Colossal Interviews

In our ongoing interview series, Colossal goes deep with some of our favorite contemporary artists, designers,
and creative personalities from around the world. These conversations are supported directly by our members.

Tonika Johnson Discusses Using Photography as a Starting Point to Explore Chicago’s Ongoing History of Segregation

February 8, 2021

Though not Chicago’s true geographic center, the intersection of Madison and State streets is the central point for the city’s address system. Chicago native Tonika Johnson, however, has been viscerally aware that the north-south dividing line is not a mere postal distinction since she was a teenaged photographer, an experience she discusses in an interview with Colossal contributor Paulette Beete. In the conversation, Johnson speaks to the difference between art and photojournalism, the power of uncomfortable conversations, and why she’s bringing history to light.

Photographer Jem Cresswell Speaks to the Intimacy and Humility of Documenting Humpback Whales

January 11, 2021

For years, Sydney-based photographer Jem Cresswell has been diving into the ocean to document the lives of humpback whales. In a recent conversation with Colossal contributor Anna Marks, Cresswell speaks to the precarious position of working underwater, identifying the personalities of individual animals, and about building relationships between species. 

Peter Bellerby Discusses Precision, His Love of Disruption, and the Art of Globemaking

December 14, 2020

Peter Bellerby ventured into globemaking when searching for a gift for his father’s 80th birthday, an endeavor that spurred him to launch Bellerby & Co. In this conversation with managing editor Grace Ebert, Bellerby recounts starting a business with zero experience, shares his love for change and disruption, and discusses the endlessly fascinating world of globes.

Danielle Clough Discusses Embroidery’s Lengthy History and the Tenuous Distinction Between Art and Craft

November 24, 2020

Through thickly layered thread, Cape Town-based artist Danielle Clough conveys joy, positivity, and moments of pure delight. In this interview, Clough speaks with managing editor Grace Ebert about her resilient optimism, the creative paths she pursued prior to embroidery, and the incredibly rich history of her chosen medium.

A Conversation with Animator and Director Anna Mantzaris Explores Her Penchant for Nuanced Emotion and Finding Humor in the Mundane

November 18, 2020

Swedish director and animator Anna Mantzaris has a knack for expressing the frustrating, humorous, and delightful moments through quirky felt characters. Colossal contributor Laura Staugaitis recently spoke with Mantzaris about her experimental journey into animation, her experience working on Isle of Dogs, and how reality can sometimes be stranger than fiction.

Artist Lisa Ericson Dives into the Threat of the Climate Crisis and Why She Chooses Magic Over Scientific Accuracy

October 20, 2020

In her hyperrealistic paintings, artist Lisa Ericson spotlights the myriad ways animal life and the natural world are connected. Ericson speaks with managing editor Grace Ebert about how COVID-19 has affected her work, the destruction caused by the ongoing climate crisis, and why she forgoes a wholly realistic approach to her paintings.