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.



Ýr Jóhannsdóttir Explains Her Playful Approach to Design and How Mending Will Shape the Future of Sustainable Fashion

March 22, 2021

Iceland-based designer Ýr Jóhannsdóttir received considerable attention last year for her cheeky, slightly grotesque masks, a collection that exemplifies both her aesthetics and dedication to bringing others into her process. In this conversation, managing editor Grace Ebert speaks with Jóhannsdóttir about her lighthearted, interactive approach to wearable art, her commitment to making design accessible, and how she envisions a more holistic future for sustainable fashion. 



Jeroen Smeets Shares the Story Behind The Jaunt, the Collaborative Travel Project Sending Artists Around the World

March 10, 2021

Jeroen Smeets is the founder of The Jaunt, an ongoing travel project that sends artists to new destinations around the globe with the goal of producing a single, hand-pulled screenprint. In this conversation with Colossal editor-in-chief Christopher Jobson, Smeets recounts The Jaunt’s first collaboration, the surprising experiences to come out of the artists’ excursions, and what’s next for the project.



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.