Artist and designer Zoë Pawlak knew in childhood that life in suburbia wasn’t the whole picture, so she saved her babysitting money to spend some time in Chile with relatives. The experience opened the door to fine art and after studying painting in high school and college, a pregnancy dictated she must put her skills to work professionally. Successful in her painting, she is now making a name as a rug designer also. With 2 ½ years of sobriety going for her she is joyful and fully present. What a gift!
What is your earliest memory?
I can never tell what I really remember remember or what I remember from photos.
How do you feel about democratic design?
I don’t know what that is, but I’m Canadian, so I presume it has to do with everyone getting along and compromising.
What’s the best advice that you’ve ever gotten?
Get a good accountant and everything passes. Oh, and for marriage: stay on the bus, the scenery changes.
How do you record your ideas?
I record drawings, plans and journal in my sketchbook everyday and I sing and talk notes for songs, public speaking or writing into my phone.
What’s your current favorite tool or material to work with?
I love drawing forever. I have been designing more and more and lines and shading are just perfection.
What are a few of the best books you’ve read this year?
Just Kids (for the 6th time)
The Unteathered Soul
And Educated (holy crap that book!)
Why is authenticity in design important?
Because authenticity is the only starting point that interesting people will tolerate. It’s their baseline, so if you want to sell to and hang out with the most interesting people, you have to bring your realest self to the work.
Favorite restaurant in your city?
What might we find on your desk right now?
Chalks, watercolors, hummus and change for the parking meter.
Who do you look up to and why?
Artists: MIA, Banksy and Prince because they were not only fascinating and true to themselves and their work, but they push the edges of the career itself. The w/are pioneers in their industries. This really inspires me.
What’s your favorite project that you’ve done and why?
I think that project is coming up next month. It’s my favorite because it’s huge.
What are the last five songs you listened to?
The War on Drugs
and Maggie Waters (yeah, again)