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.

Chicago’s Manual Cinema On How Its Shadow Puppets Became a Defining Feature of the New ‘Candyman’

September 7, 2021

Nia DaCosta’s ‘Candyman’ (2021) is deeply rooted in Chicago’s history as it not only critically considers racial violence and the city’s problems with gentrification but also draws in local artists, like the prolific and talented team behind the performance collective Manual Cinema. In a conversation with editor-in-chief Christopher Jobson, co-artistic director Drew Dir discusses the unprecedented process of using shadow puppets as a major component of a blockbuster live-action film, experimenting with the technical limits of the medium, and conveying a story of racism and trauma through a traditionally lighthearted art form.

Sara Hagale On the Therapeutic Nature of Her Practice and Why She Doesn’t Think About Authenticity

August 31, 2021

Considering their undeniable relatability, it’s no surprise that Sara Hagale’s witty, whimsical, and at times anxious drawings have amassed an incredible following in recent years. Her body of work is broad and offers an array of emotional and aesthetic nuances that are unique to the artist. In a conversation with Colossal managing editor Grace Ebert, Hagale discusses using her practice to process her emotions in real-time, the impossibility of authenticity, and why she prefers to work with limitations.

The Sketchbook Project On Its Brooklyn Collection Growing to 55,000 Globally Submitted Books

July 30, 2021

Fifteen years ago, Steven Peterman launched The Sketchbook Project, an ongoing initiative that gathers sketchbooks filled with artwork and stories from people around the globe. It has since grown into the Brooklyn Art Library, and today, that collection boasts approximately 55,000 submissions. In this conversation with Colossal editor-in-chief Christopher Jobson, Peterman talks about the challenges of maintaining the collection and its robust community during the COVID-19 pandemic and what’s on the horizon for the project as it changes its funding model.

Arinze Stanley On the Indelible Impact of Police Brutality and How Extreme Emotion is the Key to Change

May 6, 2021

Nigerian artist Arinze Stanley is known for his hyperrealistic portraits that are arresting in size and emotion and bear broader political messages. Colossal managing editor Grace Ebert spoke with Stanley about his own experiences with police brutality, how he brings his subjects to points of extreme frustration, the ways his drawings resonate with different audiences around the globe, and how he envisions his artworks as catalysts for meaningful change.

Tam Gryn On the Innovative Mix of Art and Retail Behind SHOWFIELDS

April 26, 2021

SHOWFIELDS head curator Tam Gryn joined us for a conversation about the unique blend of shopping, art, brand activations, and events that drive the innovative retail concept. In this interview, Colossal editor-in-chief Christopher Jobson spoke with Gryn about the efficacy of structuring collaborations based on shared missions, the humor and play that permeate both SHOWFIELDS locations, and what we can collectively gain from blurring the boundaries of art and branding.

Lalese Stamps On Her Wildly Ambitious 100-Day Project, Brand Activism, and the Need for Vulnerability

April 21, 2021

In the summer of 2020, Lalese Stamps found herself in the middle of a boom in her then-fledgling business, Lolly Lolly Ceramics. The timing coincided with increased attention on Black creatives and brand activism, two points the designer considers profoundly impactful still today. In this conversation with managing editor Grace Ebert, Stamps describes the arduous and vulnerable task of designing 100 different mugs in 100 days, the difficult decisions necessary in small business, and where Lolly Lolly is headed next.