Thursday, October 30, 2008

Interview with Zacarata

Today's interview is with Zacarata, at 28 year old law student and one of Polyvore's most talented artists. Zacarata's sets are instantly recognizable because they have a unique "mosaic" style -- lots of tiny squares all layered on top of each other, but blended perfectly to create a beautiful picture.

The House of the Rising Sun by Zacarata

Cradle of Filth by Zacarata

The Minute Of Decay by Zacarata

Sin City by Zacarata

Tell us about yourself.

My name is Jelena and I am 28 years old. I'm just finishing law studies at the University of Belgrade. Currently I work for advertising company and my job is very related to graphic design.

Besides drawing and painting, I love to stay up late at night, listen to music, watch horror movies or read poetry, as well as books with social, existential themes, and comics (my favorite is Dylan Dog). I also collect strange, funny things, especially toys. I would love to have a large collection of old optical toys like zoetropes, thamatropes, kaleidoscopes, and flip books.

I live in Sremska Mitrovica, a city located in the Vojvodina, a province of Serbia. The town is better known as Sirmium, its Latin name. Sirmium was one of the oldest cities in Europe. Many Roman Emperors were born in or near this city and it has a very interesting history,you should check it out!

But my sets probably speak more about me than my words!

Describe your sense of style/fashion.

I am not afraid to be different and love to experiment with different styles. I don't follow trends and always try to be myself. What I wear definitely depends on how I feel. I equally like elegant high heels and All Stars sneakers. Most of my wardrobe is black, my favorite color. I am addicted to purses and hats. I have them in all different shapes, colors, sizes, etc. And I love make-up!

My favorite fashion quote is: "Smiling makes anything you are wearing look better!"

How did you discover Polyvore?

I discovered Polyvore through the Polyvore Facebook application.

Tell us a little about what you use Polyvore for and why.

For me, Polyvore is place where I meet new people and express myself & my feelings. I try to make sets that provoke emotions similar to those I felt during the creation of the set. A lot of people from other parts of the world leave me messages and comments to let me know that when they look at my sets they share those emotions with me. It is hard to explain how I feel at those moments -- very excited, very pleased .That's why I'm here!

How much time do you spend on Polyvore per week?

Usually 4-5 hours per day, sometimes more, sometimes less. It depends on how inspired I am. When I study for my exams, I still login every day, but just to check out what's new and hot on Polyvore.

Describe your set creation process. Where do you get inspiration for your sets? How do you pick a theme? How do you find your items?

The whole process starts with browsing items. When I find an item I like, I try to imagine how the set should look. Usually it takes days to find other matching items which will suit the first item the best. I look at colors and shapes. I'm overwhelmed with happiness when I find two, three, or more items that are a perfect match and in that moment the set is complete. After that everything falls easily into place.

The biggest challenge is to complete my sets from items that have already been clipped by other people. That's why I try not to use clipper very often. The most beautiful items are often found by accident when I'm not looking for them, like while I'm looking at other sites and sets.

My sets are a reflection of my feelings. Anything that can get emotions out of me inspires me. Most often that is music, people, situations, my memories, or a good book.

I usually choose themes that occupy my everyday life. My sets reflect on loneliness, nostalgia, memories, vices, etc. They represent faraway places, memories from childhood, some of them are mystical, dynamic, some dramatic...Every one is a story for itself.

What are your 3 favorite sets of the ones you've made?

I'm very self-critical. I used to delete sets if I thought they weren't perfect, even if they had positive feedback from others. Of the 150-200 sets that I've created, on my profile you can see roughly 80. Here are the 3 sets that I'm most proud of.

DANDELION - This set is very soft and cheerful and brings happy emotions, as opposed to my other sets, which are usually more melancholy.

Dandelion by Zacarata

RES NULLIUS - It's a place from my dreams. I like the atmosphere of this set.

Res Nullius by Zacarata

CHILDHOOD MEMORIES - In this set I perfectly arranged different items, as if they were always one ensemble.

Childhood Memories by Zacarata

Got any feature requests for the Polyvore team?

Considering my competitive spirit only thing I'm missing are contests that include more artistic sets!


memorykeeper said...

I am always in awe of Jelena's sets! I always did think it must take days to find the perfect items that she combines in her sets. They are just amazing and anyone that has not seen them all really must! I enjoyed learning more about you Jelena. Thanks! xoxo

Anna said...

i remember finding jelena and her sets along time ago before they were so so many ppl love her sets, im so happy and proud of her!

aisha.kay said...

I am her biggest fan. Such an inspiring artist.