29 January 2015

Monica & The Unseen Notebook

Today we want to introduce to you a leafer from London, Monica Islas, a Mexican graphic designer whose work focuses on advertising. I meet Monica on a Saturday morning for a coffee at her favourite place, the beautiful Hally’s Parsons Green cafè in west London, and we spend a lovely two hours together, while she tells everything about her life here.

Monica can you tell us a bit of yourself? We are really curious to hear your story.

I was raised in Mexico, and there I encouraged a particular fascination with folk art within me. After graduating from university I worked for the government of my city for 5 years. After this period of time I felt the need to further develop my skills, meet new people, experience different cultures and discover new ways of life. I decided to leave Mexico and attend a Master of Arts degree in London. Suddenly, I was among a group of people from all around the world striving to become great creatives. We experimented a lot and learned from each other. For me that was an incredibly interesting time because of all the new influence and the freedom of doing student work without boundaries again. I moved to London nearly 5 years ago and I can’t go a day without being inspired. This city inspires and excites me! Virtually everything I see keeps my creative ideas flowing.

What is your favorite object, the one that represents you the most in your work?

My aim has always been to try and remain relevant and up to date in my conceptual thinking, this is so important to me, specially when you are immerse in the design world, I think this is mainly the reason why I moved here. London is one of the most cosmopolitan capitals in the world today, is a city that combines history with cutting-edge creativity and a dynamic pop culture; such a big source of creative ideas and energy, every day there is new faces, designers, objects, products, etc.… so far I have enjoyed a happy and truly rewarding 5-year relationship with it. It’s difficult for me to pick just one object, but my current favorite is a hand dyed chromic colour-change ink notebook by THE UNSEEN EMPORIUM! This notebook is much more than just a practical item, its pure creativity translated to everyday object with beauty and functionality. I was amazed when I discovered this innovative technology; what was interesting is the way THE UNSEEN fused scientific study and creativity to enhance matter at a hidden level. This notebook is dyed with wind reactive ink that changes colours upon contact with the air around us and responds to environmental changes such as heat, light and wind. It is intended to reveal the unseen turbulencesurrounding us as we move through our environment. As a designer I have always been curious about things, and this is certainly one of the most unusual technologies I have came across with, this enhance the imagination and experimentation, providing an aesthetic that provokes discourse on beauty of materials in fashion, technology, interaction and data. It is like having my own object that, by magic continually changes colour state in front of the viewer’s eyes.

What is your idea of design?

It is a dangerous term. Especially in the Age of Design but I like to think that it’s a lot more than making it pretty, Design is the way you visualize ideas and ultimately how these are communicated. Design can impact/change how people perceive the world.