The Block

Interviews — 4 months ago

Grace Miceli: Self-Expression as Art

Based in Brooklyn, artist Grace Miceli aka Art Baby has been steadily building a fervent following off the back of her trademark style – powerful and profound statements on key contemporary issues, cleverly masquerading as cute and colourful illustrations.

 

Not content just making a positive impact with her own work, she set up Art Baby Gallery in 2011, in order to shine a light on emerging artists who are underrepresented in traditional art spaces.

 

How she found the time, we have no idea, but we’re super fortunate to have had Grace design 6 limited-edition tees for us. Cop the first of these, ‘It’s OK’, below, and check out what she had to say when we caught up with her to talk influence, inspiration and intentions

 

Shop Grace’s ‘It’s Ok’ tee, the first in a run of six limited edition tees here

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Everpress Team
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Art Baby Girl socks by Arvida Byström & Ambar Navarro

Can you tell the community a little bit about yourself to get things started?

My name is Grace Miceli. I’m an artist based in Brooklyn who draws and animates and makes clothes and accessories.

Your work champions self-acceptance, self-awareness and motivation – why do you think this resonates so loudly with so many people?

It’s cathartic to express yourself, and it’s not an easy thing to do. Every single person struggles in different ways and it can be really helpful to see someone else admit that.

Perpetual Suffering by Grace Miceli
Original artwork by Grace Miceli

You studied at Goldsmiths in London, but are currently based in Brooklyn. How did this move affect your style and work?

I studied art at Goldsmiths for one year during college and it was really eye-opening to witness how an art school functions and it gave me a taste of that community of young artists that I’ve been really lucky to replicate here in NYC. I think my work is a reaction to the more serious and sort of inaccessible art I was seeing around me in school, so my style felt like a challenge to that.

What Have I Become? Who Am I? by Grace Miceli
Original Artwork by Grace Miceli

Your online shop is ace! What inspired you to start creating and selling your own products? Do you have any tips for other creatives looking to do the same?

I kept getting requests from people to put my illustrations on clothing and years ago when I started I was working at American Apparel and we had these print shops where you could kind of experiment making one-off shirts so I was able to just play around and try it out.

I love the t-shirt as wearable art, it’s affordable for most people which is important to me.

It’s honestly really expensive to print a full-size run of tees before you know your audience and what they’re actually going to buy so I would suggest starting small which is why a site like Everpress really makes sense for the younger creative who doesn’t have thousands of dollars to invest in a clothing line.

You’ve designed 6 amazing tees for Everpress, can you walk us through the idea behind the collection?

The illustrations I’ve chosen for this collection are ones I’ve always wanted to put on shirts but haven’t had the opportunity to. I think they’re all super relatable images and I hope can be deep conversation starters for whoever decides to wear them.

Grace Miceli x Everpress
Grace Miceli x Everpress

You recently released a book called Emotional Eating – can you tell us about it?

A few years ago I started to draw my thoughts and feelings on various food packages and Emotional Eating is a collection of those 60 drawings. A lot of them are cereal boxes-which for me represent the early morning existential crisis. Food has also been something I’ve turned to when I wanted to suppress certain emotions so this is a way to lightheartedly admit to and start to deal with that.

To wrap things up, what’s in store for the rest of 2018 and beyond?

Not too much I can talk about yet but I really want to create a cartoon about anxiety starring my dog Tony.