What I always find amazing about Greenpoint is it’s solid collaborations and spontaneous attitude for innovation. De Islas is taking cool prints and making them dazzle. Artists, friends, and collaborators, Junko and Elena are the creative forces behind this enigmatic brand. I got to chat with them about the journey of discovery and why Greenpoint dazzles us all.
De Islas means “from islands” in Spanish, which perfectly correlates Junko and Elena’s backgrounds and influences on their work.
Greenpointers: What were you doing before De Islas?
Junko & Elena: We were in the motion graphics industry, Elena was an animator and Junko a fabrication artist for stop motion animation.
GP: How did you get inspired to start the brand?
Junko & Elena: We’ve been great friends since we met as SVA Illustration students about fifteen years ago. We both live in Greenpoint and often we have dinners and drinks, talking about all kinds of stuff. As we try to figure out what we want to do in our lives, it seems natural on hindsight- we both love to make images. It only took Elena saying “Let’s do it!” in order to stop Junko’s dilly-dallying.
GP: How is Greenpoint a part of your vision and creative process?
Junko & Elena: Since we’ve both lived here for a long time it must mean that we like it. Living in NYC in general must be a love hate relationship for many people. Greenpoint has a nice neighborhoody scope, and it can also be familiarly comfortable and easy. Some factors that might allow us to be lazy overall can be quite conducive of creative production.
GP: What are some of your favorite products?
Junko & Elena: We love our patterns. They speak about our ideas and reflect this fusion that is our personal backgrounds and environment all around. De Islas Islas is named “Of Islands” in Spanish because of this flux and migrative characteristic. And offering our patterns in the form of fabric somehow creates a bridge between our concepts and the person who uses it and appropriates it to create something of their own.
GP: What are your future plans for De Islas?
Junko & Elena: Just keep making new patterns, learning new things, and more about ourselves!
GP: Describe your perfect day in Brooklyn.
Junko: Sunny blue sky. Staying in my studio. Taking a stroll to the hardware store down the street. Ending my day with cooking dinner for my friends. Perfect.
Elena: I really don’t know. I like a bunch of different scenarios, and I don’t want too much of just one thing. I suppose as long as my time can be my own and I don’t have to be anywhere involuntarily then it’s perfect.