Miami-born arts collective FriendsWithYou spread vibes of Magic, Luck, and Friendship™ around the world, and with their new move to Los Angeles, they chatted to Wonderland about their niche, cutesy cartoon creations.
Who are FriendsWithYou?
FriendsWithYou is about awakening people to their inner magic through a variety of mediums focused to evoke something powerful in each human it reaches. We are focused on providing a simple connecting point to our spirituality and helping to spread that to the masses. We want to provide people with a service of making them happy and filling their lives with fun adventures, breaking people away from the mundane.
The Miami’s art scene would not be the same without you. How has Miami shaped what you do?
Miami is in our heart and spirit, it is a place that is quite spiritual, beautiful and magic.
Why did you decide to leave Miami for LA?
We are excited for new adventures and to best broadcast our message to the world. We feel LA has a growing culture that will love our message and help to spread it further. Miami is our love and our home and we will always be repping the 305 wherever we go.
How does the LA art scene differ from Miami?
Well I think there is a more established structure to the art scene out there. There is also more money that could be harnessed for making bigger and bigger art projects. There are some very lucrative industries out there that could really help us change the world, we feel.
Will you retain a presence in Miami?
Yes, when we come to visit family :).
What is FriendsWithYou currently working on?
We are steadily proposing major installations, public art pieces, playgrounds around the world. We have an exhibit coming up in Hong Kong in a few months that should be radiant and fun, plus a lot more secret plans that are formalising.
You always seem to have a balance between gallery art, commercial success and corporate work. What’s the secret to the all-round success?
I’m so happy that it looks like that from the outside, and yes we are very blessed by the universe with all these great chances to learn and struggle and fail and succeed… there is no secret, simply hard work; be good people, and keep going! As long as you don’t stop, good opportunities present themselves and if you work hard at achieving them soon you can shoot for more difficult goals. We have learned that there are no gifts from out of the blue, you must manifest everything that takes you to the next step and then you have a better vantage point to pick and choose your steps from there.
Have your creations – Malfi, Mr T.T.T., Frookie and the co. – made any new friends in LA?
So many friends! It’s so fun dreaming of these characters, their world and conjuring stories. We have a lot of fun with this.
What would a FriendsWithYou Wonderland illustration or toy look like?
Well we have been drawing this for years, so you will have to just wait and see. We kind of see it as turning our world into a FriendsWithYou world… so everywhere you go you see wonderfully delightful sights, public sculptures, buildings and more that all smile at you. Check back in soon. We love you.
Words: Heike Dempster