A Conversation About Minimalism With Designer Daniela Jacobs
New York based designer Daniela Jacobs has gathered her mindful and simplistic art expressions under ARC objects—a concept displayed in a carefully curated website and social media feed. We invited her to participate in a conversation about minimalism (and mindfulness) in art, and life.
Thank you Instagram, for bringing us such precious treasures. Gazing at this virtual window to an undiscovered world of creativity, you sometimes catch a glimpse of something that sort of knocks you over. Discovering ARC objects by designer Daniela Jacobs, that’s what happened. Actually making minimalism look new and original, we where mesmerized by the beauty of the simplistic jewelry and home objects that she makes by hand in New York City. The porcelain, glass and metal objects are to be regarded as wearable and functional sculpture, bridging organic form with small-scale industrial production techniques.
We imagine that being “bold in simplicity” (words used to describe the pieces) might also apply to Jacobs’ general line of thought and way of life (we wish it did to ours). We’re excited to get to know the artist whose minimalist aesthetics is the current object of our obsession.
Tell us a bit about your life and work right now—what is currently on the agenda?
– I’ve been feeling very creatively alive lately. I feel energetic with new ideas, inspiration for current projects I’m working on, and a somehow sharpened gaze on the direction I want to work towards.
Your Instagram feed is incredibly inspirational—we’re totally obsessed with your minimalist aesthetics! How do you work with it and what significance does it have to you professionally?
– Thank you! My Instagram is mostly just a collection of a fraction of the photos I take—and would be taking anyway, regardless of Instagram. It’s a nice platform to showcase various aspects of what I do. As ARC is a multi-sided project, so is my Instagram.
Being Scandinavian, minimalism is sort of second nature to us. What is your relationship to this glorious concept of style and expression?
– Minimalism is something that comes naturally to me—in design, personal style, and approach. I like the feeling of breathing room, which minimalism allows for. I find it’s also about having a sharpened sense of what you like, and taking out the unnecessary.
Seeing your work makes us curious to know what your home and wardrobe looks like. Do they have the same minimalist, beige/white feel?
– Ha, yes, pretty much! I don’t see my personal palette as white/beige, though, I’m just drawn to natural colors, that is: colors found in nature. So there’re a lot of beige, creamy colors in my wardrobe and home, but I’m not strict about limiting other hues if they inspire me. I think with color, texture, shape, life—everything—it’s healthy to keep an open mind.
ARC is described as a concept that encourages mindfulness—how do you find this state and space in your everyday life?
– Being mindful, and actively paying attention to what I’m doing, designing, making, creating, and trying to cultivate—in work, and in life—is something that is a content practice, or intention. Remembering to stay present or pay attention more often is easier said than done. If I feel I’m getting swept away or distracted or losing focus, sometimes just stopping what I’m doing for a bit is extremely helpful. This is also part of why I swim every day—I find it helps my body and mind “remember” where and how we want to be.
– There’s an expression in Spanish for someone who’s lost their way: you’d say someone has “perdido su norte”, lost his or her “north”, and I don’t want to lose my “north”! Even if I make mistakes, I want to know that I made them with the right intentions.
“I like the feeling of breathing room, which minimalism allows for”.
You work with responsibly sourced materials. What does that mean specifically and why do you find this an important aspect of your work?
– I think along with being mindful in a theoretical sense, it’s also important to be mindful in a practical, material sense. I use as many locally sourced materials as possible, and in general I’m just extremely conscious of where the things I use originate from. I think it’s every person’s responsibility to be aware of how they consume.
The season-less, timeless and long-lasting aspects of your work are especially intriguing to us as advocates for sustainability. How does your thoughts revolve around these matters?
– I’m not interested in trends, and I don’t want my work to be seen as something that revolves around a certain timeframe or spectrum either. Aesthetically and materially, I want my work to have a place regardless of time, season, or age.
Would you like to share the top 3 accounts you’re following on Instagram for inspiration (we’re super curious)?
– Ha! Hmm… A “forever favorite” is my friend Kayten Schmidt’s Instagram—I often feel like we have a similar visual eye or “vocabulary.” I also enjoy Carlota Guerrero’s Instagram; her creative “language” is expressed in a style I really respond to. And Laila Gohar’s eye for food pairings, colors, and displays are just great. I love when people have a way of playing with their “art” in a fun, unexpected way, and I think these all have this in common.
We’ve just entered 2018. What are your hopes and dreams for this new year?
– I’m thankful for so many things: amazing friends, family, creative inspiration, and work projects… I want ’18 to be as much as possible about the positive, warm, wonderful, important stuff. There’s so much chaos in the world—especially at this moment—I feel now more than ever is a time to nurture what’s good, and work, emboldened, against what is evil.
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