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Liz Novak

OK, so I work with the fabulous Liz. I wanted to ask her some questions because she makes amazing things. I want to be like her when I grow up: shes hilarious, intelligent, and talented. Not to mention she's great at girl talk and advice. You all need to read this awesome interview and visit her shop.

1. What inspires you?

Oh man, too much. I spend way too much time looking at things. So I guess “things” inspire me. I’ve always been fascinated by “old stuff” since I was a little kid and my mom and grandma would take me around to yard sales, flea markets, and craft shows. I’ve collected lots of things over a short period of time: seashells, stamps, prayer cards, teeth, pyrex bowls and tableware… I was probably the only 16 year old in my neighborhood with collection of glass beakers and a full set of silverware.
I grew up at the Jersey Shore so I spent my time living between the ocean and the pine barrens. I think a lot of my taste for color and texture comes from that and all the old stuff that I would surround myself with. 
When I’m being an artist, I think a lot of my ideas come as a means of critique or of venting frustrations. I like to do a lot of musing on power, power structures, and how they can and are co-opted. I use a lot of words and phrases that can have double meaning and watching them play off of each other. Although, sometimes, I like to make more light hearted pieces that deal with things like lame tattoo ideas. When I make jewelry, I strive to make fun trinkets that I want to wear or just think are fun and neat.

2. What is your favorite thing you have ever made?

Every new person in my house is instructed to gaze at my pot rack that hangs from the ceiling. It’s made out of an old wrought iron chandelier. I call it the “pandelier”. 

3. What would you like people to take away from your work?

Uh… that I am cool and fabulous and should be given lots of money? Really, I’d like to see them love it and appreciate it and treat it well. I’d like to see folks use it to further their own ideas, like using my jewelry as part of a costume or an outfit. I’d love for people to see something I’ve made and then take a minute and consider what it is what it stands for, and how to interact with it. Details are important! Pay attention! Keep looking good!

4. Where do you want to see your business go?

I’d love to see it sustain itself and eventually be able to grow so that I can use it as a vehicle for doing clothing and other design projects. I want to be able to make satisfying work and I want people to respond to it. If I can make a profit off of it, that’s great, but I’d be satisfied with just being infamous for making neat stuff.

5. What are your hobbies and interests?

Working all the time. When I’m not working, I like to grow a summer vegetable garden, ride my bike for really long distances, travel around visiting friends, and eat good food with my boyfriend. I have a huge soft spot for education and I just completed a certificate program at RISD for historic preservation. I really like studying architectural history and doing research. It satisfies the nosy side of my personality.

6. Would you ever incorporate your hobbies or interests into your work?

I’d love to go to grad school and eventually work in preservation or city planning. Or in a museum or an archive. There are so many things that I want to do that thinking of it become overwhelming! I’m also in a funny position because the thing that makes my money is something that most people would pursue as a hobby while what I do for fun would be considered actual “work”.

7. Who is your style icon?

I’ve been really into a bunch of Swedish and Scandinavian style blogs recently and I have many friends who have great, great style. I love looking at old photographs, especially from the 1920s until the 1970s. Slinky noir vixens, ladies in bullet bra bathing suits and big, 70s country-singer hair- bring it on! And anyone rocking a mod minidress is instantly my hero!
I also think a large part of style is how you address the world around you and who you deal with situations and problems. I’ve had a lot of good mentors and I always aim to be classy but never, ever boring. 

8. If you could meet anyone, who would it be?

Comic artist R. Crumb, so that he can autograph my legs.


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Kate Moss is obviously a legend. She's the shortest famous model, and she's over 30 and still going, which is pretty rare. I mean, she has been on more magazine covers, and in more ad campaigns than I can even count. Plus her line for Topshop is to die for-- totally her style. I love Kate, she has been in thousands of beautiful spreads. Her versatility, and ability to make nude shots and what could be considered "boring" into art is amazing. A true fashion chameleon.