Known for her signature style and love of everything Japanese, Marzia Kjellberg has the most followed Youtube channel in her native country of Italy, with over 7 million subscribers. She’s a creative spirit and considering the size of her following, when approaching product she goes for more handmade qualities, producing a lot of ceramics herself. Our collaboration has a Miami pastel inspired vibe, botanicals and beach adventures, all in beautifully subtle colourways!
We chat to Marzia about the range below and also talk to illustrator Chloe Hall who helped bring Marzia’s vision to life!
Thank you so much for talking to us! Being a creative spirit and having even launched your own handmade ceramic and jewellery brand, you’ve clearly got a wonderful eye for design. What prompted you to work with Ohh Deer and what were your main inspirations behind the Marzia x Ohh Deer range?
When I first moved to the UK a few years ago, Ohh Deer was one of the brands that stood out to me as it always offered wonderful products with a great range of designs. I like how illustrators are given a platform where they can create cool products, and I’ve dreamt about having the opportunity to work with Ohh Deer since first coming across it. I’m extremely excited about our collaboration!
I’ve recently started to care for more and more plant friends, bringing new ones into my home and quite often, enjoying how much difference a bit of green can make in our lives. I can easily say that plants are one of the things I wanted to incorporate into the range and “Marzia-fy” it by using a muted pastel colour palette which is very much what I’m drawn to normally.
The ceramics hand-made by Chloe Hall are lush! What does the typical day in the life of Marzia entail? And do you have a motto you like to live by?
On a typical day, I wake up early and get lots of work done in the morning - from emails, to developing which ever project I’m focusing on at the moment. In the afternoon I usually head out, drop orders off at the post office and buy art supplies & groceries. I then have a nice walk down at the beach with my two pugs Maya & Edgar and later catch up on some Netflix shows to end the day.
There are of course days where I stay glued to the computer, taking care of boring stuff; but there are others in which I allow myself to be spontaneous and do whatever I feel like. Luckily I have the freedom to be creative and manage my own time, which I’m so thankful for as I get to blend passions work and life together quite seamlessly. I am not sure I have a motto to live by, but I never forget to appreciate what I have. It’s easy to get caught up in the negative things that surround us and that are happening in the world, so remembering to be grateful for what we do, all the way down to the simplest things in life can help with keeping a positive mindset.
From your content we can see you’re still heavily involved with being connected to your audience, even down to shipping their orders, is that something that’s important to you?
Definitely! My Marzipans (as I call the people that follow my journey online!) have given me so much. I don’t want to lose my personal touch when I interact with them. So in the case of Maì, which is the brand I’ve recently founded, I want to make sure everything is handled with care. I love seeing people enjoying the products I create, and having my Marzipan’s support means a lot.
As the range is super summery and fills us with beach vibes, do you have a particular place in mind that this reminds you of? We think of a lying on a tropical beach with an ice cream in hand!
As you may know, I live in Brighton which is a beach town in the south coast of England. The beach gives me so much inspiration, and being in front of the ocean gives me such a pleasant and calming feeling. When you think of Brighton, you don’t really think of a hot, comfortable place to sunbathe! But since living here I’ve learned the joy of experiencing that rare and spectacular summer day. It makes you feel like you are in a tropical island even if just for a brief moment. Then Brighton goes back to wind and clouds: I wanted to keep the essence of that particular day and capture it for this range!
The perfect location for inspiration! Speaking of travel, you’ve visited some incredible places. Having recently been to Japan, what where your top 3 favourite things about the country and culture?!
Japan - Tokyo in particular, is my absolute favourite place in the world.
I enjoy how incredibly busy, yet extremely organized it is. I like the contrast between the old traditional shrines and the new modern buildings; and I love the feeling you get while being there. It is such a different country, that once you step into it, you can’t help but feel like you are somewhere special. It really is my dream place, so I’m always ecstatic whenever I get to go back.
From a luxury cushion to a functional linen notebook, what is your favourite item from the range, and how will you be using it?!
I love all the products we created, but the notebook is probably the item I get the most use out of. I organize my days with a bullet journal, so I reach for it frequently. Having my own design on a notebook makes it even more personal… but I do have to say, my pugs are big fans of the cushion!
You’re known for your individual style and positive outlook on life; do you have any advice for those who are finding their own aesthetic and niche in the creator industry?
It is probably the cheesiest advice, but I stand by it: don’t be afraid to do your own thing. The truth is, nobody feels confident at all times, and there is always going to be self-doubt, but I think taking that first step to put yourself out there will help you find your own style over time. Especially when it comes to artists, it is hard to show the world what you have to offer. Lots of us would like to perfect a skill before sharing something, yet I think it’s essential to just let go and allow yourself to create whatever you want, without fear of judgment or failure. Making something even when it’s not perfect, is better than creating nothing. Going back to your motto question from earlier, here’s one that fits: progress, not perfection! If you are a creative person, allow yourself to be one, in whichever way you want to!
Thank you so much Marzia!
THE ILLUSTRATOR BEHIND THE RANGE
To bring Marzia’s vision to life we could only think of one person, the person in mind was Chloe Hall; a freelance illustrator based in the Midlands, UK. Chloe specializes in everything botanical and beautiful. With pastel tones already consistent in her work, Chloe was delighted to capture everything Marzia.
Hi there Chloe!
Your artwork was on the original mood-board that Marzia proposed, how did it feel to know that your illustrations had been hand-picked straight off the bat?!
I couldn't believe it! Getting my work noticed, for whatever the reason, is lovely, so I was really happy to see it had been used for the mood board for this collaboration!
The range features beautiful tropical leaves and vacation themed icons; when it came to designing the pattern and individual elements for the range, what was your process? Did you start with simple sketches or head straight over to paint?
With every illustration or pattern, I do lots of quick water colours / goauche paintings so I have lots to choose from for the final pattern, which I then piece together digitally. I sometimes go back and draw out the shapes of certain leaves or flowers if I'm struggling to get it right by just painting them!
Could you tell us a bit about your illustration background and career?! What gravitated you towards drawing botanical pieces?
I studied Graphics and Illustration at DMU and graduated 5 years ago (how has it been that long!). I had no idea what I wanted to do when I graduated so I just carried on drawing. Whenever I sat down to draw I always found myself drawing plants in little plant pots, and from there I ended up really focusing on illustrating plants using water colours. I love being outdoors so I think that's been a big inspiration.
We love your organic illustrations! Along with the beautiful stationery, you’ve hand-made a selection of ceramic pots for the range! From the casting of the pots to the glazes, what was your favourite part of creating these pieces?
I normally create paper goods so it's been really exciting to be working in a new way and creating something different. I really loved hand painting each piece as it has meant that every single one is slightly different and individual!
And finally, do you have any super exciting projects coming up in the near future?
I have an exciting collaboration coming up that involves embroidery which I can't wait to share, and also some markets lined up nearer to Christmas!