Flashback*: Remember back when I was talking about the Booze & Pancakes art show that Sara and I went to and I spoke about two artists that were selling clothes that had their art on the front? I explained that I literally bought the shirt off of one of the artist’s back and that I really wanted to interview them on the blog? WELL THAT HAPPENED! Introducing eyze; a Toronto-based company founded be two artsy friends Claire and Wanze! I had so much fun interviewing them and reading through their answers and I think you will too! Read on to see what their company is about, get a little insight into their art and see what the eyze has in store for the future!
- Emily: How did you meet?
eyze: We met when we were 12 in grade 7 at school in Stratford, Ontario. We hung out in a large group of a bunch of mutual friends, but it wasn’t until grade 10 art class where we sat right next to each other and that’s when we became inseparable.
- Emily:Are you both involved in creative programs post-secondary?
eyze: Yes – In highschool, we both loved all of the creative classes! Wanze was involved in music, visual arts, some mixed media work and we both loved photography. I (Claire) took as many visual art classes that I could cram into my schedules each year and we both excelled in all of these classes because our passion shone through. We also did many photo-shoots together including Wanze’s clothes that she started to learn to create and so in grade twelve – Wanze decided to apply for Ryerson’s Fashion Program and myself aiming to go to York’s Visual Art program where we both attend now in Toronto.
- Emily: What launched the start-up of eyze?
eyze: First year was obviously such a drastic change to highschool’s work load and projects and we both accumulated much more creative work throughout that year. In about April – our brains must have been churning up the same inspirations because while I was thinking about starting some sort of creative project, Wanze called me with a business plan. She was having trouble finding a job for the summer and thought – you know what? Why look for a job when I could make one of my own? Meanwhile – I was thinking, wooow I have all this funky artwork and how I could go about using it and displaying it to the public. So as soon as we started talking about starting a business together everything just kind of fell into place from our mutual excitement, dedication, passion and strong work ethic. We decided we were going to use our artworks, create designs out of them and put it on clothing so it was wearable art – it’s eyze! Art on a t-shirt!
- Emily: eyze is a very unique name – what is the vibe behind the name and company?
eyze: Sooooo finding the name of your company is the hardest part – we laughed about it for days trying to figure out what is was we wanted to be called and one night after writing idea after idea down we sort of merged our names together – Clair[ey] & Wan[ze] (people call me claireeey and accentuate the ‘e’ on wanze) so we kind of gave it that funky, colourful vibe. We also incorporated the whole intermix of 2 people in the business, and that it’s a collaborative project between 2 people. We love the idea of displaying our art for people on t-shirts – because clothing goes everywhere. That’s why our designs are pretty colourful and trippy.
- Emily: Take us through the creative process of designing the art work and clothing? What medium is most of your work created with?
eyze: I would say it really has evolved now over the past 3 years. In the beginning our first few collections were done mostly with paint, pencil crayon or pencil crayon and watercolour. Now our styles have changed a lot so we use a huge range of medias in all of our designs. From ink, photography, paint, watercolour, pencil crayon, pencil, charcoal – it’s a lot of experimenting! The creative process is mainly just trying a bunch of different things and going with the flow of what you’re drawn to and thinking about it in perspective of someone else – what would they choose? Also – because Wanze is so enriched in the fashion industry now, we have done and will probably continue more of – a collection where I created all the fabric through art textiles, so the art was the pattern on fabric and then she sewed clothes out of it – another form of collaborating our creativity.
- Emily: During your process of establishment, what were some challenges you faced?
eyze: Challenges that we have both faced is just time. It was such an amazing thing for us to create a business from scratch at 19 years old, but as the years have passed it’s also been a lot tougher in school and growing up trying to sustain your life with jobs and other. However – once we finish up 4th year this year, we are hoping to really dig back in and fulfill the time we haven’t had to create.
- Emily: I personally met you both at Booze &Pancakes – how did this show compare to other ones you’ve attended?
eyze: We actually have now hosted about five of our own ‘art parties’ and comparable to those ones, they have mostly included our friends, mutual friends and some random people – so Pancakes & Booze was a great opportunity to outstretch to further public in Toronto, people we didn’t know and now we do – like you !
- Emily: What does the future of eyze look like?
eyze: The future of eyze looks super fun, exciting and funky. Can’t wait for the summer to release what’s up and coming for all of you guys!
For more information or to visit their online shop check out eyze.ca
* All photos courtesy of eyze*