by John Edinger

Tarik Mendes is a Brazilian sculptor, painter and sketch artist. As a self- described “24/7 creative,” he is always striving to create something new and to inspire others to be creative, as well. As a multimedia artist, he draws inspiration from notable figures:  Master painters, such as Sandro Botticelli and Pablo Picasso; philosophers like Rumi (a 13th century Persian scholar and poet), and even activists such as Malcolm X.

His company TelaModa, creates “wearable art” jewelry, handbags, and clothing; recently the company unveiled an art-inspired stationery line.  With these ventures, Tarik can explore his talents and create custom products that he hopes will inspire and empower those who wear them. 

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How did you become interested in the various media you work in?

Since I can remember I’ve been painting, drawing and creating.  Always drawing on myself, the walls or anything I could get my hands on.  I never liked toys as a child, always wanted to create things to play with.  Then as I got older, I begin to paint more and more but didn’t think I could pursue it as a career so I went to college for business.  In my junior year, I decided to dropout and move to New York City.

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What are some artists who have inspired you, and your style?

I really like Sandro Botticelli, Salvador Dali, Frida Kahlo, Donald Judd and Marcia Grostein. Outside of the art world I’m a big fan of Eartha Kitt, David Bowie, Freddie Mercury, Kurt Cobain, Cassia Eller, Malcom X and Rumi.

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How would you describe your work?

I work with various mediums. From paintings, sculpture, photography my company TelaModa (Wearable Art & TelaModaPrints (Art inspired stationery). I’m always creating so I fell like one aspect is always inspiring the other.

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How do you think your Brazilian roots have influenced your work?

It has influenced me in many different ways, it always had me curious to learn more about other people and the world.

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You have said that you draw inspiration from ancient African and Egyptian art, what about it inspires you?

I always been obsessed since I was a kid, just by their art, lifestyle and values. I think they lived in a simpler time where they were able to truly appreciate art and much more.

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The cubist movement was know for it’s deconstruction, was cubism a big influence on you? If so is there any one artist who’s work has the most?

I really love Matisse’s body of work, as well as Robert Delaunay, Paul Cezanne and of course Picasso.

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What is the process in making custom clothes?

In our website customers can interact with our Customize services. By sending a picture of their garment they want customized and then choosing the artist. From there we create a few prototypes they can choose from. Once they have selected their favorite our team begins to work on the garment they send over. This process can take up to 2 weeks depending on the design and garment.

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Is there anything stylistically in the work that you feel will continue throughout your career?

My love to being innovative and always trying something new.

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What types of materials do you prefer, and cater to your work?

It depends what I’m working on at the moment for my artistic career I love painting and creating sculptures. I take a lot of pictures for inspiration to create my mood boards. These mood boards can inspire to create new things for my paintings, TelaModa and TelaModaPrints.

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You have talked about articulating the good and the ugly in life, why is it important for you to show these sides of life?

 I heavily believe that creativity is like a presence, a spirit that you have to cherish – because any moment it can be gone if it feels I’m not taking it seriously.  So whenever I have an idea I try to get it down as soon as I can… if I don’t, I most likely won’t remember and it will pass through me and go to somebody else.  I happen to be the most creative when I’m depressed – I don’t think creativity gets along with happiness.

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The cubist movement was know for it’s deconstruction, was cubism a big influence on you? If so is there any one artist who’s work has the most?

I really love Matisse’s body of work, as well as Robert Delaunay, Paul Cezanne and of course Picasso.

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What have been some artistic rewards you have felt in your career thus far?

I had a few that I cherish. I love seeing pictures of my paintings into the houses of the collectors and how they transform the paintings and bring it to life in their own way; with their decorating. I really enjoyed working on TelaModa with our creative team. Less than a year into laughing TelaModa we launched an art inspired stationery line.
I love talking to people and seeing their perspective of my work, how they see certain things and interpret it in their own way, I find that very fascinating.

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How would you like in influence the fashion industry?

I don’t try to influence the fashion industry, I just really try to create amazing unique pieces that makes people inspired to wear them.

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Who would you like to see wearing the garments?

I like for people who are confident and like to stand out from the crowd.

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What would you say is the most important thing for people to know about you and your work?

I’m always creating and getting inspiration from everything around me, I would say I’m a 24/7 creative. But I’m really excited about a new product I’m launching into the interior design market. It’s a painting/room divider using net screen. Where it can act as art/room divider.

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What would you like people to take away after seeing the work?

I would like to inspired them to be creative.

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