The Block

Interviews — 3 months ago

Visibility with Cattytay & Daniel Baragwanath

Though Cattytay started out studying textile design, she quickly realised that the digital realm was where her interests lay. Her Chelsea College of Art tutors didn’t fully understand the medium though, so she taught herself on YouTube, creating 3D digital versions of Balenciaga and Vetements looks that have already led to a collaboration with Nike. 

 

Likewise, Daniel Baragwanath studied design before moving into art direction, but his turning point was learning how to code; now he makes futuristic websites that combine the best of both his interests. The duo has some experience working together, with Cattytay creating DIGI – GXL, and Daniel launching the site. An inclusive, 24/7 global community, DIGI – GXL offers technical guidance, industry advice and support to womxn, trans folk and non-binary people. 

 

Ahead of our 50/50 project, we hit up Cattytay and Daniel Baragwanath to talk about their working relationship, visibility, and the most pressing challenges facing creatives today. 

 

Shop Cattytay & Dan Baragwanath’s 50/50 tee design now. Each purchase raises crucial funds for Justice4Grenfell as they work tirelessly on behalf of the victims of the Grenfell disaster.

Photography
Kaj Jefferies
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Catty & Dan photographed by
Catty & Dan photographed by Kaj Jefferies

Can you explain how you two first started working together? 

After meeting through friends, we quickly ended up sharing a studio space in South Bermondsey. I would regularly dog-sit Cat’s dog, Murphy, until we eventually became a couple. Our working relationship came soon after when I decided to delve into the world of WebGL and there began to be some crossover between our practices.

Catty & Dan photographed by
Cattytay & DanBaragwanath photographed by Kaj Jefferies

What excited you both about being able to collaborate together alongside 50 other contributors for a project like 50/50? 

First of all because we get the opportunity to create work as a couple. The process is much more streamlined when we’re on the same page creatively and ideologically. We’ve been throwing around some ideas for some time, and the 50/50 brief was a great opportunity to explore some of those.

Catty & Dan photographed by
Cattytay & DanBaragwanath photographed by Kaj Jefferies

How did you both agree on an approach for the brief of ‘VISIBILITY”, and how was this represented in your T-shirt design?

DIGI – GXL as a collective is a group promoting visibility from the core of its manifesto, so we felt that in this instance it wouldn’t be necessary to delve too deeply into any singular definition or agenda – instead we took the brief at face value and interpreted it in terms of a direct warning sign. The design itself is reappropriated from a motorway LED ‘Fog Warning – Caution Low Visibility’ sign.

Catty & Dan's 50/50 T-shirt design
Cattytay & Dan Baragwanath’s 50/50 T-shirt design

How do you choose which projects you’ll work on together? What’s your criteria?

Projects that offer a crossover between our working practices, that we both believe could lead to an interesting outcome – Cat in 3D, and myself in code.

Catty Tay BANGER HAT
Cattytay x Sportsbanger animation

What would your advice be to any other creative wanting to diversify into a new field, like you’ve done?

Time is not an issue. We’ve often found the idea of learning a new skill daunting when thinking about the timeline of a learning curve, or the time between discovering something new, and the moment when I’d be confident enough to introduce it into my working practice. This can often lead to debates over whether it would be worth it at all.

‘CENTER OF THE UNIVERSE’ Holding page by Dan Bara
‘CENTER OF THE UNIVERSE’ Holding page by Dan Baragwanath

 

We’ve found though, that even taking a couple of hours to learn the fundamentals of a new skill can massively impact the way you currently think about work, and lead to totally new outcomes.

What do you both see as being the biggest challenge facing young creators in 2019 and beyond?

Money and living costs are definitely a big challenge.

50 artists, 50 t-shirt designs, 50% profit to artists, 50% profit to Justice4Grenfell. Shop now.