Today we’d like to introduce you to Calla Michaelides Lokku.
Hi Calla, it’s an honor to have you on the platform. Thanks for taking the time to share your story with us – to start maybe you can share some of your backstories with our readers?
I am currently living in Denver, CO where I work on my fiber art and paintings. I have a professional background and Bachelor’s degree in Fashion Design from Drexel University. After graduation, I moved to NYC where I worked as a designer for 5 years. When the pandemic hit, I suddenly had a lot more time on my hands to dedicate to my art-making. About five months into the pandemic, I launched my website, CommuneCalla, and made sure to permanently carve out time for my artistic exploration. Creating has proved to be a great outlet of communication throughout my life. I don’t think of myself as someone who is particularly great with words or incredibly articulate conversationally; instead, I tend to lead with emotion, observation, and intuition. Having learned much about myself and the world through other people’s art, I value and strive to contribute to the collective creative expression.
I am enamored with settling into the physical sensations of art-making in order to escape the mind and meet the true self. Through hand-dyeing and unique compositions, I am currently experimenting with how to take the ever-popular craft of Macramé and transform it into something my own. I have also been experimenting with small, quick, color-driven abstracts inspired solely by conversation with individuals. My work is largely collaborative in that the majority of my pieces are custom-made for a specific person, family, home, and intention. I thoroughly enjoy the creative dance between myself and the collector and welcome the challenges and new perspective each person brings. Ultimately, I intend to create a piece of work that makes the subject feel understood.
Would you say it’s been a smooth road, and if not, what are some of the biggest challenges you’ve faced along the way?
There are definitely some “practical” struggles when it comes to owning a small business and working as an artist. These struggles can be monetary, about time management, finding the physical space and materials to create, learning how to build a website, navigating selling, and more. However, I believe that the biggest struggles are the internal ones. Every human has creativity within them, and with practice, we can let it flow freely. I think the biggest struggle with art-making is getting into a routine and a practice that keeps you creating, experimenting, and challenging yourself to learn new things and put yourself (and you work) out into the world. Social media can be a great tool for connection, but it can also lead us to constantly compare ourselves and our story to what others choose to share on their social media. I think if you can enter into a flow and limit your tendency to compare, then you are well on your way to battling the internal struggle of imposter syndrome that many people face.
Appreciate you sharing that. What else should we know about what you do?
My hope is that my unique perspective and curiosity is what sets my work apart from others. My art currently consists of paintings and macramé wall art. Both mediums are highly focused on and driven by color. My macramé wall hangings start with hand-dyed cording, and are made slowly with love. The majority of my works are custom/ commissions, so each piece is truly unique and one of a kind. I love to interact with and create something specific for someone and their space. My paintings are a bit more laborious and protected. I produce less of them and have a hard time letting them go as they feel a bit more deeply personal. I prefer to paint intimate compositions of the human body (i.e. a torso, hands, hip crease, etc.). I use intensely saturated colors to inspire a feeling of liberation and encourage viewers to celebrate themselves and their bodies. I am also currently working on a series of Intuitive Paintings based solely on conversation with individuals. Each painting and each interaction has been different and wonderful. I am really enjoying the glimpses into the soul and the gracious opportunity to paint that from my own perspective.
What are your plans for the future?
In the future, I hope to continue doing more of the work that I am now. It is extremely gratifying to know that my pieces live in individuals’ homes and get to be a part of their story. I would also love to continue to share in exhibitions and shows. Another goal of mine is to make works for more public spaces- restaurants, hotels, offices, etc.
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Website: communecalla.com
- Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/commune_calla_/?hl=en
- Facebook: https://m.facebook.com/CommuneCalla-101092608356122/
Lauren Elizabeth Photography