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.



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.



Miniature Sculptor Mohamad Hafez Explores How Multiple Identities Inform His Art and Why He Invests in Education

September 14, 2020

Formerly a corporate architect, New Haven-based artist Mohamad Hafez builds intricately detailed sculptures that evoke his home country of Syria. Hafez reflects on his time at the upper echelon of luxury design and how working with young people is the key to building a better future.



Artist Kevin Peterson Shares His Fascination with Graffiti and How Optimism Informs His Paintings

August 24, 2020

Known for his scenes of urban decay, artist Kevin Peterson is profoundly optimistic. In a conversation with managing editor Grace Ebert, Peterson shares the effects the current moment is having on his artistic practice, how his fascination with graffiti has evolved, and his understanding of change.



The Founders of the Neon Art Collective ‘She Bends’ Discuss the Womxn at the Forefront of the Trade

August 12, 2020

Since co-founding She Bends, Meryl Pataky and Kelsey Issel have been upending the notion that neon signage is solely a commercial endeavor. Colossal contributor Claire Voon recently spoke with the duo about how COVID-19 has changed the collective’s plans, diversity within the medium, and the role toxic positivity plays in modern messaging.



Artist Roberto Benavidez Shares His Fascination with Paper Sculpture and the Stories Behind His Fantastical Piñatas

May 26, 2020

Harboring an ongoing fascination with the piñata, artist Roberto Benavidez crafts sculptural creatures and scenes from Hieronymus Bosch’s paintings, medieval manuscripts, and landscape photographs. Benavidez recently spoke with managing editor Grace Ebert about how constraint and conceptions of identity impact his work.