Mare Garcia's Blend of Pop Culture and Plant Love at Space Queen Studio
By Fineline + Mare Garcia
In a world filled with mass-produced objects, Mare Garcia is on a mission to remind us of the beauty of craftsmanship and the magic of everyday items. Mare is the artist behind Space Queen Studio, where the ethos is a delightful blend of cute 'n kitschy aesthetics and a profound love of the environment and sustainable practices. From her background in environmental design to her fascination with plant life and the enchantment of cute pop culture, Mare's creative journey has taken her on a unique path. In this interview with Fineline, she tells us about her inspirations, her commitment to addressing environmental concerns, and her hope for viewers to see the energy within her hand-crafted creations.
From Environmental Design to Ceramics
The ethos behind my work is cute ‘n kitschy meets pop culture but with a succulent green twist. I studied Environmental design at OCAD U because I was fascinated with sustainable practices in architecture and within the built environment. That love for building took me into exploring furniture design which eventually became a focus on craft-based product design, and then eventually ceramics. Central to my creative practice is a deep love for building and material exploration.
Where Plants Meet Pop Culture
I am constantly inspired by things that bring me joy. My mom has always had a green thumb, so I grew up surrounded by plants. Over the last few years I have become very interested in growing and nurturing tropical plants of my own. Our plant collection grew so much that we transformed our basement into a small green house, with humidity control and a full grow light set-up. Many of my current works are heavily influenced by my affinity for growing plants.
Aside from that I also draw a lot of inspiration from cute and kawaii culture. I like how cute things feel very friendly and welcoming and try to infuse that same friendliness into most of my collections.
Themes in the Space Queen Studio Fineline Collection
The current focus of my work is to use whimsical colours, faces, characters, and nostalgic motifs to bring life to functional objects. I am particularly interested in pieces that can illicit feelings of comfort and nostalgia. I was a child of the 90’s and I see a lot of my aesthetic as reflective of that.
I have always been interested in finding ways to animate inanimate objects – so that users can develop a deeper connection. I tend to focus on planters, pots, and any type of vessel that can carry all sorts of plants because I enjoy exploring the ways in which plants can bring life to an object.
Applying a Post-Growth, Environmental Lens
An underlying issue that I try to address with my work is the disconnect in the way we interact with objects. A common thing that folks experience and feel, is that many of the objects that they interact with on the daily are mass-produced and disposable. This notion, in turn, has led to a lot of environmental issues, like overconsumption, and a culture of fast fashion.
I believe that a return to craft is a way of shifting this culture. I think craft is even more important today than ever before. As the digital landscape continues to evolve and become a much larger part of our lives, I believe we must actively find ways to stay connected to our natural environments.
Space Queen Studio is Personal
My artwork has always been the easiest way for me to express myself. I grew up being a very shy and reserved kid and I always had trouble communicating what was on my mind. I often see my work as an extension of myself. I think my work is important because it’s a reflection of how I process the world around me. It’s a way to share my influences, my experimentation, and my experience as a designer and maker, to a larger audience.
A Deeper Connection
I hope that the viewer feels that each object that I create has an energy of its own. I want them to consider the work and effort that it requires, to take raw materials and refine them into these objects that we interact with and use daily. It would mean a lot to me, if they could take that consideration of a single, hand-made piece, and apply that thoughtfulness into the other objects that they interact with daily.
I’d like to believe that if people could understand the effort and energy that it takes to produce the things—by human hands—that they use regularly; that they would treat the objects with more care, and be a lot less inclined to be wasteful.