Interview with Scarlett Baily: fascination with the sacred.
Scarlett Baily is a visual artist and illustrator from New York who currently lives in Mexico, whose casual style of fine and dynamic strokes transmits the energy and joy of life that she exudes. His art has earned important spaces in the fashion industry, in which he has participated by collaborating in important projects with companies such as DKNY, Ralph Laurent, Bimba y Lola or ELLE México Diseña.
One of her main projects in Mexico has been the “7 Pecados” collection that she created in collaboration with 180 GRADOS, in which she brings together a series of characteristic images of the religious iconography of Mexico, which she recovers and reinterprets based on her fascination with the shapes, symbols and their meanings, in a playful and fresh collection of drawings.
Sharing the table with Scarlett is always a great moment, since her enthusiasm and interest in every detail of the conversation is contagious and she easily shares with us the challenges she has faced as an American visual artist living in Mexico City for several years. months.
180: Tell us about the challenges of creating and designing in Mexico…
SB: You're going to think I'm crazy, but there are almost none! Mexico is wonderful, it is inspiration everywhere, in every corner. It's truly a wonderful place to be creative! We are here in the largest city in Latin America, creating a global platform. It's really very exciting!
Perhaps the only challenge comes during the production process: the mythical “right now” in which you never know when things will really be ready… And, as a New Yorker, it has taken me a while to get used to adjusting my work schedule to what is available. an hour of lunch… or two or three. But I love that, because I love to eat.
Born to Mexican grandparents, Scarlett is a passionate admirer of urban aesthetics and Mexican popular culture, of which she takes up iconic elements that she boldly reinterprets, rescuing their aesthetic value without modifying the deep meaning they have.
Reviewing Scarlett's designs for the 7 Pecados collection, we talk about the one that has caught the most attention of all clients and friends of 180º SHOP, national and foreign, which is the Virgin of Guadalupe:
180: How did you approach the Guadalupe icon? From where…
SB: —with her gaze suddenly full of tenderness— My grandmother who taught me to draw; She always had her image present: if the Virgin was not hanging from her bracelet, it was on a candle in her room or on a prayer card. Then I moved to Mexico and finally learned the story… I became a complete Guadalupana. I went to the Basilica and I loved it. That place is pure good vibes. I am so fascinated by all the altars that are found around the city…! I take photos of each one and then draw them in my workshop. I have an obsession with documenting each altar.
180: What ideas and feelings does that image inspire in you?
SB: Since I was a child I thought that there was a certain mystical glamor in the Virgin of Guadalupe; Maybe it was my grandmother's bracelets... I don't know if this is sacrilegious, but I have always thought that the image is very fashionable , in total contrast with so many other Catholic images of pain and agony: the colorful cloak covered in stars, the roses... the image is just love and joy!
180: Your eyes are shining with enthusiasm! You convey your admiration and amazement. But also tell us about what your main challenge was in reinterpreting the most representative icon of religiosity in Mexico...
SB: I think it was taking such a colorful image and making it black and white: how to carry this feeling of love and happiness and color that shines, without color.
With agile and fresh strokes, Scarlett Baily brings a new artistic quality to symbols loaded with meaning and formality, deeply engraved in the visual identity of Mexicans.
180: How do you define your style?
SB: My style is inspired a lot by the illustrators I followed as a child. From Walt Disney to the ads I saw on TV for Barbie and Little Pony. And then, my time as a cartoon artist at Sea World: I was really impacted by how to capture someone's vibe in just a moment, how to create lines that are really vivid and emotional: this is my purpose.
180: What do you enjoy most about living in Mexico?
SB: I can't choose just one thing, it's impossible; I feel like in Mexico I can breathe, I can get lost in the streets of the center absorbing all the inspiration. And when I'm feeling low on energy, I pull over and stop by for a conch and a latte, and then all is right in the world. The people here are beautiful. And if anyone knows me, they know that I love the party and I celebrate everything and here in Mexico they are kings of the party!
180: Why did you choose to collaborate with 180° SHOP on this collection, 7 Pecados?
SB: Because it is a very cool store that I discovered before my move to Mexico City. It's not really easy to find spaces to support and accommodate independent designers... and 180 does it! It's impressive, I love their selection and even their own brand is becoming more and more cool!