny thing is: most of my work arrives from a botanical or natural source. I think because New York is so metal, cement, grounding: it often sends me daydreaming about woods, seawater, the desert in the southwest, and so these prints are almost dream prints from these daydreams.
You can live your dream, whatever that is. It's up to you to create it and be brave enough to live, eat, and breathe it.
-Featured in BrooklynBased.Net
REVIEW BY GEN ART
Nurse the urban hippy inside with unpretentious pieces from a very non-jaded New Yorker Brooklyn poet-turned-designer, avalove.
Peacock plumes, lupin flowers, hummingbirds, and her own poetry are common themes in avalove's designs. Nature-inspired wrap dresses bridge the gap between flower-child and rock star. Want to look a like a modern Janis Joplin without all the heroin, and the crazy? This line is for you. The clothes are smart and funky with a kind of pretty optimism that is increasingly rare in a world knee deep in snark; not surprising, as Avalove's self-professed mission is to create positive, inspiring pieces.
An independent designer, avalove's shop of hand-printed wares is one of those little lighthouses of creativity in a world crowded by merchandising giants with bold-faced names, multiple store locations, and factory-made clothing. Don't get us wrong, a store-bought basic can be a good thing. But these designs, that will make the most cynical city-dweller smile instead of smirk, are even better.
- Olivia Purnell, GEN ART
CBS NEWS LOCAL
NYC Style: The Ethereal Avalove
by Kimberly Rae Miller
Borough/Neighborhood: Bushwick, Brooklyn
Profession: artist, designer, yogi
Avalove sometimes goes to the honey hive to watch the honey glow. She began writing poetry in 7th grade, and has been published in many literary journals, and won the Amy Award from Poets and Writers magazine for best New York area ‘younger woman’ poet under 30. After a long love affair with CosmoGIRL! Magazine as the editor , she felt a need to express a nervous creative tick. Avalove began printing t-shirts and selling them on the streets in Soho. She prints everything she can get her hands on with dream images from ball gown dresses, to men’s ties. She has a small cut and sew line that’s supply goes according to demand.
And it’s now 7-years-old and growing! Only existing due to the love of the people in New York City who so graciously support the avalove line. She believes the practice of yoga is essential, and is teacher trained in both Kundalini yoga, and the Jivamukti yoga method, and has been studying a healing technique called sat Nam Rasayan for 14 years under her teacher guru Dev Singh.
Spiritual activism is the most revolutionary and inspiring teachings of yoga. Every moment is a moment you can be a revolutionary in your own life, right when you finish this sentence, go do it now!
How would you define your personal style?
Style goes according to mood, so you can see the mood by what I have on. Super good mood is wearing a ball gown and tiara to go to the bodega in to pick up orange juice. My dream closet is full of costumes just for turning these every day boring, un-transcendent moments, into something that transcends, and no closet is complete without wings, glitter hair spray (who needs it to be Halloween?), and really great, comfortable, fabulous vegan moonboots. It’s about expressing imagination. I am not one for following the rules.
Do you have a philosophy behind your clothing?
I view my prints as works of art and my body of clothing as the canvas. Avalove is much more art, and much less about fashion. The goal of anything in life is to elevate, so avalove designs have this goal to elevate the wearer. There are lucky bluebird tees to bring good luck to the wearer, or peacock prints to give a holy darshan to the wearer, a dreamcatcher to catch your dreams. The intention is always elevation.
When you’re working on designing a line what kind of process do you have?
The topic line of avalove is birds and botanics. Poetry inspires the metaphor of the visual images so often the shirts tell stories. Like a drawing in a journal. Or a photograph in a photo album. Marks some kind of place in time in my history mapped out by image.
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