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Only Child in the Wild: Cindy Zell of WKNDLA

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I've often wondered if we have already made everything that there is to make.  With what seems like endless artists, makers, and the like promoting their hard earned success and work on Instagram, I must admit that it all starts to look the same.  It's something that has kept me up at night; in a time when we have access to virtually everything, have we finally made and seen it all?  How much should a person focus on making something completely original versus something that they just want to make because they enjoy it?  

Then I stumble upon someone like Cindy of WKNDLA and am reminded that there is still so much more to see and discover.  Everything she makes feels like a breath of fresh air and is unlike anything else out there.  On top of running WKNDLA, Cindy also creates large scale sculptures that focus on gravity and form.  See them for yourself here, I can honestly feel my eyes relax whenever I look at them.

Cindy was kind enough to show us her workspace and talk a little bit about what makes her tick:


How did you get started?

WKNDLA is named after my favorite time and place, inspired by when I first started and was making things during the weekends. I created my first wall hangings in 2014 as wedding favors for our guests, each one inspired by Los Angeles sunrises and each of our closest family and friends. Eventually I started selling enough of them that I transitioned from my corporate job to running my own business full-time.


What are some of your biggest sources for inspiration?

Nature influences a lot of my work. My latest pieces have been inspired by desert hues, the cascading of waterfalls, and mountain landscapes. I am also drawn to Memphis design, the California Light and Space movement, and Art Deco.



Describe a typical day at work and a typical day off

Most days I’m in the studio switching between soldering brass, dyeing/spinning rope, and answering emails. A great day off would be going on a hike, watching a movie, and eating at a restaurant I’ve never been to before.

What are 5 things you can't live without?

Hot Cheetos, plants, my husband Matt, our cat Timber, and my phone.

Who are some of your favorite artists or style icons?

I just discovered Camilla Engstrom and I love both her art and style! My all-time favorite artists are John McCracken, Ruth Asawa, and Alexander Calder. I’m also a huge fan of work by Kindah Khalidy, Laura Bird, and Kaye Blegvad.

What's up next for you?

I have some upcoming shows this summer for my large-scale rope pieces and I’m also working on a collection of minimalist paintings. In my personal life, I’m making it a priority to travel more! We have trips planned to Oregon, Rhode Island, and New York this year.


Cindy is wearing the Luzon Tie Top in black linen.


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