We have been admirers of Johanna Tagada and the beautiful art she creates for a while now. We reached out to her this spring to see if she would have interest in helping us with a series of paintings we could use to represent some of our coffees in a new, interesting way. We were thrilled when she agreed to the collaboration, suggesting water colors as the medium. After settling on a palette, we left Johanna to her work. We were thrilled when we saw what she created!
We are creating post cards with Johanna's paintings that we will begin to include with our coffee ordered through our online shop. To commemorate the project (and because we are such fans of her and her work!), we asked Johanna for a photos of her studio and to answer a couple questions we were curious about.
We hope you enjoy!
Ally & Casey: What was your journey into creating art?
Johanna: It must have been the small things of the everyday, observed as a child. Some of these paths to making art are very domestic elements which I recall from my pre-teens like helping to cook, harvesting vegetables and placing them in a handwoven basket by colour theme, looking at my grandmother darning a jumper, choosing a pot to place a particular plant. There were also the things of the ‘outside’ such as gazing at an oil painting at church, looking into my grandfather’s botanical library. I cannot remember not making or loving looking at handmade objects and art, conceptualising ideas in my head and making things with my hand has always part of my life and culture, it is a source of joy.
A&C: Is it something you've always wanted to do?
J: As a child I wanted to be a dancer, or a painter, or work with books. Now what I want is simply to do my best to be doing the things I aspire to be doing – whatever that might be. And so, with wonderful people who are open to discussions and care about others and the planet.
A&C: Is inspiration something you seek? How (&/or where) do you go?
J: I feel rather immersed in inspirations. Environments are my inspiration, be it in England, France, Alsace, India, Japan, the places I might read about or hear of, like Algeria where I have ancestry. Hereby I encompass both existing places, and that in various scales, along the ones I might create for my friends, family, myself and of course visitors of exhibitions / projects.
Even if it is a small room or the corner of a garden, I have always loved creating a world inside another, one where one might feel protected, inspired, at ease, relaxed.
A&C: We love that you love libraries! What have you enjoyed reading this year?
J: This might be a very French enthusiasm! I absolutely love it! While I purchase books frequently, I go to the library or a few libraries every week. It is both a nurturing experience intellectually, a way to improve my English, learn and discover new things, and also positive socially. I really recommend it, plus it is … free.
A&C: Do you have any daily rituals?
J: Yes. These include, preparing tea in the morning and before sleep, aromatherapy, tidying, making, gardening and eating dark chocolate!