We caught up with Lizzie Snow of ‘fortyonehundred’ to chat about the inspiration behind the BLUNT + fortyonehundred limited edition umbrella and her process of creating and making.
We are so excited to be collaborating with you and bringing a BLUNT + fortyonehundred Limited Edition to life. For those who may not know of you, please tell us a little about yourself, your background and where you are based.
I am so excited to be working with you too! My name is Lizzie Snow, I am a 24-year-old visual artist working under my artist name ‘fortyonehundred’. I’m a New Zealander living in Tofino, BC, Canada.
Inspired by fractals in nature, I create contemporary explorations of the mandala and free-flowing artworks. I have a Master of Fine Arts, Bachelor of Design and over 120,000 followers online. I paint murals internationally, create original artworks and release prints & collectable items.
Collaboration is one of my favourite parts of my practice, some of the brands I’ve worked with include Lululemon, Peugeot, Whittaker’s, Converse and some other amazing companies. I also support nonprofit organisations through my work, including YouthLine, InsideOut, Wellington’s Women’s Refuge and ClayoquotCleanUp.
What is it like being a New Zealander living in Canada?
I feel very lucky as both NZ & Canada are amazing countries. I was born in Canada, then went back to NZ with my NZ family when I was newborn. So, I am a Kiwi through and through, with a special link to Canada.
After finishing studying at Victoria University in Wellington NZ, I felt that moving to North America would be a good next step in my career. It’s been fantastic so far; I’ve been here for 2 years, making things happen and having an absolute blast!
I live in a place called Tofino in British Colombia. A beach-resort town on a peninsula covered in a temperate rainforest. Orca, wolves, bears, mountain lions and eagles live here, it’s truly wild. However…as it’s a tourist destination, your rainforest and beach adventures can be followed by top restaurants, shops and galleries. Just 2000 people live here, but 1 million visitors each year — it’s a quick 45min flight from Vancouver. It truly feels like the best of both worlds.
I feel very fortunate to have been flown back to New Zealand for commissions a few times now, so I’m not feeling too homesick. Air New Zealand always makes the trip a pleasure too. The thing about New Zealand I miss most are flat whites, of course!
What does the fortyonehundred process of making work look like?
I explore lots of different mediums and projects, so it’s always quite different. I love this diversity as I’ve found a great balance of challenge combined with familiarity. Always learning, always improving.
I often use a process of setting a theme or idea, such as ‘geometric’, ‘negative space’, ‘feminine’, ‘spiralling’, sometimes a yogic term, and then let the artwork flow and evolve upon the canvas through that lens. This flexibility allows me to be truly creative and engage the part of my mind where the ideas, patterns, shapes and designs come from. It’s the most beautiful, engaging and rewarding process. There is an infinite source of art in my mind and each person’s mind!
Your work has so much beautiful detail and craft, so much patience and skill must go into each piece you create. What would you say has helped the most in developing who you are as an artist today?
Thank you! Some of my works take several hundred hours, so it has taught me patience throughout the process. It’s a productive meditation, getting into the flow state. The thing that has helped me most in developing who I am as an artist today is patience-practice-perseverance. Vision. Hard work. Gratitude.
What attracted you to working with BLUNT?
Creating an umbrella with Blunt™ has been a dream of me for a while now. I almost…kind of knew it would happen one day as I manifested this dream and goal every day. So, when I woke up to an out-of-the-blue email from Blunt™ you can imagine how excited I was! Blunt™ is innovative, stylish and functional throughout their products, branding, everything. They are a brilliant brand that I’m honoured to be working with.
What was your first experience with BLUNT Umbrellas?
I’ve seen Blunt™ umbrellas around Auckland and Wellington and have always wanted one. My mother gifted me one for my birthday a few years ago and it quickly became a vital & permanent accessory.
What inspires your work and in life?
I am inspired by fractals in nature — the ever-repeating patterns found throughout our universe.
Fractals are the shape of randomness — chaotic patterns that are characterised by scaling and self-similarity. Fractals are the very essence of our DNA, nature, time and space. Think of the patterns in our nerves and lungs, our brain’s neurons, of snowflakes, leaf veins, branching trees, flowing rivers, coastal edges, lightning bolts, galaxy formations, everything natural in our universe.
Once you start noticing these patterns, they start showing up everywhere, reminding us of the connection between the pattern of our skin to that of tree bark, to the make-up of our social systems and so forth. Fractal patterning allows us to visualise the unbreakable and immense interconnection between humans and nature. A fusion of art, science, mathematics and humans.
Each day I spend time learning, observing, thinking and creating, which enables my art to continue to evolve and grow through this passion and interest.
What inspired the design behind the BLUNT + fortyonehundred umbrella?
The BLUNT +fortyonehundred umbrella is designed as a reminder of connection; between the rain falling, with the soul in the middle, grounded to the earth below. When we get caught up in our busy lives, are frustrated with the weather, are rushing — the umbrella serves as a reminder of our unbreakable connection with nature, inspiring a calmer perspective and awareness of our existence. After all, we are nature.
What is your greatest source of happiness in life?
As much as I love to travel, work on exciting collaborations and all these big & wonderful life experiences, my true happiness is quite simple.
Creating in the studio, my dog George snoozing beside me, after we’ve walked the beach and soaked in the nature that surrounds us. Yoga, good coffee, family, friends.
These are the foundations of my happiness and purpose, which then allow me to fully experience and appreciate all of the ups and downs that life brings.
Shop the BLUNT + Fortyonehundred umbrella here