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When you look at Paola Colombo, you are looking at Paola but also at Pollaz. And if you ask her where the line between the two is, she’ll tell you that she doesn’t know. Or rather, that they are one entity. Because Pollaz carries inside all of Paola’s qualities, flaws, and passions.
Pollaz and fabric. Fabric, sewing, design. Sewing and her funny soft portrait, that she sometimes frames and that I think would be perfect for a stop motion animation movie! Not only that, because in Pollaz’s world you will also find pins, t-shirts, embroidered pictures, as well as a lot of many interesting collaborations. For instance, I have a sweater with her embroidery of Clara the Fox, an item she made in collaboration with Lazzari. Pollaz prefers vanilla ice cream to chocolate ice cream, and her favorite season is the Fall. For DHG, Pollaz has made three dolls. A lovely DIY that makes me proud and that you can find here.
Pollaz is not only great at what she does, she is also kind, friendly, and supercreative. Thank you Pollaz for this collaboration, I hope this is the first of many!
And now, for the interview.
D: when I think of you, I think of as the mother of amazing characters -- some real, some made up. I use the word mother because they are all easily recognizable as your “children” How did you develop your own personal style?
P: well, first of all thank you saying this :) I am happy that my style is easily recognizable, I have always loved drawing and doodling and these figures have progressively taken shape. I did not really try to develop my own style, it was a very natural process and to a certain extent it happened unconsciously. I have simply tried to always work on what I like to do without overthinking.
D: it seems to me that you are in love with the 80s. Am I wrong?
P: you are perfectly right. I was born in the 80s and I love them. I believe every generation feels a tight connection to the years in which they grew up. An in the 80s we had Easy Bake ovens and Tricky Traps!
D: any projects in the short term?
P: I am working on new characters, which I will shape in several versions using different techniques. I am drawing many patterns that I will use for furnishing accessories and my notebooks and tablets are full of ideas.
D: you receive a phone call asking you use your characters to make a music video for a song. Who is calling?
P: Win Butler for Arcade Fire <3
D: has your college education shaped Pollaz as we know her today?
P: all of my education has influenced me a lot, from Arts High School to Art College. It is a natural process thanks to which I became who I am today, and which led to the “birth” of Pollaz. But I am just as thankful to the DIY scene, which helped me grow as a person and as a professional.
D: what is a book you’ll never get tired of reading?
P: a book I have read several times and I have also given as a present to many friends is A Long Way Down by Nick Hornby.
D: do you ever think that if you had been born in another country you would have had many more work opportunities in your field?
P: I have often thought of that. Not because I am not happy with my work, but rather because some things in Italy are way too complicated.
D: are you heartbroken when one of your characters grows up and leaves home?
P: I like to imagine his new life, his new house. However, over the years I have kept many of my pieces to myself.
D: what is place that puts in in a reflective mood?
P: I am lucky enough to be able to go into the mountains rather often. I go to a small town near Asiago. Every time I go there, I get some great idea and I love to look at the house of my dreams.
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