RALUFINEART – WE NEED TO SLOW DOWN TO SEE BEAUTY AROUND US

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Historically,  http://wisdomspot.org/tag/norman-cousins fashion has rarely been elevated to the same stature as art, photography, music, sculpture or architecture. But  http://ultimatetrainingcentre.com.au/opening-time/ fashion is one of the purest expressions of  http://programcollective.com/links-international-art-of-display-culture-shows/ art because it is  buy gabapentin reddit art lived on a daily basis. …  Fashion only exists as long as there is an actor to incarnate it. In that way, it is performance art.

The convergence of art and fashion is symbiotic. Everything that exists and surrounds us is a product of the society we live in. Who we are, what we see, and what we experience is interconnected and interrelated. There is no place we can point to and say that this or that object does not belong to the sphere of art.

Malina Catoiu, originally from Romania, now living in Luxembourg, can tell us much about a photography culture as ethical lifestyle through her dresses and clothing articles as individual and collective expression. By combining different mediums to make art, she is able to transcend our lives and in the process connect to the essence and universality of who we are.

 

 

The name of RaluFineArt comes from her first name, Raluca, as her parents used to call her ‘Ralu’ and since childhood she had a passion for music and art.

”TO SEE NATURE AND WORLD’S BEAUTY AROUND US WE NEED TO SLOW DOWN, LOOK AROUND, STOP FOR A WHILE AND ENJOY LIFE. RALUFINEART WAS BORN FROM THE DESIRE TO BRING OUR PLANET BEAUTY HOME AND MAKE OUR INNER WORLD INSPIRING.”

RALUFINEART

 

RaluFineArt is about photography combined with fine art + design products for accessories, lifestyle, home decor, wall art and more. The brand is committed to raise awareness about the endangered species and deforestation. A percentage of the sales will go as donations to different organizations to contribute to planting trees, save endangered species and other actions trying to make a better world. For more, visit + shop RaluFineArt here: https://www.ralufineart.com

We were more than excited to have an exclusive interview with Ralu x VPRCOM Magazine:

When did you first realize you wanted to launch RALUFINEART?

Since childhood I had a passion for music and the field of art. Since I was 24 y.o. I wanted to have my own company. Other offers came from banking system and I decided at that time to pursue with my banking career. In 2018 I felt is the time for me to take seriously my ideas and make my dreams become a reality. I’ve always admired my grandma who almost all her life loved to create clothes and designed new models. I looked at her many years how many beautiful things came out of her creative mind and hands: exquisite wedding dresses, luxury costumes, classy dresses, purses, blouses and so on. 

So this idea played in my mind since I started to enter in competitions for photography. I wanted to bring my photos and the world beauty in our daily life. Also I wanted to bring the history and present together and inspired by my grandma work to continue with my own story in my own style. It took me several months to brainstorm together with my husband and from Q4 2018 I worked on my shop to launch it in June 2019. However only from October 2019 I started to be fully engaged and take it in my hands as full time activity. 

If you could go back and tell yourself one thing before beginning your career what would it be? 

Enjoy life more than I’ve done in between 20 y.o. and 40 y.o.; I’ve been all my life a workacholic person. Don’t get me wrong I have no regrets for my career which it was the career I have chosen and I have done most of the time only the jobs I wanted to do. When I got bored or I wanted to change I changed. All the things I have done shaped my personality and helped me to improve my competences and skills. 

How my life would have been if in my 20’s I would have created my own business? Well definitely my life would have been very much different than it is today. 

But some important things I would say to the younger me: 

  • to not care about what anyone says or thinks about me; just follow my heart and put myself first
  • that I need to love myself first and be happy with myself in order to be happy with all the rest around me; happiness comes from inside us and I learnt this as the time passed
  • be patient with others and trust the process and the time 
  • be less shy. What people don’t know about me is that I am an introvert person that I had to work a lot on my personality to act as an extrovert when I considered it was needed in my life. But my family knows me well I was shy, sensitive and dynamic with a volcano inside me  
  • and the last thing… to forgive more; the world is made from bits and pieces. 

What role do you think social media plays in art industry today?

The online art market has increased a lot during the last years, exhibits are organized virtually, art and antiques auctions are organized more and more online, artists are showing their artwork on Instagram and other channels and through the social media channels they get the chance to expose their artwork, share their skills and technics through behind the scenes videos or stories; plus we see more and more artists that started to teach online.

Instagram has the highest engagement rates of all the social media platforms and those who are using it they see it and they feel it. Art buyers are there using Instagram. In the past when the social media did not exist the artists mainly looked into the direction of the art critics to determine the value of their art and for them to endorse positively or negatively their artwork. Today with Instagram artists can put forward their artwork and in the same time to get the endorsement from their audiences. And what’s happening on these platforms is pure gold for them. Artists speak with their followers about themselves, sharing about their art values, how they make it, their followers can inquire on a specific art work and in an instant it’s sold. 

And when I mention artists and their artwork I am referring here to fields like drawing (by the way illustrators accounts exploded on Instagram), painting, sculpture, architecture, photography, film, print making, and digital art to name a few. I am one of them who I am using extensively photography and the digital technologies, digital tools, digital printing in my work and for my collections. 

Not to mention museums that look at the trends on social media, at curator pages and posts and use the user generated content to plan exhibitions; moreover they ask people to vote and rank the artwork collections. There is so much leverage for the artists with the social media today. Social Media is redefining the way the art industry works as a business. 

We have seen that digital technologies expanded the art field and social media is reshaping the art world from different points of view like creation process (artists ask for the feedback of their audiences in the process of making), curation process, marketing and sales process. And we see that artists no longer rely solely on the galleries and the art critics to validate their success; the artists started in parallel to play both dealer and curator roles while their followers become critics and collectors. The masses of people following their accounts are the proof they need to continue with what they love to do and with the right engagement from their followers, artists can make a living out of their artwork in a more sustainable way. 

How do you want your clients to feel when wearing RALUFINEART pieces and in what occasions can be worn?

In the fashion accessories and lifestyle collections I have both all year long and seasonal items. From the seasonal items you can pick for example weekender bags or beach bags, swimwear and beach towels.

I have always been a fan of over-sized bags. They are the perfect functional accessory; they are bigger and better because you can fit in everything you want. Their practicality is endless. You fit pretty much everything you like: your lunch, your water bottle, iPad, gym kit, beach towel and many other things that will make their way into the bag. 

You can wear my weekender bags with jeans, casual outfits, summer t-shirts. They are perfect for going for shopping or coming from the beach, as picnic bag or even daily bags to carry your daily essentials. Due to their design the weekender bags are fun and also part of the street style vibe. They go well with monochromatic black and white ensembles and sneakers or you can wear them going to the beach with a beach dress or shorts. 

Depending on the model chosen you could pair them to a white cotton summer dress, a denim dress. You wouldn’t say no to match them to your black leggings or biker shorts. My weekender bags definitely give you options; you can pair them with the beach towels (same model) and for some with the swimwear and the scarves. They make anyone cheerful and happy. 

When it comes about scarves, they are not limited to one season, they can be worn all year long; they are the most versatile, fashionable and practical accessory and they can be worn and used in a varied number of ways.

When designing my models I transform the beauty found in our world into wearable art and I imagine the woman wearing my pieces to be full of life, have a rich, vivid and warm look. I imagine that woman to wear the world beauty wrapped around her face or shoulders have that eye-catching look and feel the vibrations of the earth. 

The joy of seeing my clients wearing my pieces brings out the exact same emotion I want them to feel wearing them. The best thing about my products is their vibration and their effect. 

Can you tell us how your product makes a difference on accessories market?

Love your question. Accessorizing can make or break an outfit so it’s not something that should be overlooked. As Coco Channel said once: Fashion is not something that exists in dresses only’ 

I see accessories to offer unlimited opportunities for styling an outfit and allow expressing yourself. One of the things I notice first is not the clothes but the accessories and if those have been accessorized them in style. 

With my products, my accessories I bring a personal style that belongs to me as individual and it’s my self-expression to how I see the beauty in this world. By itself a bag or a scarf may not have so much effect but how you accessorize it to the whole outfit. And what I like about them is the fact that 10 people could wear the same accessories and yet they match them differently and make their own statements. 

This makes me think of a particular scarf I have in my collection named ‘Autumn Leaves’. This scarf never stops to amaze me. Due to the design and pigmentation, depending on the light, shadows, sun light reflection, artificial light…this scarf is changing the colors. You can have so many nuances with this scarf depending on the moment of the day or night you are wearing it, depending if you are inside or outside. It’s absolutely gorgeous. 

My designs are original, unique and versatile. What I want to bring with my accessories and my designs is that connection in between nature, our world and people. And creating stylish and timeless fashion accessories allows me to connect on a different level with the people. You can wear them in so many ways and adapt them to the street style, classic, elegant style or smart casual style. When you wear RaluFineArt accessories you literally wear a piece of art, unique designs each one of them telling a unique story.

What do you think is the biggest challenge for a fine art creative?

Well….I can answer from my personal perspective. But I am only one among many other artists so each path is different and each person career is different. There are many challenges at many levels and it depends on each person skills, passion, dedication….there are challenges in breaking-through, becoming an established artist and making a living out of art. So the challenges that an artist may face are many. It can be difficult for some to find work in the art field or they find it difficult to market and sell their artwork. The industry and market is extremely competitive. 

Above all of these I believe that making art and selling art is no different than any other business. It’s all about finding the people interested in seeing, appreciating and buying the artist’s art. I think the greatest challenge for a fine art creative is to make a living doing what he or she loves the most. Artists deserve to make a living out of their passions, talents. 

There is one important person, in your life, who pushes and motivates you to believe in yourself?

Well….first was my grandma who used to tell me to believe in my heart, believe in myself because my voice is important and my dreams matter. My grandma used to tell me: believe in yourself and you will be unstoppable. Never give up! Don’t listen to anyone but to your heart and yourself only. Don’t stop, make baby steps. Believe in yourself no matter what happens along your way

She is not here anymore with me in this world but her words are encrypted in my core. 

So I keep myself motivated looking at people that inspire me, listening to their podcasts, listening to motivational videos. A lady who’s words inspired me is Hillary Clinton who once said: 

‘Always aim high, work hard, and care deeply about what you believe in. And, when you stumble, keep faith. And, when you’re knocked down, get right back up and never listen to anyone who says you can’t or shouldn’t go on.’ 

It became my motto. I refuse to listen to anyone who tells me I cannot. So I said and say to myself to: never accept to be bullied into silence, never allow to be manipulated and to be made a victim, define and re-define myself continuously as I feel I need, embrace my value, my talents and my strengths, act in harmony with my true self and my heart, accept who I am completely, make the changes as I consider necessary and not because I need to fit in a place or because someone else wants me to be different. 

I have a big resilience and inner strength to move the needle and make my dreams a reality. 

How do you think a label should motivate its collaborators?

It all depends on what are the goals of the cooperation and the interests of both parties. Brand collaborations especially on Instagram are one of the most popular ways to promote the brand online and is the main platform where I look after collaborators. Some collaborations are one off, some on a longer term. 

For my Brand Ambassadors and Influencers I offer different type of perks such free products, commission from sales in cash or in shop credit, discounts on all products, be featured on social media pages, in the press and magazines. More details can be read following the link below for my Brand Ambassador Program. 

https://www.ralufineart.com/pages/become-ralufineart-brand-ambassador

Describe us you as a creative in your personal life and how your feelings influence the creativity process?

For me creativity means emotion. Since I know myself I have a great deal of energy, I am curious, playful, and perseverant. Since my childhood I liked to daydream and have visions about my life how I want it to be. It was like seeing a movie (imaginary) how I see myself in life. At that time there were just daydreams as it was a big gap in between me in the reality and me in my dreams. But along the years I transformed as much as I could those daydreams in my reality. Daydreaming is something I need to have in my life to be able to create. I need to have these visions; if not I feel my life has no meaning and there is no future. If I can create it visually, I can implement it and the key is to envisage it and believe in it. 

During my childhood when I started to play to piano I was escaping totally in a parallel world during the time I was playing; I loved to create that connection in between me and my pet – a dove. The dove used to sit on the left side on my piano and had his favorite song being able to recognize it and dance on it. Music is able to move deeply and this applies to not only us humans but also to animals, birds, plants and trees. All is interconnected. It was a strong union in between music, my soul and my pet. As Pablo Picasso said ‘Every child is an artist, the problem is continuing to be an artist when you grow up’. I needed that escape from the reality to be able to create. And I’ve always been like that searching for that child in my soul.

In most of my low moments when I feel the negative energy taking over, I start to do something creative. All my creative ideas are born out of emotions and these can be: nostalgia, frustration, sympathy, love, exuberance, passion …. I am channeling my emotions into the creative process. 

I am passionate about everything I choose to do and I have to breathe and feel passion to be able to create.  As a child I was fond to play St Lucia song. Hear me well. There are no coincidences in life. When I was playing it I felt it was something sparking and fabulous and I was playing it in full admiration. Had no clue what the song meant. I day dreamed as a girl to get married on an exotic beach in a white dress walking barefoot on the sand and be only me and my man. Decades after this daydream I married in St Lucia island, West Antilles only me and my man, barefoot on the hot sand in a white dress with my back to the sea. 

In my creative process I use my gut, my intuition and my emotions. During all my life I learnt that following my gut is the best thing to do when I have a big decision to make or if I’m in two minds. Call it gut or instinct, it is that moment when ideas are flowing and I have that subtle sense of knowing what to do. And I cannot explain it, it involves all my senses. 

Would you like to involve other creatives in your future projects and what do you think is the main mission of the CO-BRANDING concept? 

One of my targets for this year is to broaden my audience and increase brand awareness. 

My attention goes as well in finding the right partners, complementary brands for co-marketing to cross promote through combined campaigns products and share audiences. So what I am thinking first is to have shared campaigns for both brands products to both audiences. And I am searching right now for such partners.

About co-branding …Well…it depends on each brand needs and interest and how they want to define their partnership. 

Co-branding can help to increase awareness of a brand, have access to additional distribution channels, boost the audience for a product, penetrate a new market or country and revitalize a brand image through such a partnership with a fresh new product and gain customer loyalty, brand image, perceived value and cost savings. 

Co-branding can be a great way to scale up a startup company without having to invest a lot in resources or create expensive marketing campaigns. Any start up at the beginning struggles to gain credibility and establish itself in the market and co-branding is one of the ways for startups to generate more demand for their products and build stronger the brand name. 

In my opinion choosing the right brand to partner with is extremely important because the agreement in between the two brands needs to be based on a lot of trust and resources to be shared. In a strong and trustworthy partnership everybody wins. 

Recently I have been in preliminary talks with another brand for such collaboration, a co-branding on different products for the summer collection with main purpose from my side to penetrate a new market and make my brand name known. We will see where this lead goes and if it works out in the end. 

What is the slogan of RALUFINEART? 

 ‘Beauty seen through my lenses’ 

What are the next steps for your label, in order to grow up more?

My biggest challenge right now is the digital marketing strategy for scaling up and what I mean by that is targeting the right people and the right niche, finding the most attractive ways to let them know about my business, my products to bring them to my shop to eventually become loyal customers. Also moving forward I am looking into the direction of co-branding marketing and brand collaborations. I am focused to build a brand and not just a business.