Lidija Seferović is a textile artist based in London, UK.
Can you tell us about the inspiration behind your practice. For example, why did you choose to focus on textile art and hand-drawing silk to combine art and fashion?
Making ‘wearable art’ can be tricky; in some cases, it can look 'costume-y'. What I want to do is, instead of recreating an art painting, to make the art part of everyday life. Using silk, a beautiful, luxurious fabric as a canvas, my items should make you think twice before you decide if you’d like to display it on the wall or wear it around your neck. It’s about the movement of the fabric itself and the way it expresses the painting that’s on it. The way it flows and moves with you, it’s just another experience. Art should always be an experience.
What is your creative process like in term of techniques and mediums and where do you find your inspiration?
It starts with inspiration and research, visits to museums and libraries, imagery from my travels and so on. I then develop mood boards with the visuals, objects and colour ways that I have collected. From this, I begin to develop a series of sketches from my initial ideas, experimenting with composition and different subject matter before I begin painting. When I’m happy with the work I’m going to apply to the canvas, I select the silk base colour, which is then stretched onto a bespoke wooden frame. As I paint freehand, directly onto the silk, I don’t have the luxury to erase any brush strokes and mistakes that might happen, so the first step is crucial to get the composition proportionally right. I can then concentrate on sharpening the outer lines, shading and, finally, adding my desired colour palette. Art and culture will always be at the heart of my inspiration. I have been classically trained, and I value the importance of old masters, pencil drawings and composition. I love learning about different cultures, their way of life, architecture, nature, language, and religion. The inspiration is endless!
Do you work like a fashion designer and feel like you have to produce a new collection every year, or do you prefer to work on pieces in a more informal, ad hoc way?
I do like the consistency of collections, but also the excitement of starting something new. That’s probably the designer in me. But I don’t feel like it’s essential to produce constantly, but when inspiration kicks in you can’t really ignore it, so start creating. It’s a great feeling! I am really interested in the idea that your work can be worn as a piece of clothing, which might be damaged and discarded, but also displayed as a more lasting piece of art. How do you reconcile these two aspects of your work? That’s the beauty of having a choice, and how you’d like your artwork to be presented. When I’m developing initial sketches on paper, I always keep positioning and composition in mind. It must have a continuous flow, a direction as such, to keep it interesting. That also gives the owner a sense of creativity, meaning diverse display or wearing options. Different angles create a different story. One day, you might say, that painting would go well with this outfit, I’ll wear it tonight!
You have worked with some amazing fashion designers like Alexander McQueen, what was that experience like?
I am very lucky that I have worked for some incredibly talented designers, especially after graduation; it’s the most valuable experience you’ll ever get. I got to see and work in many different areas of fashion, which you usually don’t have a realistic picture of when you’re younger. It’s a fascinating, creative environment, and the talented people I’ve met and the valuable skills I’ve gained, from design and embroidery to textiles and millinery, I’ll always be grateful for.
What is your next project and how would you like to develop your practice further?
I recently took a trip to South America; it’s packed with imagery and cultural treasures and inspiration so, of course, I’ve already started creating mood boards based on that trip. Moving forward, I’m going to start looking at larger scale pieces and using long, continuous brushstrokes. I will continue to explore the fluidity of art and fashion as a single entity.
More information about Lidija and her work can be found at www.lidijaseferovic.com