EYES&EDGE: When did you first realize that you were an artist? Was there a turning point for you or was it love at first fingerpaint as a child? Did you come from a family of artists?
FRIDA LAS VEGAS: I knew instinctively I was going to make art and fashion as an adult by the age of 4. I remember watching The B-52s music video for ‘Love Shack’, which was a complete religious experience, and set the blueprint for how I could create a distinct visual universe that made other people feel good in the process. I was always happiest as a kid drawing, by myself, using all the colours (besides brown) and sneaking a spray of my Mom’s Christian Dior Poison onto the paper to make it a multi-sensory experience!
As a young adult, I went to college and studied media & journalism. I wasn’t sure how to pursue a career as an artist – and if I’m really honest – I didn’t believe I’d had enough life experience at that point to make anything that was different, interesting or worthwhile. It took until my late 20s to share my creative work online outside the daily grind of my day job in animation. It’s terrifying to take the plunge and commit to a creative practice, but somehow I found the gumption in my 30s and haven’t looked back.
My Dad was a professional musician in his early 20s who got a quote-unquote ‘real career’ in his 30s. I saw how he secretly regretted his decision to leave music behind and took mental notes. He always encouraged me to pursue a creative life, as he could relate to the things he didn’t do and wanted me to experience for myself. My Mom, a kindergarten teacher, has always been a fantastic enabler of creative people and gave me space to express myself as a teenager, which is kind of amazing considering my conservative Greek cultural background.
EYES & EDGE:. Is there a certain time period or art movement that influences you the most? What initially engaged you with that type of art and what about it moves you?
FRIDA LAS VEGAS: Andy Warhol was my teenage obsession, which quickly morphed into a love affair with Jeff Koons and other Pop artists from the 1960s – 1990s. I truly believe Pop is a universal visual language shared across borders and cultures; it’s a perfect mode to inspire shared experience of memory, connectivity and commonality. Art & Fashion are powerful mediums to explore what self-actualisation and self-confidence looks and feels like for each individual. I'm a messenger as well as a maker and believe everybody has the right to express themselves using these tools to live their best lives.
EYES & EDGE: What affect do you wish to have on the world and people when they see or wear your art?
FRIDA LAS VEGAS: My mission is to positively impact the world through a technicolour cocktail of Pop Art, fashion, glamour and humour that makes people feel FABULOUS, confident and passionate about living in this world.
EYES & EDGE:. Are there other art expressions besides design that you are passionate about or find yourself happily diving into?
FRIDA LAS VEGAS: Cinema is a huge personal passion; I’m a massive, ridiculous, supersonic film obsessive. I have a professional background working in animation, but in recent years, I’ve also learned how to edit. The creative agency an editor has in the filmmaking process is extraordinary. I’ve loved pushing myself to learn the technical side of editing software, which isn’t glamorous, but is totally necessary to honing the craft. One day I hope to make a feature film, probably when I’m well into my 40s. I keep telling myself ‘All good things take time’!
EYES & EDGE: How long have you been designing and what was the process like getting started? What were you doing before that?
FRIDA LAS VEGAS: I think there’s no one ‘way’ to design and everyone approaches the design process with their own panache and perspective. For me, I was motivated to make what I couldn’t find on the market and set out to experiment and find the medium that could best solve that problem. It started off being jewellery and accessories, but has since morphed into fashion and neon artworks on a larger scale that I could never have anticipated at the beginning of my Frida Las Vegas journey. I feel that designing is alot like surfing, strangely enough – you have to ride the waves in and out as the tides ebb and flow and be totally in control of your abilities and judgement calls with every move.
EYES & EDGE: Tell us about your process , a day in the life of the studio of the fabulous Frida Las Vegas?
FRIDA LAS VEGAS: I’m an early riser and start checking emails around 7am with a bowl of Special K or Coco Pops, if I’m feeling sassy. My creative brain is generally ‘on’ from 8am – 12pm, which is when I try and do the majority of my drawing. I’ll eat lunch at my desk and power through until 3pm, which is when my brain gets fried and I officially lose the will to create. I’ll walk to the post office and do admin tasks before making dinner and then pass out watching documentaries about space, aliens, ancient Egypt or a mix of the three. Working solo can get lonely, so I always listen to a mix of podcasts and music throughout the day to stay motivated and on-task with Seth Godin and co. cheering me on.
EYES & EDGE: Do you have any particular heros or sheroes that you aspire to? How about Music , smells, sights, places- that inspire you and push you forward?
FRIDA LAS VEGAS: In no particular order, my personal heroes include: Elio Fiorucci, Ken Done, David LaChapelle, Jarvis Cocker, Jeremy Scott, Sofia Coppola, John Waters, David Lynch, Madonna, Jeff Koons, Patrick Nagel, Miss Piggy, Bob Mackie, Fran Drescher, The B52s, Barbie, Anais Nin, Pedro Almodovar to name a few…so many incredible, talented people who have left an indelible mark on the world at large and my internal personal world!
EYES & EDGE: I’ve noticed that Australia loves bright colors! How does being in and from Australia influence your art ?
FRIDA LAS VEGAS: I grew up in Australia during the late 1980s and early 1990s. This was a time of eternal day-glo colour and music video overload, which heavily impacted my imagination as a kid obsessed with fashion, music, movies and television. Fast-forward to the noughties and I consciously pay homage to the symbols, signs, people and places I grew up with to create a uniquely Australian form of Pop Art that takes people back in time to feel that 80s/90s vibe. Australia is a colourful place because the people are colourful in every way imaginable.
EYES & EDGE: Can you key us into some Australian lingo , phrases or vocabulary that is good to know? I have recently learned about Budgie Smuggler which is one of my personal favorites so far.( For the readers, it is a banana hammock).
FRIDA LAS VEGAS: ‘Map Of Tassie’ is my all-time favourite Aussie slang. It refers to women’s public hair – sounds random, but look at the shape of Tasmania and you’ll catch the idea. You’d use it in a sentence like: “Come here and I’ll show ya my Map of Tassie’. I also really like ‘Woop Woop’, which refers to a town in the middle of nowhere – as in, “I live in Sydney but grew up in Woop Woop”.
EYES & EDGE: Your happy place. Describe it to me.
FRIDA LAS VEGAS: I feel at home amongst the palms eating lobster, drinking champagne and talking non-stop with my family and friends.
EYES & EDGE: 2019 seems to be all about self- care! What are some of your favorite self-care rituals to keep you on your A-game?
FRIDA LAS VEGAS: Trying on makeup at chemists (drugstores) is a genuine therapeutic exercise for me. The older I get, the more I like to spontaneously book myself in for massages and pedicures like a true fancy lady - although secretly I feel ashamed, like I should be working instead of pampering. Life’s too short and we have to learn to recognize when to hold ’em and when to fold ‘em!