The Hero’s Journey of Edward Slaviero

What is the best thing that I love about my work?

The best thing about my work is how it both challenges me as well as the viewers to a new perception on plastic – the material that I mostly work with; how I feel the constant need to challenge both mine and other’s view and status quo.

What is my idea of happiness?

Getting to do my job as a freelancer artist, without loosing the passion for it.

What is my greatest fear?

I am a workaholic, so I often battle with the question of whether I am truly living the life I want.

We only live once, thus my biggest fear is to die feeling unfulfilled. It’s always going to be a matter of finding the balance between allowing my body and mind enough time and space to rest, while challenging myself to seek for new experiences, which is also very important to me.

What is the trait that I most deplore in myself?

When I started out as a freelancer I struggled with bringing a system into my work approach. There were so many things to do and to take care of that it was quite overwhelming. Learning by doing is one of the biggest things in the art world. By now, I feel I am getting a better hang on it.

I think in general I battle a lot with finding coherence and balance.

Which living persons in my profession do I most admire?

Sander Wassink, who I had the pleasure to meet twice.

Last time I met him, we both got interviewed for a podcast at the Dutch Design Week.

That is when I realised he is not only an amazing designer but also a very humble person.

A very nice energy to be around.

What is my greatest extravagance?

I once cried of joy thinking about Swedish meatballs.

On what occasion would I lie?

In order to protect someone I care about.

What is the thing that I dislike the most in my work?

During the research phase, my curiosity and excitement often drifts me in to all directions. I tend to lose my train of thoughts.. I find that challenging, but it’s also part of the process. So again, it’s about balancing the two.

When and where was I the happiest, in my work?

A teacher of mine once offered me to buy my project. A set of two prototype tables I made in 2017.

Her work is absolute craziness, a drug to my eyes. The colours, the materials, the design… !!

I always looked up to her, therefore it was a huge compliment to my artistic process.

If I could, what would I change about myself?

Being less harsh to myself, I critique myself and my work a lot.

It is necessary to create a dialogue with yourself, being able to look at things from several perspectives… But I should also be more supportive of the choices I make.

What is my greatest achievement in work?

Being born and raised in Italy, art was all around me. In the field I work, the highest achievement is to exhibit at Salone del Mobile in Milan. I visited it every year, walking through hundreds of designers and their projects.

Never would I have ever imagined to be one of them one day. As of this year, I will show my graduation project in the postponed exhibition in June.

Where would I most like to live?

If my work wouldn’t involve being a designer, the answer would most likely be Alaska. For the nature and to re-live the good memories I have of it from when I visited it back in 2006.

Work wise: New York City or San Francisco. I adore the diversity of people who live there. So many cultures, the open-mindedness, the lack of taboos and judgement.

What is my most treasured possession?

I am a huge collector. From kids toys to War World 1 relics that I harvested through walks in the forest.

Lately, also small art pieces of famous designers.

As a whole they all represent me. A kid, an adventurer and a lover of art.

But something I could never get rid of is an item from a friend who passed away.

What is my most marked characteristic?

Honesty, most likely my biggest quality, as well as weakness.

What is my most inspirational location, in my city?

Maybe I should mention an art gallery.. Or a museum?

But where I mostly get inspired is where I feel like I can breathe, where I am at peace with myself. Where my head is running, but at a good and not stressful tempo: the beach, Scheveningen.

What is my favourite place to eat and drink, in my city?

When the weather is good, working from home can be lonely. Coffeecompany is usually my to-go place. I like the variety of people that go there, there is not one specific target. But what I like the most is the amount of regular customers, making the atmosphere very homey.

Very quiet and study-friendly space, yet you know you will bump into some familiar faces ready to chat with you on your cigarette break.

What books influenced my life and how?

“The Story of a Shipwrecked Sailor” by Gabriel García Márquez.

I am not much of a reader, I prefer to play crossword puzzles or sudoku when I am trying to relax.

Thus, the mentioned book is not per se a novel that has taught me something, but it made me feel so engaged with it because of how descriptive it was.

I love when books are detailed.

You Only Die Once. What music would I listen on my last day?

On my last day, I would imagine myself wanting to listen to something happy, cheerful. To ease the fear behind what we associate to the word “death”.

Thus, “Voulez-vous” from ABBA

Although my evergreen is “On Hold” from The xx (Jamie xx Remix). Could listen to it 24/7, easily.

Who is my hero or heroine in fiction?

Alberto Burri is surely one of my favourite artists.

He brings new meanings and concepts to materials. The way he experiments with them: first by analysing, then picking on some of their characteristics and re-introducing them as something we have never seen before. Basically re-writing a material.

My childhood hero was Willy Wonka, for that great balance of childishness and genius (that I will always envy). Createor of a world of (and for) his own, where he can experiment and fully let his imagination roam.

Who are my heroes and heroines in real life?

My mom. Heads down. Surviver, strong opinionated, self proclaimer, big smiler with positive attitude, smart and charismatic.

Which movie would i recommend to see once in a lifetime?

Blue is the warmest colour. It was one of the first LGBT+ movies that provided an accurate representation of the fears and emotions of two people of the same gender being in love.

What role plays art in my life and work?

My love and hate relationship, my everything.

Everything I ever got educated for and dreamed of doing. It is all I own. The only thing I studied and I prepared myself for. The only dream I worked through and for for an entire life.

What do the words ‘You are the storyteller of your own life’ to me?

That we should worry less, because most of what dictates the flow of our lives, is just depending on us and our own decisions. It is in our hands, so what should we be afraid of?

Who is my greatest fan, sponsor, partner in crime?

BNO has helped me a lot to get my name out there and helped me exhibit at Dutch Design Week 2019 the past October, for example.

I will forever be grateful for that.

Lately, I also have started to work/collaborate with my girlfriend as the weight of work on my shoulders was too much to handle all by myself. She has been a great learner and supporter.

Which people or companies would I like to work with in 2020?

Lisa Jongejans, met her at the Dutch Design week (thanks to BNO, which I would like to keep being in close contact with, by the way).

We are thinking to have an exhibition together and possibly even collaborate on a project.

At “OBJECT” Rotterdam I met the founder of Post Modern Collection, Woes van Haaften. I presented my self and we chatted very quickly, I am planning on soon emailing him for a collaboration offer.

Which people in my profession who can make a real difference in my creative career would i love to meet in 2020? 

Dave Hakkens, founder of “Precious Plastic”

Studio Swine (fell in love with the concept of the project “Sea Chair”)

What project, in 2020, am I looking forward to work on?

A collaboration with the Gemeente of Amsterdam, that wants to organise workshops for its citizens. One workshop will be about plastic – which I will be directing. The focus will be to teach people how to make abstract paintings with their own plastic trash from home.

Where can you see me or my work in 2020?

Salone del Mobile in Milan, from 21st till 26th of June, location Via Carlo Farini 35.

I will also exhibit at Martiniplaza in Groningen, from the end of September till the end of January.

What do the words “Passion Never Retires” mean to me?

Passion is something that comes from the heart, therefore never retires.

I remember always carrying a small backpack with me, when I was a kid. It was filled with coloured pencils and a nice notebook. There was no place where I would go without bringing it with me. That “hobby”, now, became my job.

Which creative heroes should Peter invite to tell their story?

Anna Lenczewska (on FB: Ananas Nan), Sarah Anne Rootert, Lisa Jongejans

Lastly, I would like to thank Cecilia Polonara for mentioning me in her interview.

Studio Edward Slaviero
The Hague, NL
+31 619379661

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