A collaborative project with Los Angeles-based artist Cheryl Humphreys, the Reimagined limited-edition collection furthers My General Store’s ongoing commitment to minimise waste. We have created a bespoke and sustainable approach to recreate a new life for existing pieces from previous collections.
The premise? Why can’t these pieces live a new life with an injection of art?
During lockdown in Los Angeles, Cheryl hand dyed a small selection ofpieces using natural indigo dyes. Cheryl is a visual artist whose focus lies in the transformation that comes with creating and its effect on not just the viewer but the creator. The result is incredible, the blues give an almost denim-like feel and the different techniques Cheryl applied resulted in unique one-off pieces. We loved collaborating with Cheryl, and she’s featured in MGS Woman where you can read more about her creative process below.
Can you talk us through the indigo dyeing process for the Reimagined collection?
There are many ways to approach dyeing with indigo. For these pieces, I used a recipe I got from my friend (and Indigo guru) Niki Tsukamoto of Lookout and Wonderland. The recipe calls for indigo and iron and is easy to work with. It yields a true blue that reminds me of the ocean on a clear day.
How did you navigate the colour choices and patterns?
The shade of indigo gets deeper with each dip. The lightest colour was dipped once, and the darkest four times. Fellow creative, Ana and I had fun exploring dip dyeing, a few traditional Shibori techniques and the classic tie-dye spiral coming from the root chakra.
Being conscious of resources is a part of my process. I love the idea of being able to water my plants with the dye I used to make a piece of work.
The collection is called Reimagined, as we have given new life to styles we had already made. In a time of mass-produced excess, do you think it’s important to think of new ways to be creative rather than always creating the new?
Yes! And I love the name. I feel we are being asked to reimagine our approach to so much right now and it’s very important to practice (in and out of the studio).
The doors to your studio are always open, how has collaborating with other creatives helped your own process?
I think so much of being an artist is not just about making art but about being a leader in your community and a connector so that your community can grow and strengthen. I learn so much from creating with others. One of the ways we have been building community amongst our artist friends here in LA is our monthly figure drawing sessions. Pre-Covid, on the third Wednesday of every month, we would open our studio doors for the evening and host a live drawing class with wine, music and creative spirit! Some of my favourite moments came from looking up and around at everyone being present, focused, off their phones and simply drawing. I am looking forward to a time when it is safe to do this again.
Can you tell us a bit about your paper art? Your printmaking shapes and shadows are incredible
I went to school for what I would consider a traditional graphic design education. This is where my obsession with paper and printmaking started. From my design background, I draw upon geometric shapes and lines which allow me to explore colour and texture immediately. Trained to think about maximizing communication in the simplest forms, I shift focus in the print studio to a more sensory experience. Shapes and transient colour break the two dimensional surface and sprawl off the edges of paper tiles. A reaction to so much screen time, the printed tiles demand physical presence to fully perceive their nuance. They beg to be touched and turned. I love this about them.
What quote do you live by?
“Make work that matters, have an opinion and love something other than yourself” - James Victore
Victore’s words have had such an impact on my approach to making and on cultivating confidence around my work. He is an incredible creative and leader.
What is your greatest love?
Top three movies?
Inside Out, The Truth About Cats and Dogs, and Pretty Woman
All-time fave book?
My Life on the Road by Gloria Steinem
Jane Goodall on What It Means to Be Human (On Being with Krista Tippett
Music that always makes you dance?
Crazy P, pretty much all disco and 90s hip hop
What is your greatest inspiration?
Being on the bay in Cape Cod [in Massachusetts]. I grew up going there every summer, spending time with my grandparents. Every night, we would go to the beach and watch the sun set into the bay. We would even plan dinner around it. On the longest day of the year, we would wake up, when the stars were still out, just to catch the sun rise. This is where I first learned what beauty was… and that the journey was a part of it.
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