Artist Collab Series: The Far Woods
These prints are part of a collaboration between TLE and The Far Woods designed in the spirit of inclusivity, community and empowerment. The Far Woods is Portland-based sisters Nina and Sonya Montenegro. They create educational artwork that seeks to contribute to a great culture shift in which there is a reverence for nature, a rejection of the dominant throw-away mentality, and direct connection to where our food and the things we use come from.
The Tender Loving Empire Artist Collab Series was dreamed up at the end of 2017 as the TLE team was considering new ways to empower and engage with our local community of makers. Over many brainstorming sessions, coffee dates, studio visits, and email threads our teams worked together to discuss and decide everything from product choices, packaging materials, color swatches, process videos and more. The result is five curated collections inspired by TLE’s core values, co-designed by Tender Loving Empire and some of our favorite vendors: Upper Metal Class, The Far Woods, Penrose, Sissy Moon and Betsy & Iya. We’re ecstatic to share these products with you over the next several months, which will be available exclusively at Tender Loving Empire shops and at sz-dashi.com.
Shop the collection
Behind the scenes
Meet Nina & Sonya, Designers & Makers
How did you get started?
Making art is second nature to us, it is like being fluent in a language. We have always collaborated, making elaborate doll houses, dioramas, Barbie wardrobes, go-carts, and ramshackle forts throughout our childhood. We began our formal collaboration as The Far Woods in 2013 when Sonya was living in Alaska and Nina was in Oregon. To honor the two wild, forested places we were drawing our inspiration from, we called our collaboration “The Far Woods”.
How do you integrate your beliefs into your work?
The thread that runs through all of our work is our belief that it is time for us to heal our relationship with the natural world - and this manifests itself differently in each of our pieces: through useful function, or a strong word paired with a visual sentiment. Art is almost a spiritual practice for us and It brings us great joy to see the emotional connection someone makes with one of our pieces.
Advice for beginners?
Follow your curiosity. Keep making whatever you feel compelled to make, the world needs your creative energy.