Artist David Cuadra: the importance of collaboration and creativity as a habit

Elf Bread meets Salo

Artist David Cuadra, AKA Salo, transformed his artworks into coloring books and is excited to see others infusing them with colors. His books are sewed by hand, just like we prefer at Elf Bread. We designed refillable stylish covers made of natural leather for his coloring books and notepads, combining Elf Bread’s functionality with Salo’s mind-provoking art. At the core of the project are natural materials handcrafted into a product we are fond of. 

Elf Bread: The designs in your coloring books originally were pieces of art, why did you decide to transform them into coloring books?

David: Most of my work is black and white. I rarely add colors to them and whenever I choose to, I mainly use only secondary colors. At some point, I started to wonder how would my work look if it were more colorful. It is part of my nature to always be willing to collaborate or start projects with others, as I believe this is the key for human progress. This is how I came up with the idea of transforming my work into coloring books, share it with others and wait to see the colors they will come up with. In that way, it feels like I'm collaborating with whoever has access to my books and perhaps, even inspiring them to create something else.

Elf Bread: The Fractal includes mind-provoking surreal designs whereas the Colors of Your Elements are mostly animals, people and plants. What are other differences between both of them?

David: As the works from both books were created during different stages of my life, they both have very different energies and meanings. While I was creating the Fractal I was still trying to define any distinctive style and this is why these designs are more abstract, but also mind-provoking. Somehow I was challenging myself to find a shape on the paper that would define me. This is why this book introduces you with a 30 days challenge.

Since I'm always searching for improvement, I decided to move on and create a second book. While I was creating the Colors of Your Elements, my inspiration came from the elements that exist inside and outside of each of us. This is why the book contains five designs for each of the five elements and has a blank page at the end of each segment. I could say that is somehow incomplete and will only be completed once those blank pages have been used. 

Elf Bread meets Salo

Elf Bread: You sew the books by hand, use recycled paper as well as covers made of coffee beans. We share your passion for hand-crafting and natural materials. What was the main reason for you to collaborate with Elf Bread? 

David: Handmade products carry with them unique energy and power. In the twenty-first century, mass production and consumption is a lifestyle. Hand-crafting products is a way to stand against this unnecessary worldwide overproduction. This is one of the reasons why I decided to collaborate with Elf Bread. Leather is a long-lasting material and I love the idea that the covers are multi-use. I also value minimalism, functionality and quality over quantity, and Elf Bread checks those boxes.

I believe that we should all have our own philosophy of life. Mine includes two main values, creativity and collaboration. I saw the opportunity to collaborate with a creative and stylish brand, and I asked myself, why not do it?

Elf Bread meets Salo

Elf Bread: And finally, as we like asking this all the artists we collaborate with, where or how do you get inspiration? What drives your creativity?

David: I see creativity as an outside force. My inspiration comes from others, that includes people, animals, plants, nature in general. However, if I had to choose one main element that genuinely drives my creativity, that would be a very good conversation. I try to transmit the depth of my thoughts through drawing or painting. Hence, I usually do not express my emotions or feelings on a canvas, but ideas and stories. I'm lucky enough to be with someone whose ideas are particularly mind-provoking, and that keeps me on the creative path.

And of course, tress. I love trees and even wonder how much they actually think, and what would they tell us if we could hear their voices. Thus, I always include them in my artwork as they are the primary life carriers on the planet. The rest of us cannot digest sunlight, can we?

More about collaboration: Elf Bread meets Salo

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