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Meet the Maker Month: Giovanna of Broken Art

I have a background in Graphic Design and Art History which is where I get my creativity and inspiration. But what started Broken Art was a reflection of my personal experiences.

Why Broken Art? The purpose of Broken Art is to create beautiful works of art by repurposing broken objects. Once an object no longer serves its purpose, instead of throwing it away, it is transformed to fulfill a new purpose. Broken Art reminds us that we’re all a little broken but at the same time all beautiful in our own ways. That’s what makes us unique. It’s all about the materials you are made of and what you can do with that, rather than what the world has shaped you into.

What started Broken Art? When Quebec mandated a curfew in February 2021, I had no idea what to do with myself after 8 pm. I started by decluttering my condo and was getting rid of items I no longer need. It hurt me to throw such nice things away and after many failed attempts at selling my items online, I decided to repurpose them. I had canvases lying around from other artistic attempts and decided to be unique with my art form by breaking said items and gluing them to the canvas.

How has Broken Art helped you with your mental health? First of all, smashing things is extremely therapeutic. It was a great release from all the stress and anxiety that Covid19 brought to the world. But also, the items I was breaking were things that meant something in the past and no longer mean anything to me today. It was a way to let go and make space for new memories.

What does being a Maker mean to you? Being a Maker is expressing yourself through whatever it is you are making. It’s an extension of yourself, something you want to share with the world. When someone buys my art, they are buying a piece of my heart.

What motivates you to create? I have always been creative in some way. I studied Graphic Design and Art History so art has always been in my blood. I also used to dance. I like to express myself in creative ways and Broken Art is just another creative outlet.

How have you developed your skills? I don’t think Broken Art requires a specific skill set, just a lot of imagination. To be able to look at a mug or a plate and decide what you want to transform it into using all its little pieces is pretty much the only skill. I sometimes have an idea of what I want to make and then I have to scavenge for the right materials to make my vision come to life. I think I’ve become more and more creative as time goes by. Practice definitely makes perfect!

Where are you from and how does that influence your work? I’m born and raised in Montreal. I’ve been exposed to so many different cultures and interests. My work is influenced by anything and everything I come across. From cultural beliefs like the evil eye, crystals, and tarot cards, to pop culture like superheroes and Disney princesses, to art history itself where I did my own version of Van Gogh and Monet masterpieces.

How have your life experiences shaped your art? We all go through trauma and it might look different for everyone. But we have to remember that it does not define us. We all have the ability to pick up the broken pieces and reinvent ourselves. I recently went through a very traumatic part of my life and wanted to share my recovery with others. Expressing it through art.

How has the pandemic impacted your creativity? The pandemic allowed life to slow down. I finally had time to be with myself and think. I thought about the person I was and who I want to be. I also have so much time on my hands so I decided to be productive with it.

How do you apply your creativity to other aspects of your life? My work is based on recycling and repurposing different objects. So when I started Broken Art I became a lot more conscious about what to throw away and what I can use to create. The environment was never something that concerned me in the past but seeing what the world is becoming, I wanted to take an active part in protecting it.

What is your favorite thing you've created and why? My favorite piece is a butterfly made of buttons. The buttons came from my late grandmother who used to be a seamstress. And the symbol of a butterfly is very important in my family as my grandmother used to sing me a song about a butterfly when I was young. I even have a butterfly tattoo. So creating a piece made with materials that came from her is the ultimate way to honor her. It is now hanging in my living room.

Do you accept commissions? Commissions or custom orders all depend on what material I have in stock. The idea is to reuse and repurpose items I have at home. Therefore I can only make certain designs based on what colors or textures I have laying around.

What three adjectives would you use to describe your work? Unique, unconventional, mindful

What story do you want to tell with your work? You can be anything you want to be. How did a necklace become a moon? How did a mug become a woman’s face? How did plates become an evil eye? How did a vase become a shoe? My favorite quote of all time is “the same water that hardens the egg softens the potato. It’s all about what you are made of, not the circumstances”.

Why are humans creative? Humans are exposed to so many different things. We are all unique creatures and so different from one another. We have so many ways to be creative and we have so many different things that can inspire us based on our interests. I also think because humans are so busy with day-to-day life and basically surviving, we need a creative outlet to express ourselves.

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