In a series of short interviews with our artists, we get a glimpse of their art and how they engage with VIDA x Studio in their everyday journeys and career.
Anderson Sidles has been a contributing artist with VIDA since 2017 and has created many pieces with his minimalistic, graphic designs. Get an inside look into what inspires Anderson and his personal history.
Tell us about your art, your background and what inspires you?
I was born in northeast Brazil, the country’s poorest region. As a gay man, I felt that my hometown was excessively hostile and I did not have a happy life there. I was able to come to the United States when offered a scholarship by the U.S. National Science Foundation and, as a result, I completed Master’s degrees in both Historical Resources Management and Geographic Information Science. While pursuing my graduate degrees, I studied cartography as a science and an art. While living in the United States, I fell in love with my American husband. We married in 2012. I recently became a citizen of the United States and I consider myself blessed to live here. I am inspired by my own life experiences, my curiosity, my dreams and my desire to persevere. Each piece I design for VIDA tells a story or reflects who I am or my emotions.
How does VIDA impact your work as an artist, designer, business person, cartographer?
I am a trained cartographer, but I have always loved and felt curious about fashion and design. I always carry a sketchbook with me and I am always sketching. I used the skills I learned while making maps to bring my sketches (flowers, primarily) to a digital environment. Using Photoshop, I enhanced my sketches much like I enhanced the lost details of maps from the 1800’s. As a designer, I work primarily with patterns. When I partnered with VIDA, I felt I had a collection of patterns that could look beautiful on scarves and tees. I keep track of each item I sell and have sold over 100 items on shopvida.com. I have always dreamed of being a fashion illustrator or a designer and VIDA made that dream achievable.
What made you want to explore art- inspired fashion?
My curiosity. Loving and feeling curious about fashion and design, for me, is not enough. I want to be part of the creation process. I want to be part of the discussion.
How do you think VIDA is different from other choices out there?
As a millennial, I feel that my generation cares about ethical and sustainable business practices. The fashion industry is the second biggest polluter in the world. Younger Americans have grown up with more awareness about global warming and climate change than their parents and grandparents did. We understand that cheap clothes mean exploited labor and don’t want to own things made in sweatshops. To a certain extent, some of us are disrupting the traditional retail model by buying clothes from thrift stores and extending the lifetime of luxury goods.
I am proud of my partnership with VIDA because its business model aligns with my ethical values: all VIDA pieces are made-to-order, which means no textile waste. Also, the makers of our products are treated with dignity and respect. As a teacher, I like the fact that each VIDA purchase helps to give the gift of education to the makers of our products. VIDA’s message to me, as a designer, as an entrepreneur, as a human being, is that it’s time to build a better world. This means ethical and sustainable business practices, compassion and understanding, and no waste of any kind.