We at the Clog sat down with Lieyah Dagan, a Bare Magazine photographer and artist. She does some pretty cool stuff with water colors, sharpies and lots of other things. Check out our interview with her below.
The Daily Californian: What about art inspires you?
Lieyah Dagan: Well, in general, my dad. But both parents are pretty artistic. My mom got her B.A. in art practice and art history. My dad is a contractor. He built our house. I was raised in an environment that art was created and promoted, and my house in general is on its own this really beautiful place that I appreciate. On the daily, my parents make art. I go home some days, and I’ll look into the backyard and look at a new structure that my dad had made. I don’t know if I have been successful at creating art, because I am more directed at photography, but I have a desire to expand upon other art forms because of my parents. My dad is very into architecture. Whenever he is driving, he stops the car in the middle of the street and talks about the architecture, analyzing each specific part. Experiencing that makes me love looking at buildings and art.
DC: What about your dad do you try to emulate?
LD: I think he is just one of these people that really understands the form and function of buildings, and his appreciation for architecture and understanding of architecture is something that I would like to develop myself. He just has an eye for aesthetics and art in general.
DC: What is your favorite thing about Berkeley?
LD: I just really like the arts and culture vibe, and specifically, I just think that you have a lot of freedom of what classes you take and just a lot of opportunities apart from all of the classes in terms of DeCals. Right now, I am in a photography DeCal and club. There are a lot of artistic opportunities that you don’t have elsewhere.
DC: What is your favorite Berkeley trend?
LD: The “Man Bun” — when the guys put their hair up. I don’t think that has anything to do with me — I just like that trend.
DC: What art inspires you?
LD: I think Caulder’s mobiles are very interesting. I like Mattise and Khalo —who wouldn’t? — and Salvador Dali. My favorite architect is Frank Gheary.
DC: What are 10 things that you keep in your backpack?
LD: 1. Books, 2. Polaroid camera, 3. Film (I always have film with me), 4. Photo ID with pigtails, 5. charger, 6. pair of socks, 7. little asian dolls, 8. lot of Sharpies 9. laptop 10. hat from Denali, Alaska.
DC: What are the top-10 concerts you have been to?
LD: 1. Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros, 2. The Tallest Man on Earth, 3. James Blake, 4. First Aid Kit, 5. The xx, 6. Major Lazer, 7. Blood Orange, 8. The Head and the Heart, 9. Ben Howard, 10. Agnes Obel.
DC: If you were an art instrument, what would you be?
LD: Screen for a screen printer.
DC: Tell us about your art. What is your connection to your trinket necklaces?
LD: I worked in the art room at a summer camp where I was in charge of teaching kids’ lessons. At summer camp, Shrinky Dinks are big. There was a small amount of time that I had to work, but there was this huge portion of time to just be in the art room. It was this huge room with so many resources. I would just sit in the art room really late and look, explore and experiment with things. So, I started working with Shrinky Dinks. It’s like a piece of plastic that you draw on and then you put in an oven. Then, I had this idea where I could complicate this simple sheet of paper into something else. I started making pins for people with certain messages on them. On Shabbat — the Jewish Sabbath — at the summer camp, I made a pin that said “Shabbat Sha-Yeezy,” with a picture of Kanye West, and another one with “Shabbat Sha-Ohm.” I had a “Shabbat Sha-Snoop” pin as well. It was something that was funny within my friend group. I have a friend who went to Parsons, and she made me realize that I could make jewelry out of this simple thing. I started making chokers with different people on them. The original one has Snoop Dog, Biggie, Tupac and Kanye on it.
DC: Why did you choose rappers?
Dagan: Realistically, I only wanted Biggie and Tupac on my necklace. I have some weird fascination with Kanye, even though he is an idiot in every way. Something about him is interesting. I would not want to promote him and what he values. It was really arbitrary. Snoop and Kanye were really fun to add on. I appreciate ’90s rap. I am a big fan of Biggie. This summer, I learned all of “Juicy” by Biggie. I didn’t know that much about ’90s rap, and my friend showed me this music, and I made a necklace out of it. It represents either people I appreciate or I am interested in, and sometimes it’s completely random. I think the fact that no one else made Shrinky Dink jewelry made me want to expand upon it. I spent so much time in the art room making these Shrinky Dinks. During the school year, I didn’t have that much time to do anything artistic. This summer, I had so much time and such a great opportunity that I just took advantage of it.
DC: What are some of your favorite songs?
LD: Jungle – “Julia”
Y La Bamba – “Oh February”
Edward Sharpe & The Magnetic Zeros – “Brother”
The Morning Benders – “Cold War”
Fleet Foxes – “The Shrine / An Argument”
Beach House – “Apple Orchard”
Cults – “Never Heal Myself”
Haim – “Falling”
First Aid Kit – “Waitress Song”
Phantogram – “Black Out Days”
Mr. Little Jeans – “The Suburbs”
Caveman – “Old Friend”
Twin Shadow – “Tyrant Destroyed”
Broken Bells – “Holding On for Life”
Kishi Bashi – “Wonder Woman, Wonder Me”
Father John Misty – “Nancy From Now On”
Fruit Bats – “You’re Too Weird”
She & Him – “I’ve Got Your Number, Son”
The Tallest Man On Earth – “Love is All”
SBTRKT – “NEW DORP. NEW YORK”
Contact Daniella Wenger at [email protected].