When I first heard about UNIVERSAL POISON, a sentiment of sweet fear embraced my mind. It felt original to combine such powerful terms in the name of Art.
Artists, photographers & designers Ana Pla and E.M Waty incarnate the label that specializes in hand painted shirts, each one being an original piece painted with Ana’s own designs.
When you analyze the designs, your vision encounters another world where a virgin aspect of things and dark mythology become wild temptation.
Ana says: “Universal Poison is a journey through the twisted roads of our minds that combines cartoonish obsessions with brightly painted dark thoughts”.
I met Ana to discuss the next best reality. That is the new Men’s Collection _01, actually already out there. With her pertinently eloquent style, it took me just a few simple questions to understand what the stake is here.
GUSMEN: Who are you?
ANA PLA: I’m an artist and designer living in Berlin, I’m originally from Spain but I’ve spent most of my life travelling.
I like weird things, impertinent fashion, and daring people. I’m motivated by a mix of passion and sillyness.
I’ve been drawing for as long as I can remember, usually on paper but sometimes on furniture or any odd material I can find.
I love paper art and in fact I have stacks of artwork at home…and at friends homes, and sometimes it just stays wherever I make it because it’s too cumbersome to carry around.
The problem is that even though it may be beautiful, weird and creative, it can only really be used as a decoration. I wanted to make art that would be used regularly, that could be exposed to life in other ways than hung up in someone’s living room.
This is why I decided to draw on clothing. I’m fascinated by the idea of people interacting with my artwork and using it as part of their style.
It’s also quite cool to create unique pieces of clothing because not many people do it, and the idea of being the only one in the world who owns a certain piece is rather thrilling.
G: The Men’s collection is a new concept. Tell us about it.
AP: After several Women’s Collections I really wanted to make something for men so I decided to launch the first Men’s Collection which is simply titled: Men’s Collection_01.
The previous Women’s Collection was nature themed and lots of the paintings included trees and branches.
I wanted to follow this line for this new collection but I also added some animals like the Snakes and focused on making the drawings very precise and detailed to deliver a very complex high quality design.
In some cases the drawings wrap around the whole shirt to create images that are not possible to print directly on an assembled shirt but can be done very precisely when hand painted.
In this collection we’ve incorporated high quality organic shirts. All shirts are 100% cotton, painted with fabric paints and markers and heat set.
G: You have a vigorous inspiration flow. How do you get there?
AP: The way I usually come up with ideas for each collection always starts with lots of research and then some hours of sketching, which is really just very messy doodling. At this stage the ideas start appearing and then the whole theme just flows and it becomes a kind of domino effect.
…and watch the new nation arise.