Tate Leone

Q: How did you start making art?

A: I've always made art! I couldn't stop doodling on the walls so my parents bought me sketchbooks. I have sketchbooks dating back to whenever I was little and I even go through them now to inspire myself. My parents have always been incredibly supportive of me. For a brief stint I wanted to be a policewoman in elementary school. Much respect to the police force but it's probably much better for everyone I didn't go into that field.

Q: What does "being creative" mean to you?

A: Being creative means abstract problem solving - learning how to get from point A to point B in an original way. Everyone has potential to be creative in their own way, whether that be in the field of art, math, science, or any other subject. You just have to harness your own creativity.

Q: What is your most important tool?

A: My most important tool would honestly be the internet. It's important to have access to inspiration of places, things, and ideas I wouldn't be able to see or invent myself. I also like the Public Library's image library, because it is more authentic and artistic in the images it contains than the internet, although it contains less content. Another great tool is a supportive community - Mahla is made up of amazing people for encouraging the young artists of Pittsburgh in their work.

Q: What would be your dream job?

A: I will be an apparel or home textile designer and painter. With a dog! And a garden.

Q: Describe your first reaction to the piece of furniture. 

A: I LOVED it. The green, although a little jarringe at first, really grew on me. The chair is a mixture of contemporary and baroque all in one - which is exactly the aesthetic I love. It is innovative because of the combination of two styles; traditional and modern, with a functional use due to the surface. It's a statement piece because of its color and could go with a plethora of different rooms for different reasons. I was sad I couldn't keep it. Someday!

Q: Is furniture art?

A: Absolutely! Functional art. Furniture contributes to style of the space in which we live in. Especially in home, furniture as art is so important. Home is where we exist and anchor ourselves; it needs to be functional, comfortable, and familiar, but also inspiring and zen-creating. Furniture has the potential to fulfill all of those needs. The way we set up and decorate our home is so important to our mental and physical health.

Q: How do you think art influences design of furniture and vice versa?

A: Art develops as a reaction to or a getaway from the current political state. Furniture has the potential to capitalize on that in functionality; giving us what we need most - comfort and beauty. Furniture is an indicator of what culture was like at a given time period. When looking back to artwork from other time periods like the Renaissance or Golden Age, the furniture depicted becomes a motif or marker of that time, which is a constant inspiration to new and evolving movements in art.

Q: What are some of the most inspiring things happening in design today?

A: It seems like there is no way to go wrong. In fashion, furniture, art, clashing prints and colors are successful (Gucci Fall 2018) but also seamless, matching combinations are successful. We can really have the ability to do what we want today in terms of new movements because there is no wrong. Where do we go from here?

Q: What is the best piece of advice you've been given?

A: I don't know if this stands as a piece of advice, but everything happens for a reason. Whether that be a mistake on the canvas or something during your day, everything that happens and the way each thing resolves itself happens for a purpose in a positive way towards a better end-goal.

MORE FROM ARTIST TATE LEONE