I am constantly looking for new inspirations and artists, but very often I overlook the creative people around me. It is time to explore the surrounding artistic scene. So today I would like to introduce you to a textile design brand based in Tijuana, Mexico – Alpaca India.
Alpaca India is formed by two artists Olivia Arreguin & Leigh Suarez, who perfectly mix traditional Native American art inspiration and techniques together with a modern approach. Their handmade goods include home décor items, fashion and accessories. Among Alpaca India’s products you can find some great cheerful t-shirt designs, hats and scarves, and many more beautiful things. And I am sure that one of their amazing bright fluffy carpets would find a place in everyone’s homes!
And here is a short interview with the makers:
What is special about your collaborative design studio?
We have at hand all the basic resources to create a line of design that is original on its entirety. Although my husband Leigh and I are who bilaterally lead this project, we have to give credit to my brother Juan Carlos and my fourteen year-old sister Paulina who have contributed greatly with their illustrations. Working with my siblings and husband to create this concept has been a great experience for all of us and we are all growing together from it.
What do you like the most about working together?
I feel an aesthetic cohesion with Leigh and that chemistry makes us more confident about what we can both do for the brand on our own grounds. An idea is turned into a design, and that design has to be transformed into matter, sharing this experience with Leigh is gratifying and bonding.
What inspires you individually and how do you combine that together?
We both admire Native American textiles and are inspired by them, with each of us having different tools to artistically express our own interpretations, it is here where two techniques and different materials meet to form our idea in unison.
Describe your typical day in the studio.
Since our operation is fairly small, we have to take on so many tasks that each day is completely different. However, I spend most of my days knitting while Leigh does his thing at the silkscreen shop.
How does your work space look like? What do you like about it? What would you change?
Our silkscreen shop is of a decent size and it is fully equipped, we couldn’t ask for more. The rest of the operation is done from our home. Luckily, we have enough space here to do everything else, but it would be ideal to have a space outside of our home to dye and store all our stock. It sometimes gets a little tight in our house, especially now after having our first baby.
What advice would you give to fresh designers, artists and makers?
Expose yourselves locally to achieve a base following and build from that into social media where the exposure is open to the entire world.