We sat down with Mandi Garbman of Cape Town-based textile and surface design consultancy, Unwrapped. Mandi has been a busy busy bee this past year – broadening her range to include smashing geo patterns, awesome wallpaper designs, and even some terrific stationery! Even more exciting developments – Mandi has just launched a new lighting range. The light boxes, which feature a laser cut version of the Unwrapped ‘Mystic Forest’ design, are on display at The Fringe on Kloof…
Q: How did you get into the surface design industry? Do you have an art / design background?
A: My love and appreciation for art and design specifically the practical side of art has forever been a large part of my life from play school, all the way through my schooling and ending with AAA, where I studied Graphic Design. My pencil crayons, pencil, pen, paintbrush, glitter, whatever the medium/tool may have been, has been an extension of Mandi Garbman hand growing up. I first learnt about surface design as early on as play school where I would play around with different textures, mediums quite freely.
Q: Tell us a little more about Unwrapped…
A: Unwrapped is a surface design and consultancy studio, producing soft furnishings for the home, designing and printing vibrant textiles and wallpapers, design and project managing commercial and private spaces. Unwrapped was born just over a year ago out of a dying need to get back to my roots whereby I began drawing and painting. Not knowing entirely what to do with all the illustrations, I applied them to different surfaces.
Q: And what about your product range… I see you have recently ventured into wallpaper?
A: Unwrapped’s range is expanding. Prototyping whenever I have the opportunity between jobs. I have used some existing designs in my new wallpaper range alongside new designs which I have brought out recently, floral motifs and angular designs, there is something for everyone, which can be used across a spectrum of mediums, wallpaper, upholstery, tiles, textiles etc. And I am currently also working on a lighting range which I will be exhibiting in the window of the Fringe Art on Kloof Street in the month of November 2012. Just in time for Christmas.
Q: What inspires you and where do you draw your inspiration from when designing?
A: Mandi Garbman is forever conjuring up new stories to illustrate, new materials to print onto, prototyping new ideas for projects, my brain is forever unfolding and tick tick ticking away. It is no secret that I am a lover of all things organic, be it in a smile, the way a feather falls slowly to the ground, the sound of the ocean in the distance, this is what inspires my work. Striking a balance in my life and in my work is of the utmost importance. I think I poses quite a naïve childlike personality, I try show this vulnerable softer side through my illustrations, which are all based on warm hearted, beautiful childhood memories, and some which are present and some of which are still anticipating the future.
Q: How would you define the Unwrapped style?
A: Unwrapped is at the end of the day an extension of the designer which governs the brand. Anyone who has known me longer than a few hours will say that there are many facets to Mandi, I live day to day with an open mind. Unwrapped is a controlled whirlwind of ideas and inspirations, pulling and grabbing from passed and present memories and those things around me. All of which mould the creative process to the finished result. My first range there is a huge sense of rustic farm land, the country side, flowers, animals, warmth, sun.
Q: Do you have a colour that you favour most and why?
A: My favourite colour would have to be the colour of the ocean on an overcast day. The light emerald /jade moving into a darker shade of blue.
Q: We love bucket lists. Please tell us about yours!
A: Bucket list, I am already crossing off. Very exciting…
- To visit Japan, dress in traditional geisha garments and walk around Kyoto.
- Partake in a summer art course in Paris.
- To become a household brand locally and internationally.
- To have the most beautiful studio with every machine and tool at my disposal with which I could work with every day for the rest of my life.
Q: Can you share your future plans with us?
I do plan on expanding /growing my little company. Taking on bigger interior jobs, expanding overseas. There are a couple things I would like to achieve by this time next year. In the mean time I am happy to create and roll out beautiful designs for myself, my customers and clients.
Check out the Unwrapped website: here.
- Quagga Fabrics & Wallpapers (thedesigntabloid.com)