Meet Anastasia Tumanova of We Are Clay Studio. Anastasia is a designer and artist in San Francisco capturing nature’s beauty into intricately arranged porcelain murals. She’s inspired by ephemeral elements of nature like leaves and flora. Her work has been shown at First Amendment, Rare Device, and Eleanor Harwood galleries in San Francisco, and West Coast Craft. She invited us to her studio where she shares with us her work, process, and inspiration behind her work.
Watch the full interview and read a few excerpts, full of Anastasia’s creative wisdom, below.
What first inspired you to start as a brand and how did you move from the idea to actually doing it?
“Really being an artist is being a brand designer. You’re creating your own aesthetic; you’re creating your own style guide so to speak of your work. And that includes the forms, and the color, and everything. And then how do you apply those things to the real world and where do they live? Where does your work live? Where does your brand live? Who interacts with your brand?
These are all questions that artists should be asking themselves and so that’s how I got my start. I created my brand by taking the principles that I learned as a brand designer and then applying them to my own business as an artist.”
How did you find your medium? Did you also work with botanicals/florals or they’re just the inspo?
“The inspiration behind my work actually came from foraging. I used to go out and collect raw materials outside on hikes and walks. I would actually collect them and gather them and then create these intricate arrangements with them and patterns. It was just a fascinating process to me because I would create these gorgeous visuals and then I would clear them away and that would give me space to create new ones. So after doing a lot of this, these allowed me to study color and form and really understand the forms of nature. So these were my study materials so to speak, in color and form and composition, as well as pattern and texture.”
What’s your favorite interior design style? Where would you love to see your work?
“I am a collector of Danish modern and Scandinavian modern design pieces and furniture and I’ve done that for ten years. And so I’ve taken a lot of inspiration from the Scandinavian aesthetic in my own work. As far as where I would love to see my work, it’s actually in parallel to that. I love architects who are inspired by Scandinavian aesthetics.
One of my favorite architects right now is Mason St Peter. I love the way that he uses natural materials in his designs as I do in my artwork. I’m looking to place my artwork in spaces that are really beautifully and thoughtfully designed. “
How are you connected to your local design community?
“Even though it’s hard to be an artist in San Francisco, I do believe it’s important to give back to the community and to make art happen. That’s one of my personal goals as an artist. I like to have the opportunity to put work out there and create art experiences for people.”
What do you think about Wescover?
“The website is absolutely gorgeous and the profiles look amazing. Also, the curated events that you do are really beautiful and it’s a wonderful way to, actually in real life, meet the makers. You should definitely do more of that.”