Interview with Lora Nikolova | jewellery of abstract design
The designer of Lora Nikolova jewellery tells us everything in a truly exclusive interview. Read a bit about what she said…Your jewellery has become the symbol of exclusive, contemporary elegance. But let’s take a step back, how did Lora Nikolova start out? "Thank you, what a lovely compliment! The brand that carries my name became official around five years ago, whereas my passion for jewellery began much earlier. Seeing ladies wearing “boring” jewellery stirred in me numerous times the thought of undoing their necklaces and creating something special, new and extraordinary, using the same elements. It’s a bit of an exaggeration but at the same time very personal and modern. A play on colour, shapes, asymmetries, for example a single earring or a pair of two different earrings. I reckon all this would have been impossible without the studies in scenography that I undertook, wherein I Iearned to interpret and design spaces and their interactions with shapes. After various experiences in the working field which include theatre, TV and big fashion brands, I finally decided to follow my heart and dedicate myself full time to the art of artistic jewellery, thus creating my own brand."What are the values that represent you the most, your life philosophy and that of your style?"I feel fortunate having dedicated my studies to Art - I believe that it transformed the way I think and the way I perceive life. I like loyal people and the concrete things in life, that’s why I often choose the colours that contrast most. But I’m certainly not trying to paint a perfect picture of myself: I admit that I often find myself to be indecisive and critical, and through my Art I express my complexity too. Regarding style, be it minimal or extravagant, It’s fundamental for one to feel free to express oneself elegantly. For me, style translates to the intelligence that allows new visions to be communicated, using the best of our cultural heritage. I try to transmit my ideas and elegant aesthetics through my jewellery."
What made you choose jewellery as the means to express your creative polyhedron? "I remember as a child of 8 years, I had my first experience with Cernit (polymer clay), with which I began to create my first little sculptures, including brooches. Since childhood I had a strong interest and a natural calling for Art in its major forms. I attended the artistic strand at high school where I specialised in textile design, studying expression of colour, graphics and 2D decoration. After a tough selection, I was accepted into the Sofia Art Academy where I later graduated in theatrical scenography. That was definitely the most important and significant stage of my life, for the vast amount of creative work I carried out, and the fantastic, competent teachers. I then came to Milan where I graduated a second time, at the Accademia di Brera. My studies there taught me a great spatial perception, three-dimensionalism, composition and dynamism of shapes, and their balance. Through theatrical scenes I discovered a way in which to communicate my Art through jewellery; my bijoux are just like “abstract scenographies”. In these architectural networks I expressed my perception of shapes in space, and the connections between them. It regards more than just purely combining colours to create a decorative, wearable object; it’s about how to communicate and tell stories through these objects. I like painting with acrylics too, I think that was also a contribution to my research."What are the distinctive traits of your brand? Why choose you? "Definitely Art; my creations are wearable sculptures. They are appreciated by people who are sensitive to culture and of course, to Art; by those who understand space and recognise how it interacts with shape. Artists, architects, musicians, women with strong personalities who love to adorn themselves with jewellery that communicates as well as decorates, going beyond the classic purpose of jewellery. That’s how I know that my creations are special, they’re not made for everyone’s taste, instead remaining a niche, but for now that’s okay."Art, colour, handmade… Where do you take your inspiration from for your creations? What are your muses? "I love colour and I often find inspiration just walking down the street. It’s a frequent occurrence for me to stop and contemplate compositions that I wish to photograph with my eyes and to transfer into one of my compositions. I like photography; I admit I’m not a professional, drawing inspiration from fashion and fashion shows - with my brand I need to follow all the trends. Many people associate my work with that of Juan Miro, Wassily Kandinsky and Alexander Calder - undoubtedly a grand compliment for me, even if I derive the stylistic features of my work from one of my personal aesthetics, that generally takes inspiration from abstractionism. I think I’ve been influenced quite a lot by these great artists, I’ve absorbed and mentally photographed their works during my long studies of Art History, and this consequently influenced my style in a positive way. I often seek inspiration going to museums or contemporary Art exhibitions. I’ve also been influenced by various design movements, for example the Memphis movement that was founded by the architect Ettore Sottsass. I find Bauhaus extremely enthralling; I adore the Triadic dance costumes of Oskar Schlemmer; surrealism has always fascinated me with his mystical side, one of my favourite painters being Magritte. I’ve always been attracted by the visual power of Pop Art, objects reproduced in series that represent consumer society, now become a true Art form. In any case, I reckon I find my inspiration most explicitly in abstractionism: “Abstract Art doesn’t represent reality, but rather creates images that express concepts, through combinations of shapes, colours and lines”. I think the inspiration for any creative person is a really important process, and indispensable for bringing novelty and growth to their Art. Instant snaps taken on travels also inspire me. Often it’s enough for me just to enter a bead shop and immerse myself in the mountains of materials where I can imagine the necklaces as installations. When I project my abstract compositions, I normally place the materials on a white background, cardboard or wooden table and play around with the different elements, putting them together. Just like a design made from wire and beads."
Which techniques do you use for the most part in your manufacturing process? "I create a network into which I place the various elements, giving an artistic soul and a balance of volumes and colour to the composition. Black is fundamental, it expresses itself like a graphical element and often plays the role of contrast and unification. I often sketch out my ideas first, small coloured projects in blocks, but sometimes I go for “casual” assemblage, following my head directly: this could be defined as a therapeutic process, a means of liberating my own fantasy without constraints or conventions."Could you reveal a little something to us about your next creations? "My next collection will be dedicated to the telling of little stories and subconscious memories. I’d like to be able to create a language that accentuates the mystical aspect of life and its wonders, but always through colour and vitality. I’d like to work on simplification, until I arrive at pure geometries, advocating order, clarity and balance, with the intent to make intellect coincide with harmony."In a strongly competitive market, in your opinion how can an emerging designer distinguish themself? "Apart from talent and the idealisation of an original, handmade product, an emerging designer should pay good attention to personalisation. The client should know that they are in possession of a unique and exclusive product. Today it’s necessary to work a lot on the communication of one’s brand, of how it will be perceived to the public, because apart from being appreciated, distribution and sales are obviously fundamental."And I can’t help but close with the question, what projects do you have in the works? "At the moment the project I’m working on the my new collection of artistic bijoux PE 2020. In September I’ll be participating for the second time in the trade show CURATE in NEW YORK where I will present this collection. I’m arranging a personal exhibition and a collective one, but I’ll reveal more details later on…". And we can’t wait to discover them! Discover here the creations of Lora Nikolova.