An Interview with Mo and Mum
Monika of Mo&Mum is a self taught textile artist living between Berlin and Melbourne. She specializes in weaving, macrame, botanical dyeing and houseplants. Monika started Mo&Mum with the hope to encourage her mum to get back into craft and create something together. And DAMN can this girl weave?! I am obsessed with this gal's style.
Give us some background. What's your story?
Im originally from Poland, however I have lived abroad since 10 years. I left first when I was 19 and lived in Ireland, The Netherlands, Cyprus, Germany & Australia. I have studied a few different things but nothing really had me interested enough to complete a degree.
I have moved to Berlin in 2013 to work as a video journalist. During that time I have discovered weaving and macrame. Since then it became my therapy and obsession. In 2016 I decided to quit my job and try to live off weaving and teaching which turned out to be the best idea ever. Since then I have opened an online store for rare plants in Europe www.plantcircle.co, showed my work in Melbourne and ran dozens of workshops across the globe.
What is a normal day like in the life of Monika?
Lately I have been struggling to find time to weave as much as I used to. Since I’ve started Plant Circle it’s been taking up most of my time. I spend at least three days a week at my studio where I store my plants. I work a lot from home where I like to do admin work and weave. I usually get up around 8 am, do my instagram posts from bed, do exercise, have a coffee and get some admin work done. I only go to the studio in the afternoon to tend to my plants, pack orders and do some more admin work.
What are some hobbies you have or activities you like to do when you are not working?
I collect plants, listen to podcasts, watch documentaries- probably watch everything decent that netflix has to offer- and read non-fiction books. I love biographies! I am currently reading Shantaram- it’s such a good book!
What inspires your work?
I get inspired mostly by fine art and architecture but also just sit down and think about shapes and draw them until I find something that I like.
What is your creative process?
I always carry a notebook and pencils with me so that when inspiration strikes me I can make a quick sketch. Once the sketch is done and is good enough I will get all my yarn out and see what I would like to use for certain project. I prefer starting a piece with a plan, otherwise I can get stuck with it for too long thinking what’s next.
I noticed your recent unique blend of weavings as a part of clothing. Tell us about how this cool idea came to be, how it is going, who is involved... etc.
My partner, Andrew, insisted that my weavings should be on clothing. After hearing about it for x times I thought, maybe he is onto something :) I have contacted a Berlin-based designer who’s work I have been admiring- Daniela Salazar- and we spoke about collaboration. I really admire her work and her company’s ethos. She’s running a sustainable fashion brand where all pieces are made in Berlin from only high quality materials.
Do you ever catch yourself in a creative rut? What do you do to pull yourself out?
Whenever I feel stuck or uninspired I watch films about other artists or do something else than weaving or macrame like painting, collage or ceramics. I feel like I have to switch mediums and projects often otherwise I get bored.
How have you and your work grown since starting your own business and where would you like to see it go?
I have been thinking a lot about it lately and I am slowly figuring it out. Since starting Plant Circle I didn't have much time for weaving or macrame but my notebook is full of ideas and I cannot wait to get into it. I have big plans for 2018 and want to take Mo&Mum to another level. I don’t want to spill too many beans just yet to not to jinx it :)
What advice do you have for aspiring artists?
Don't be afraid to experiment and don't obsess over others work too much! It can be overwhelming seeing what other artists are doing. It’s good to get off Instagram or Pinterest for awhile and focus on your own ideas.
Anything else you would like people to know?
It’s never too late to start practicing art. I always thought that you are born with a talent and that you exhibit it at young age, but sometimes it takes us longer to discover it! Don’t let the time discourage you, it’s never too late.