Artist Series 001: Moya Garrison-Msingwana

lost & found artist series Moya Garrison-Msingwana 1lost & found artist series Moya Garrison-Msingwana 2lost & found artist series Moya Garrison-Msingwana 3lost & found artist series Moya Garrison-Msingwana 4It's a new beginning! We're proud to announce that we'll be starting a new artist series where we invite a talented human we love and appreciate to design a limited edition garment exclusively for Lost & Found! We couldn't be happier to start with the one and only Moya Garrison-Msingwana, a very talented illustrator, designer, and most of all, our pal!

What were some of your first illustrations? What did you like to draw as a kid?

Growing up I would try and emulate stuff. I would draw Pokémon and try and study characters in other shows and comic books. I was also encouraged to draw from life and copy paintings in the AGO. A lot of my early drawings were collaborative. My friends and I would create characters and implement them into battle scenes and card games. I also remember selling fan art drawings to other kids in 4th and 5th grade for $5 a pop. I really enjoyed copying as a means of understanding images when I was little.

We’ve seen you use a mix of digital, physical sketch, paint, and other mediums/processes to bring your ideas to life. How did you arrive at this approach and how does it benefit you?

The mixed media stuff comes out of a necessity to communicate in new and different ways. Experimentation is one of the most enjoyable aspects of making art. Sometimes it’s better to use restraint and show an idea with one unified medium. In other times, variety is the best method. My ideation process can be very random sometimes. Using whatever material is available and accurate to the message helps me embrace the moment of creation; of getting the idea into the physical realm.  The benefit of my approach is that it reveals my process and as I become more archive oriented in my career, the variation shows the stages behind creating a piece while embracing the steps involved. Each aspect from rough sketch to final product is a beautiful thing and should be celebrated in my opinion.

Which artist outside of your medium inspires you most? Why?

I don’t think I can distill that down to one person. My inspiration is so fragmented and from so many different places. That being said, I recently re-watched the Iconoclast conversation between Maya Angelou and Dave Chappelle. They’re exciting people because they don’t filter their perceptions and interpretations of our reality. The two of them are uncompromising in their beliefs and profoundly honest in their respective practices. As two people of colour their cultural impact is huge but from a practical writing and thinking perspective, I find great inspiration in their words. I would love to communicate at such a sophisticated level through my images.

You’ve segued nicely from making comics to working in fashion and music. What area would you like to take your talents into next?

I’m really looking to continue to establish myself in all those fields. However I’ve been dreaming about making more immersive and large scale works that really integrate into city infrastructure. 

We miss the Regrets tee (for those who know). If you were to start doing graphic garments again what would you focus on?

Hehe. I don’t know how inclined to contribute to the fashion industry I am. I’m happy with the landscape despite believing that it’s really oversaturated. A big reason I do what I do is because there are things I want to see in the world that I can’t find and I have found some amazing brands that satisfy my aesthetic needs. I enjoy working on fashion in a more collaborative sense and am happy to help other people who are really gifted with that medium achieve their vision. I’ve been doing that with a few people including you guys and my friends Eske Schiralli and Waley Gao. If I go at it on my own I think i’d focus on limited runs of painted or screened garments. I would want to cradle each piece and really spend time with it in order to make it authentically mine.

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