TrashTalk vol.1

Starting off my TrashTalk series is an interview with perfumer and budding trashion artist Diana Rajchel of Magickal Realism.
Primarily a designer of perfumed potions, Diana is currently working to expand her line of 'trashion' offerings to include decoupaged bottles and diffusers, as well as one-of-a-kind gift/shipping boxes- all recycled and repurposed, of course!
Here's what I was curious about...

*Did you grow up with a green family, or is recycling and reusing something you taught yourself to do?
Not exactly. I grew up with a pseudo-green family. We would go spend time in nature, and my mother would repurpose some things out of frugality. We did grow our own food some years, and other years we didn't. Since there was no recycling and no mass transit where I grew up (Crown Point, Indiana) it was all a bit haphazard. We were certainly concerned about air pollution but we just had no options except to keep driving and keep polluting.
*Where do you find the materials that you plan on turning into trashion art?
Just from the things I bring in my home every day. Product boxes (like cereal, mac and cheese) get repurposed and reinforced for shipping. Bottles, like worcestershire or wine, get decoupaged. My flagship trashion is incense paper I make by converting my junk mail into something pretty-smelling. Even among my perfumery goods I'm trying to make it so every single bottle and box sees at least one reuse before it leaves my studio.
*How did you or do you come up with your ideas?
I think that's one of the  great unanswerable questions in the arts. My process is "hmm, I have this object. What can I do with it?" I let that cook for awhile. Sometimes I literally dream the solution.
*Why is it important for you to continue on this artistic path with trashion art?
The world's resources are drying up rather rapidly, and as a perfume designer I have to contend with extinction and related disasters on a daily basis, too. While papering boxes with old stuff won't solve the world's problems, it will slow them down, and trashion causes us to look at and rethink the everyday objects around us and gets us to pause, reconsider, and recreate instead of going out and just buying something brand new that puts further strain on the world.
*How do you feel the community has taken to your art?
When it comes to the trashion fragrances themselves, I think some people don't quite get them - a lot of "perfume snobs" are so conditioned to the scent and behavior of synthetics that they don't see that I'm not just doing all my perfumes up with the chemicals I use in trashion. I think the other things I create - the vials and bottles and especially the incense paper - are easier to understand because you can physically see what the objects used to be before they were repurposed.
*What draws you to a particular found object?
Its presence in my studio, mostly. How much space it takes up, whether it's washable, and in the case of bottles glass color can really catch my attention. I love blue and red glass.
*Do you know right off how you will use your found materials, or does the inspiration come later?
Sometimes I know right away. In the case of perfume vials, they can hold liquid. So that's all they're going to do before and after I work with them. In other cases, an object may sit for awhile while I puzzle at it - especially stacks of old magazines. I've started exploring shredding them and making paper, but the reward of that type of work is very small and frustrating so I may leave that to other dedicated paper makers.
*How long have you been making trashion art and when and why did you start?
I got started a few weeks after I joined Etsy. I was around when someone brought up starting a trashion team, and I was looking for new arts to explore to make my perfumery different from the others already dotting the landscape. It's become somewhat more of a passion for me since, as I've found new and creative ways to repurpose the items that pass through my hands. I've certainly started doing more with trashion in my home decor, hopefully I'll get a few things up to show on my own blog soon!
*What new projects are you working on? Is there an idea you have that you'd like to develop on in the future?
I am preparing a line of decoupaged diffusers using items that are from my daily flotsam (sewing notions, magazine pages, etc.) I'm also arranging for "trashion packs" that have a variety of samplers to go out. I may also soon have my answer to requests for scratch'n'sniff (I'm being mysterious on purpose) but it's a fairly time consuming project so that day is a ways off yet!

Thanks Diana, it's been nice talkin' trash with you!

To find out more about Diana and Magickal Realism visit:


Lori said...

Great interview! I'm glad you are starting this series. Looking forward to the next one!


onewomanstudio said...

Thanks and stay tuned for the November interview!

lilgreenshop said...

Loved the interview! Agree that some people don't get natural fragrances which is sad.

Was nodding when you said about making your own paper! Had grand idea's here of making my own til the kitchen ended up looking like a weird paper laundryroom! Like you will leave it others who make great recycled paper products :)