It’s no secret the internet is a great place to meet likeminded people. Thanks to this little website I met people with a love for dark art from all over the world, some even becoming friends. One of the most friendly people I met through Bleaq is Federico Salvador, a musician and art-enthusiast from Italy. Federico has given me some great tips on artist to feature (Sail and Mira Nedyalkova or instance) and has been a great support for Bleaq in general. Out of his love for art Federico just started an online art shop called Reflectedfaith, a beautifully curated store featuring wonderful artists like my friend Eva van Oosten and Beatriz Mutelet. I asked Federico if he’d be willing to collaborate on an article to tell you a bit more about his shop, and he even threw in some lovely prizes! Joining the giveaway is simple, scroll down to the bottom of the feature to see how you can win some lovely goodies from the Reflectedfaith shop. Enjoy!
Bleaq: Hi Federico! Can you introduce yourself and Reflectedfaith Shop in a few lines?
FS: Hi Jantine, thanks for your interview and for helping Reflectedfaith with this giveaway, you know how much your blog inspired me, your help means a lot!
About me I can only tell that I am a great lover of dark arts in all forms, starting from music to all sort of visual forms. I can not tell you I am an expert of any sorts, I only think to have a good eye (and taste) for great obscure art. Reflectedfdaith Shop started a couple of months ago with the aim to bring unique obscure beauty to all the lovers of dark arts out there. It’s also a personal challenge, triggered by very personal needs.
– ‘Hangman’s City‘, fine-art print by Angelo Roccagli
Through websites as BigCartel, Etsy and Society6 it’s easy for artists nowadays to sell their works to their fans. Is it hard for Reflectedfaith to compete with these personal shops? Why does Reflectedfaith Shop stand out?
FS: Yes, you are right, artists nowadays have a lot of platforms and channels to sell their stuff. First of all let me say that all these channels, in my opinion, can be divided in two categories. The first one including Society6, Deviantart and other similar platforms offering products “on demand” and the second one including Etsy, Bigcartel, Squarespace where artist sell the products they personally conceive and create.
Although I have nothing against the first group (I bought some stuff from Society6 too, in the past) I view it as a sort of “iTunes” of visual art: they all sell art with low prices and low quality, and when I say quality, I am not talking about the artists’ work, I just mean that all the works are printed on the same paper from a generic jpg-file uploaded by the artist with almost no control on the final result.
Reflectedfaith Shop stands out because it is a sort of concept shop dedicated to fine dark art, I chose the artists that suit to the concept I have in mind and the products to sell. All the items are signed or have a nice package made by the artist himself. For some artist I personally took care of the printing process and I chose to work with local printers with years of experience, resulting in a product maybe a little more expensive but of greater quality. Reflectefaith is a sort of small underground music label, taking care of a few artist, promoting them and making the best to give them the higher revenue possible. If an artist sells something on Society6, it will earn a couple of euros, on Reflectedfaith at least half of the price goes straight to the artists!
Coming to a conclusion… Do you want some art to decorate your walls? Go and buy from Society6 as you would buy mp3’s from iTunes. Do you want great art carefully produced, with great attention to materials and details? Reflectedfaith shop is waiting for you.
Next to a shop ‘Reflectedfaith’ is also an art blog. Can you tell me a bit more about when and why you started the blog? is it a big part of the shop?
FS: The blog was not initially planned. I decided to start it some months before the launch of the shop as a way to collect and gather readers interested in dark and obscure art. I don’t have so much time to work on the blog as I would like but I try to publish one post a week presenting an artist in particular. Of course I also publish shop related stuff and a daily [enchantment] post with a single art piece (a picture, a song, a jewel) without words, just to admire it.
You started your shop with five artists. Can you tell about how you discovered these artists and what appeals to you in their work?
FS: I started with only 5 artist but let me tell you that I would have loved to start with more. It’s just a question of budget, more names hopefully will be featured in the future. The first artist I contacted was Valentina Gelsonero Mangeri. It’s a lot of time I follow her works on several social networks and I decided to contact her because she has a very clear and defined style, I love when you see a piece of art and you can immediately recognize the artist behind it. Her digital collages with that retro mood are really beautiful and the tarot deck she designed is really stunning.
Then there is Eva van Oosten, I discovered her thanks to your blog and I immediately loved her pictures. She have a very defined style too and her ability to play with light and shade is great. Her photographs are dark and elegant, the kind of characteristics I am looking for in the art I want to feature in my shop.
Beatriz Mutelet is a great illustrator I found on Instagram, her ladies have the right elegance and obscurity. The new stuff she is constantly working on (check her Instagram feed) is gorgeous. I recently heard she will be featured on Beautiful Bizarre Magazine, and this makes me even more proud of having some of her prints on my shop.
The other two artists are Angelo and me. I will not talk about my stuff but I can assure you that the digital manipulations of Angelo are really great (ok, he is also my brother in law and the guitarist of my band but this really does not matter). He usually works on CD artworks and logos for metal bands and he also made a couple of “all my faith lost … ” booklets. His stuff is probably the darker in the shop, but, as for the other artists stuff, his photo manipulations are refined and amazing.
This is probably going to be a tough one: if you had to choose one object in your shop that you like best or is the most special to you, what would you choose and why?
FS: Ahh, I think I can not answer to this one. All the items are really different one from another so, at the moment, I don’t have any favorite. Then, I also must tell you that as I’ve personally selected the items to feature I love them all.
In your shop, but also on your blog, you show a strong aesthetic to dark arts. Who are your favorite artists (next to the ones you collaborate with), and why them?
FS: Yes, my love for the dark things and atmospheres is related to the music I listen and play. There are a lot of artist I love, and I always discover new ones. At the moment some favorites are Joao Ruas with his stunning obscure and enigmatic illustration/paintings, Jesse Draxler with his unique grotesque manipulations and collages and Kristamas Klousch whose pictures are so mysterious as much as she is.
Next to the art world you’re also a part of the music industry with your band …all my faith lost. Are you planning on adding music to the shop as well? And how important is much for you as an inspiration?
FS: Yes, the band is on the scene since 1999, we recorded two albums and several EPs, played a lot in Italy, some shows in Europe (including a beautiful concert in Leipzig at Wave Gotik Treffen) and a 13 gig tour in China. There is no doubt that music is a great source of inspiration and yes, I thought about adding some music related items in the shop.
Right now, we are planning a limited reissue of our first album “As you’re vanishing in silence” released in 2005 by Cold Meat Industry. It will be a luxury edition with a 36 page booklet made by Angelo Roccagli in collaboration with an Italian photographer. We will have very few copies available and probably I will put them for sale in the Shop.
With many social networking websites it’s almost too hard to keep track of everything. Social networks can be very important to promoting a shop though. Where can we find Reflectedfaith on the internet and how important are social networks for you and your shop?
FS: You are right, social networks are essential for promotion, I would like to open an account for every social network but I don’t have time for this and I guess it would be better to carefully chose the “right” ones. I guess Instagram is perfect for a shop and probably I will use it in the future.
I have some doubts about a Facebook page when it’s becoming clear that you have to pay if you want to be sure that all your followers see your posts. I don’t think it is really helpful. I hear more and more people tired of Facebook and although everyone is still there, I don’t know how much useful would be for the promotion. At the moment, anyway, there are my personal profiles on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook (yes, I had to create this profile to administrate my bands page that was previously created by a fan).
Last but not least: can you recommend a book, movie or artist you’ve enjoyed lately?
FS: Of course! I already told you about Jesse Draxler, I know you like it too but I guess it is better to state it again so maybe some other people will look for his stuff. About books, well I recently read “The Road” by Cormak McCarthy and I was already blowed away by the obscurity of that book. It’s not a new book but I really recommend it and please, don’t watch the movie before reading the book as I unfortunately did.
That’s all! A big shout-out to Federico for being so kind to answers all my questions, and of course for being such a loyal Bleaq fan in general :)
Win two beautiful prizes!
Federico has been so kind to select two wonderful prizes from the Reflectedfaith shop for you to win! Entering is easy: all you have to do is leave a comment. If you like Federico’s shop make sure to check out the shop and follow Reflectedfaith on Twitter to stay updated on new items coming to the store. Good luck!
- UNTITLED III artist proof by No Faith Visuals, 15 x 19,3 cm / 5,90″ x 7,59″ (border: 1cm/0,39″), Moab Entrada Rag Natural Fine Art Paper (290 GSM)
- Handmade Notebook by No Faith Visuals, 24 (80gsm) white paper pages, Printed 110gsm paper cover
- UNTITLED IV artist proof by No Faith Visuals, 14,1 x 19,3 cm / 5,55″ x 7,51″ (border: 1cm/0,39″), Moab Entrada Rag Natural Fine Art Paper (290 GSM)
- Handmade Notebook by No Faith Visuals, 24 (80gsm) white paper pages, Printed 110gsm paper cover
You can enter the competition until Friday, July 3rd 24:00 CET. Two winners will be randomly selected. The winners will be contacted via e-mail, so make sure you leave a working e-mail address with your comment. If a winner doesn’t respond to the e-mail within 24 hours a second runner-up will win the prize.