INTERVIEW WITH ELIE AZZI
LA LA LAND’S CO-FOUNDER & CREATIVE DIRECTOR
We asked the co-founder and creative director of La La Land, Elie Azzi, a few questions about what inspires him to come up with some of La La Land's best selling concepts. This is in lead up to a talk he is giving on the 26th of November at the Grounds in Sydney.
Do you personally like every artwork, or do you have to produce artworks for markets/people that have different taste and needs to your personal? If so what are the challenges?
I love all the artworks we produce and I would buy them all however a lot may not be suited to my personal style. In the gift industry, we have to think about both our customer and the end user (the recipient of the gift). In this perspective we have to always think about our customers while we choose themes and styles that would make the recipient happy.
How do you decide which brief to give to which artist when you have so many to choose from?
Some artists are happy to work with a brief others are not. I then look at if the brief will suit the personal style of the artist. I also have to think of timing. Some artists are busier than others. We also have two full time in-house artists, Lilly Perrot and Murillo Manzini who take on big briefs. Collectively working in a creative environment allows us to brainstorm and develop strong concepts. Ludivine Chu, my business partner also plays a big role in the creative as she manages the product development and has a great eye for detail.
How often do you analyse your sales and how does this affect future development?
I'm always looking at sales because that is the biggest determinant as to what is working and what isn't. What people love and what they don't. When we know a formula works we sometimes try to grow it and work on it but in a different light.
Where do you get your inspiration from for new artwork?
As cliche as it sounds, my inspiration comes from everything around me. At the moment it's fashion and history.
How / where do you source new artists, or do they come to you?
A lot of new artists submit their artworks via our website however I'm always on the prowl for new artists. It is a balance between talent, style and concepts. If I find an artist that has a style that we don't currently cover or her/his concepts are very unique, then I would be interested in publishing them. I come across so many amazing artists that are so talented but they paint subjects that we have already done or their subjects are just not suitable for our brand. How do you take an artwork and make it commercial.
What is your process/thoughts? Share an example or two.
It comes down to finding a concept that people would love. A concept that is relevant and/or beautiful and/or funny. For example, I noticed a lot of the old painting styles, the regal look of renaissance paintings trending. I became more and more fascinated by them and I wanted to explore the dark hues and detailed painting style. To be able to do this successfully I had to use a concept that would be popular and what better than pop stars? So this is how I came to do 'Music Royalty' when Michael Jackson, David Bowie, Prince and Queen were represented in the renaissance paintings style. I was in a grocery store when it came to me that all four men are represented as royal figures which I think is funny. When I tried to think of a female version I failed. Not everyone can agree who the queen of pop is. Is it Beyonce or Madonna?
Do you work with personal sketches, mood boards, Pinterest or other?
I use Pinterest a lot to collect my thoughts, my mood boards are often digital. I then create creative briefs on in-design. Some could be very detailed, others are not. It depends on the artist and the concept. Who is your main inspiration? At the moment one of my biggest inspirations is Alessandro Michele, the creative director of Gucci. I'm currently obsessed with him. Other days it could be a rapper, an artist or a historical figure. My inspiration is always changing.
How do you balance between creative workflow and the runnings and management of a successful business?
I couldn't do anything without my business partner Ludi and the team at La La Land. We are so fortunate to have the best team whom are passionate about the brand.
What is your main creative goal?
To make everyday living for our customers more creative, beautiful, unique, fun and fashionable. We want our products to help people feel good, to meet the purpose of the brand, and that is to inspire happiness and creativity.
Can you share sneak peeks of what we can expect to come in 2019 for Elie and La La Land.
Expect artworks that reflect women empowerment, lots of roses, European romance, Mexico and of course more Australiana.
COME AND LISTEN TO ELIE AZZI
ORGANISED BY GENERAL ASSEMBLY AT THE GROUNDS
HOW TO BUILD YOUR CREATIVE CAREER
$15 Mon 26th Nov 6:30pm-8pm
The Grounds Of Sydney Shop RG 12, 500 George St Sydney
BOOK YOUR TICKET HERE