ARTIST INTERVIEW: Marta Bahillo of Babaà Knitwear
Describe the path that led you to the work you do now.
My grandmother grew flax/ linen in the north of Spain and worked the flax all the way to linen clothes and bedding, she made sure I learned the whole process well, it was about women gathering doing hard work that they were so proud of, I can still hear her talking about it. She also sent her wool fleece from her own sheep in Galicia to another town every summer to get her blankets made, we now work with these same people that spin the wool. My other grandmother would knit me all my uniform sweaters in pure wool yarn because the ones they would give us in school had acrylic in them. My very best friend taught me how to knit when I moved to Ireland, where she is from. I guess all those things.
What would you say is the driving force behind your creative work?
My passion for knitwear and natural yarns for sure
How do you find a balance between practicality and beauty in your creations?
I find so much beauty in practical things, it is not something I have to think about much. Think of a hand carved spoon, so practical, so beautiful. Or buttons I love buttons, definitely practical and can be such beautiful objects just on their own. Any of our sweaters are practical and I designed them all with beauty in mind.
Do you have a favorite creation, artwork, or design of your own?
I love our Jumper no18, in every colour, I wear nearly every day, I love how it fits and how it hangs, I love to tuck it in my jeans and wear with nothing underneath. I love how it makes me feel.
How do you define success in your art or craft, or alternately, what does failure mean to you?
Success to me is to keep true to myself and what I believe in , I sustain my business with truth and authenticity, not being able to do this would be my idea of failure.
Do you have any objects you like to keep around you as inspiration? What are they?
I have a small wicker basket I made in school and it is my most inspiring object, I love the colour and its imperfect way, just perfect. Also my kids drawings, there is so much in them hat inspire me.
Do you have a daily working routine? Can you describe it?
I get up very early and work all morning until 2pm when I meet my family for lunch. There is always more work in the evening after bed time but I try to be as efficient as possible to avoid the after kids bed time work. If I take that time for reading I am much more productive the following day.
What do you do, or where do you go to seek fresh ideas or renewed creative energy?
traveling and connecting with other creatives, it keeps me fresh and excited, which is the right energy for me to create, I am so thankful for all my connections through work.
Do you think community is important to creativity? If so, how?
At the moment it is my community of artists doing good for the environment and society while doing their very own authentic thing what I admire the most, it takes so much courage and work to do that while keeping your own path, your work, your family …. I love my community, community is so important and it does not have to be at your door step. Move, connect, find your people, have fun and do good I would say.