ARTIST INTERVIEW: Marta Bahillo of Babaà

Originally from Madrid, Marta Bahillo studied Fashion and Textile Design in Dublin, Ireland. After graduating, and with a particular passion for knitwear and natural textiles, Marta moved to Argentina to design womenswear for a major fashion house before returning to Spain and founding Babaà in 2012. Babaà will be joining the Echo Park Craft Fair for the first time this weekend! We spoke to her about her creative journey.
 
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Describe the path that led you to the work you do now. Did you take any big risks to get where you are?

I studied textile design in Dublin, I always had an interest for textiles, I think somehow it runs in my family with so many women sewing and knitting always around me. After a few years studying journalism in Madrid I decided to go for what I really loved and moved to Ireland where I had heard of a good course for which I could get a scolarship. After studying and working there, I moved to Buenos Aires where I worked as a knitwear designer for a big company. When I decided to move back home with my partner I knew I wanted to have my own knitwear label so I started babaà then. Moving countries pursuing my dreams I never thought it was taking a risk, I always think of it as moving forward but the truth is that now, having my own business I feel like I am taking risks constantly, it is an ongoing challenge and I have learned to love it.
 
Where do you see your work going in the next couple of years?
I see it evolving and getting better. I see it connecting with more people and being more inspiring.I see it travelling to places.
 
Do you have a daily working routine? What is it like?
I used to but now I have a new born baby and all things change. I love that, adapting again, another challenge. I go to the studio with my baby early in the morning and work until lunch time when my older kids are back from school. This is head down running a business kind of work. Then the rest of the day is always a mystery, this is when the more creative side of it takes part, from thinking new designs to new ways of communicating or even new communities to reach to. All in my head while at the park or playing trains or cooking dinner. I love when motherhood and business mix in such a natural way.
 
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What is so special about making art NOW, in our hectic digital age?

I love photography and I am now shooting mainly in analogic. I see more and more people, amateur and professionals, doing the same so I once mentioned this at the photo lab and the owner said to me that actually this is not a trend, this is just people making sense as us humans we are more analogue than digital and we will always find more comfort there. I like looking at it this way, as a natural move not just a trend. Making art will always be special and important.
 
Why is it important to you to show and share your work to a larger community?
That is what makes my work tangible and possible and exciting! A larger community wearing babaà and approving and even loving it makes us want to do better and proves that local production, natural materials and all things done well matter to many people. Then it all makes sense.
 
What do you hope to share with those who purchase your art and bring it intimately into their 
lives?
I hope to share my love for natural materials, for the environment, for social rights for things well made, even my love for people. I believe that wearing babaà makes you happy!
 
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