Picture by Ivan Zivanovic
Interview de la new-yorkaise Anabela JEVTOVIC, une graphiste et designer qui a accepté de participer sans hésitation à la rubrique Paroles de New-Yorkais. C’est toujours un plaisir de publier des articles sur des locaux afin d’en savoir plus sur leur quotidien à New York. Après le grand écrivain Marc Levy, c’est au tour d’Anabela de se présenter. De plus, je vous rappelle que deux créations de l’artiste sont à gagner jusqu’au 10 février 2013 prochain : Jeu concours pour gagner une affiche décorative. N’hésitez pas à utiliser Google Traduction si vous ne comprenez pas 🙂
♥ Can you introduce yourself please ?
Hello! 🙂 My name is Anabela Jevtovic and I am an artist, founder of two New York’s design studios: Dezignation | Design Studio New York and recently launched Rannka – Handmade in New York, an e-shop for handcrafted scarves for opinionated individuals. By profession I am an interior designer, but like many New Yorkers I have many jobs. I may have to be a photographer and a model at the same time, an accountant, a project manager and a designer, a business person and customer service but I truly enjoy all of the aspects of it as all revolve around the arts and design. At the moment, I am covering about every aspect of it: from graphic and web, to fine arts, photography and fashion.
♥ Have you always lived in New York ? What does New York mean to you ?
I was born and raised in Serbia and have lived and studied in Toronto, Canada for quite a while (loved it there too) before I settled in New York 5 years ago.
It’s one of those cities that you madly fall in love with on first sight or you don’t like it at all. I remember the first day I found myself wandering the concrete jungle, looking for a design office place where I was supposed to start my internship. It was magical and even though I was in a rush I couldn’t help but stop and just look around at busy streets and all those colorful people running some place. I knew then that I have found my place. It felt like I lived here my entire life (or perhaps in previous life). Every single corner looked familiar and in my heart I felt content.
♥ Can you suggest us your best addresses for the shopping or unusual things to do in New York City ? What is your favorite place in New York and why ?
For shopping I suggest going downtown and lower east side for cool little shops. Although, that probably won’t be everyone’s cup of tea. I tend to avoid all the busy shopping malls for many reasons: they all have exact same things on display and everyone looks the same. What I like about small shops is that you never know what you may find and you will be surprised that most of the things are actually very affordable.
For fun and going out I also like secluded places, further from the busy touristic areas. There is a mailing list that has been going on for quite a while (probably few years already) and it’s called Jeff Stark Nonsense NYC, where you get all that is happening and not much advertised in the media. It could be a roof top party or a secret location art project, experimental theater, concerts and so on.
And of course Brooklyn! East Williamsburg, Williamsburg area and Greenpoint. It’s a fun, fun place to go out or just hang out. It’s very artsy, awesome sense of community and interesting blend of people. It’s got tons of street art (probably the most in NY), greatest number of high-quality coffee shops, great Brooklyn beer and famous Brownstones with so called ‘stoop’ that you may have heard of (sitting, socializing on the steps of a small porch).
Yet, my favorite place has got to be anywhere near the water and since I now reside in Astoria Queens, it will have to be Astoria Park. The view is magnificent and it is a place where I escape from all of everyday life. When near that water, I feel much more in control and I just can sit there and stare at the water for hours as if I am the only person there.
♥ Can you give us a trend in New York City (fashion phenomenon or new concept, ..) ?
I don’t follow much of the trends and what’s being popular. But what I see happening on the streets of Manhattan are two types of styles. One that is overly casual and the other overly dressed.
And of course, there is BFMC – Brooklyn Fancy Manhattan Casual, which also seems to be picking up and transforming into an uniform of some sort. More, in and around Bushwick area you are most often going to see black jeans/pants tucked into black boots with different color laces. I like the style and all, but more and more people are picking it up. With that, goes a cardigan and a wool cap. One of those items should come from a thrift shop. Which is cool, but I prefer dressing up my very own way.
♥ Where can we found your creations ? What inspires you ?
All of my creations are to be found online.
My personal website anabelajevtovic.com for arts, Dezignation.com for the graphic, web and more commercial design and the latest – handmade scarves e-store rannka.com. Rannka was actually inspired and named after my grandma, an extraordinary women who raised me back home and who influenced much of my personality while growing up.
I like seeing other people’s creations, understanding what their topics are about, how did they present the idea, what medium did they use and so on. It makes me think of my own ideas in a different way and also it’s kind of nice to ‘steal’ a part of that drive and adrenalin other artists experienced while creating. It reminds me of how much I love doing what I’m doing and it gives me wings for another project in line. Back at the day you’d have to go to museums and art shows to stay on top what’s happening. Today, everything is a click away, so I always try to find the time to be in touch with the news in arts and design department.
But what inspires me above all is my family. I was born lucky to be put in hands of my parents who always supported me and my love towards art. I crossed half a world to get my education and to be where I am right now. It wasn’t the easy time for a girl coming from eastern Europe into a western world, and if it weren’t for them I would not have made it. So they are my biggest inspiration – my mom and dad.
My second biggest inspiration is the rest of humanity (‘I am a fan of men’), a true, naked honesty of who and how we are; with all of our fears and imperfections, with all our desires and dreams, with tears and emotions, and pride and jealousy, helping hand and kind hearts – all that, with no masks and no make up to cover it up. To really open up and take no embarrassment in anything that we humans are about. That is what awes me really, an ability to show our true nature for whatever that might be. And so when I create, if it comes truthfully is a success. If I however try too hard and think of how cool it should look like I then create some sort of a wannabe. But when it happens that I blush to myself on how honest and deep I go, I then deliver a piece I am proud of. And that is what all of the original pieces are about – our true self. As then, one often recognize and correlate with that same feeling of fear or a bliss and so we connect and that’s what art is supposed to be about.
♥ About you, you think the New Yorkers are …
I’d say New Yorkers know exactly what they want and are to the point. Half of the people living in NY were not born here and a third came from a different country. And so all of the struggles for a high rent, smaller apartments, crowded restaurants, crazy traffic, busy parking and what not shaped us to respond quickly. If you’re waiting in a line in a coffee shop you should know what to order before your turn, as New Yorkers don’t have the time to wait for you.
Also, what I really like about New Yorkers is their sense of cooperation and community involvement. If a mayor comes out on TV and says you are supposed to go and buy candles and flash lamps and stuck up on water and food supplies before the storm – everyone listens and follows the direction. Everyone. I like that. It shows such a kind character and the sense that we’re all in this together kind a deal.
Another thing I like about New Yorkers is that they never see you as a stranger (unless you opened a really large map and are blocking a busy sidewalk). They may very well ask you where you got your shoes and tell you that they have exact same purse as you do. On the other hand, New Yorkers will never smile at you out of courtesy as they meet a lot of people during the day – from work to home on a subway, having lunch in a park or going to the gym – New Yorkers live their lives in public as they do in private life. But are always kind if stopped to ask for a direction or another short question you might have.
♥ A word to the readers of We Love New York ?
First of all thank you for inviting me to be part of this wonderful blog and thank you for reading this article 🙂
If ever in New York avoid touristic areas and go for a real New York experience. Ask a New Yorker for favorite restaurant and to suggest a fun place to visit. Of course, you are supposed to see Times Square and Empire State, but limit those moments to a minimum as you are going to spend lots time in lines and overcrowded spaces. Instead, try blend into the city life by riding subway or try hail a cab, taste the local food at family owned restaurants and go for a walk from MacDougal street, through Bleecker all the way to East Village and St Marks Place.