Meet BRIKA: Sasha Arfin, Creative Designer

creativity meet BRIKA Q+A

As the BRIKA team grows, so too does our effort to ensure you get to know the faces behind the brand. Meet Sasha, BRIKA’s Creative Designer. Sasha is our in-house trailblazer for anything and everything creative-related at BRIKA: from designing email layouts, to dreaming up signage ideas, to shooting and editing photos, Sasha’s job is to ensure the BRIKA brand stays as beautiful as the goods we sell. What did you want to be when you grew up? I wanted to be an artist. I used to draw these elaborate scenes of people in cities and towns. I was also really into making up stories and drawing accompanying visuals. There was an illustrated book I did as a kid that I was particularly proud of and it was an exposé on how my family was so weird that they could, perhaps, be aliens. Instead of being bewildered at my choice of subject matter, my parents found it riotous. Thank goodness for them. My family has always known how to laugh at themselves. I loved this book, Talking with Artists, which was a compilation of conversations with people, mainly children’s book illustrators like Chris Van Allsburg (big fan), who never gave up on their childhood dream of drawing or illustrating. My favourite thing to do was to compare the drawings they did as kids and to the illustrations they created as adults. It showed me what was possible in the future if I kept pencil to paper and kept making things. How did you get involved in the creative design industry? I basically grew up in a boutique advertising agency that my parents co-founded. I had the benefit of having access to Macintosh computers and design software at a young age. I remember my first experience drawing in Photoshop 4.0—the new sensation of drawing with a mouse using the paint brush tool. I believe I drew something like a pillow. I put a lot of care into the shading to make it 3D. I had a phase where I put too much care into shading things. I suppose the simple answer to this question is: I was pretty much born into the creative design industry. And I’m ever so grateful that I was. What is your favorite creative activity and why? I believe you can turn any activity into a creative one. I see being “creative” as a method of being mindful, even meditative. To feel and become aware of everything in the moment that you’re in. Photography is a good way to do this. If I want to feel the moment, I take a picture. The photographer Aaron Siskind perfectly explains how I feel about it, “Photography is a way of feeling, of touching, of loving. What you have caught on film is captured forever... it remembers little things, long after you have forgotten everything.” I would like to get back into drawing and painting. I’ve neglected to do so regularly after graduating from my arts high school where I did it everyday as a visual arts major. I think it became so routine, so externalized and disconnected from my inner life that I forgot why I was doing it at all. I need to rekindle that flame. Especially because there is a tactility that I miss, that a computer can’t satisfy. What does a Well-Crafted life mean to you? For me, it means cultivating creativity, authenticity and positivity — seems like a mouthful, but these are the principles on which I make an effort to live by. Living a Well-Crafted life means being aware of your relationships — not only with people we come into contact with but with the people that we don’t — those who make the things that we consume or covet. This is one of the things that appealed to me about BRIKA. They share the stories of each Maker, which gives the customer an opportunity to connect or relate with the person behind the thing that they’re buying. Transparency is a big deal right now and for good reason. I care about the blood, sweat and tears that goes into whatever I’m consuming. I also care where those ingredients and materials are sourced. A Well-Crafted life is one that builds towards a green and compassionate economy. If you could have dinner with anyone, dead or alive, who would it be? Frankly, I wish I could have more than one person to this dinner party. Then I would invite author Haruki Murakami, Bernie Sanders, type designer Jessica Hische, David Bowie, the Duplass brothers and Tina Fey. Kind of an eclectic mix, but you can’t deny that colorful conversations would be had. Sasha’s BRIKA picks Gold Opal Solo Ring by La Kaiser Mountains Square Pillow by Hatchet Made Start Where You Are           From left to right: Gold Opal Solo Ring by La Kaiser I have a thing for opal rings. They have a certain mystique. Perhaps it’s because it is the stone of inspiration and enhances the imagination and you guessed it, creativity! Mountains Square Pillow Cover by Hatchet Made Christina Obuch makes the most beautiful textiles. I’m really drawn to this pattern because it reminds me of the mountains of Vermont — a place I hold dear to my heart. Start Where You Are by Meera Lee Patel Meera Lee is a true muse. With beautiful watercolor illustrations of timeless quotes and exercises to nurture self reflection—this book has been a bestseller in our shop and I can understand why!

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