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One to Watch - Mona Marina

Where did you study and what was the course title?

University of Plymouth, BA (HONS) 3D Design (Designer Maker)

Name of your lecturer – course tutor?

Marc Trotereau, Polly Mcpherson

Creative mission statement - or just something to say about your work:

I am passionate about divergent approaches and ways to make our world as sustainable and playful as it can possible be.

As a designer I put a special focus on the materials that I use. My designs are a combination of my care for the environment, my love for functionality and pure joy. My background in medicine instilled me with scientific curiosity, letting me blur the lines between art, design and science. In my final year I developed my own material ‚Materorganic‘ made from food waste such as tangerine peel and coffee ground and an organic resin. Through rigorous experiments with Materoganic’s chemistry, its acidity and compositions, I was able to achieve colours of natural vibrancy. Materorganic draws out the hidden aesthetic beauty of food waste.

How do you feel about being shortlisted by the judges and being selected as a ‘One to Watch’?

I am absolutely thrilled to see my work recognized and valued by an esteemed panel of expert judges who share my passion for colour in design.

How important is colour in your work and how do you choose and narrow down colours?

If my work was a chocolate cake - colour would be the chocolate.’

Almost every project I created at university had colour as a major design focus. I think colour defines the character of a design and reveals a peak into the designers’ soul.

My colour palette changes depending on the intended use and audience of my work. I do not use a specific system to narrow down colours – mostly I stop when I have found a set of colours that complement each other perfectly. Occasionally I just don’t stop - I go wild and create a design that becomes a confetti festival of beautiful and vibrant colours.

What is your main source of inspiration?

I love the moment when I test an idea or a new method, a mould or a new colour applications or try a new skill and it ‘just works’.

What makes you happiest/most fulfilled in your creative process?

I am currently writing my second children’s book which I also illustrate myself. I started my own art & design studio with small-scale batch productions.

What are you working on now/next?

I am currently writing my second children’s book which I also illustrate myself. I started my own art & design studio with small-scale batch productions.

Where do you want to be in 3 years’ time?

In three years’ time I hope my studio is going well and I will be fusing design and art into beautiful and colourful objects that spark with joy. Eventually I would love to run a little arts coffee shop with creative workshops. I was also thinking of pursuing a Masters’ Degree. Overall, I hope I will be doing something that is meaningful to me and makes me happy every morning I wake up.

Creative high point?

My creative high point I experienced when I came to Arts University Bournemouth and Plymouth University. I was full of excitement to be surrounded by other creative minds. In the various workshops I was taught new skills and I could set free my creative soul. In addition to the designated projects, I was creating side-projects all day long and when the workshops closed at 5pm I continued to ‘make’ in the studio and at home.

Creative low point?

My creative low point happened during lockdown, when I lost access to the workshops and the creative environment at university. I went back home to Austria, which severely limited my access to tools and resources. During that time, I very much missed the creative vibe that was always flowing in the studio and on campus.

Is there one person during your studies/life who has really made a difference to you? – Maybe in terms of encouraging you when you were at a low point, pushing you in different directions unlocking your potential etc.

During my studies there were many people who influenced my work, my creative process and my approach to design and art. It is the sum of all those encounters that turned me into the artistic designer or the designing artist that I am today.

What is your favourite colour?

I love all shades of blue to green, from ultramarine, turquoise, green blue to jade - they remind me of the sea and make me feel calm, happy and peaceful at the same time

Instagram: @monamarina_design, @monamarina_art

Facebook: Mona Marinas Atelier



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