Bianca Solorzano

What does creativity look like to you and how do you find inspiration? How do you incorporate creative processes into your everyday life and work?

Sobriety has been the most important step I’ve taken to incorporate creativity into my life. Being sober helps me connect with my thoughts and inspiration with clarity and it also means I have the energy to make things happen. My creative process requires a lot of daydreaming and that just looks like sitting thinking about the ways I want to make things and the reasons too. I can get really hung up on the why so it takes being honest with myself in order to see the bigger picture which I think is what sobriety is about too. And  If I need a big dose of inspiration I’ll pray and talk to my loved ones that have passed. There are guaranteed wells of creativity there.

How has motherhood affected your worldview? How does it inform your creative practice? 

Prior to motherhood I was convinced life was long. Now that my son is one I’m feeling that life is way more brief and that makes me want to take every decision seriously and accomplish all of the dreams I had as a teen. It’s made my creative practice way more efficient because I’m less inclined to experiment and dwell and more eager to put things out into the world. Motherhood gave me a sense of bravery to share my ideas rather than keep them to myself.

What does your painting process look like? Do you have a preference, as far as oils, acrylics, watercolors, gouache, etc?

I love to have full art days. Working for 6-8 hours at a time for a few days in a row and then taking a long break from it. That’s my favorite way to do it, I get really cozy and bundled, listen to music and go in. After a few hours I start to get nostalgic and think about my past, loved ones, maybe work out parts of myself I’ve glazed over. I love working with colored pencils. I like how pigmented you can get with colored pencils but It’s a real wrist workout. I recently started using watercolor and it’s the complete opposite, definitely not opaque unless you take your time with it but I kind of like that opposition. Light washes of color used to bug me and it’s fun to get over that.

What subjects or concepts do you explore in your paintings and creative work?

Capitalism, vanity, meaning behind the ways we accept life. I’m really into ports and shipping containers. It reminds me of living in the bay area going from SF to Alameda. Ports are so juicy. They represent so much waste, capitalism, crime, ideas around perceived needs but also genuine need, their existence helped build the economy of my favorite cities and provided jobs for the families that made those cities what they are today and visually they are stunning. Now I live near the Long Beach and San Pedro ports and I love driving over the bridges to look at the colorful shipping containers and all the cranes.

Before moving to LA, you had your own vintage clothing brick and mortar store, how did that start? What did sourcing the product selection entail and how did you curate it?

Vintage started early for me. I was born and raised in east la. I got my first job at 12 at a vintage clothing store called Owl Talk in Eagle Rock and worked there until I was 18. The two women who owned it taught me everything I know about the decades of fashion, clothing construction variations between the decades and so much more! Once I moved to San Francisco I started selling vintage on etsy and ebay, this was in 2009 so early etsy days and I haven’t really stopped since. My curation comes from way back being a teenager looking at books and old fashion magazines and being surrounded by clothing from the 20s-80s at the shop, there’s a whole database of reference images stored in my brain. Product selection is the most second nature activity I can do. It’s truely effortless, I can walk into a thrift or garage sale and find the “gold” quick. Probably has a lot to do with that 10,000 hour rule. I started at 12 and I’m 34 in April so that 22 years of immersing myself in true vintage clothing.

Last year you collaborated with Everybody World, designing and creating a quilted coat. What was the inspiration behind it and what are some of your favorite features of the design?   

I like camping in forests and I really wanted a camping uniform that let me blend in with the trees. I had a neon pink 90s oversized puffy and it was great on camping trips for warmth but the color made outfit planning super tricky and I referenced that jacket throughout the process. We started working on this collaboration before I was pregnant and Pre-motherhood I rarely carried a bag so big interior and exterior pockets were a must for me to carry around my notebook, pencils and whatever else. The jacket has a lot of material and being so oversized I wanted it to have a tag propionate to its size plus I just love a huge tag. We used a graphic from a tag off of one of my late grandfather’s shirts. He introduced me to fashion so it seemed appropriate!

What inspired you to create your line of semi-solid oils? How do you choose which fragrances to blend together? 

I used to make essential oil mists for my shop in Santa Cruz and would gift them to friends too. It morphed into something I was constantly spraying onto myself and when I closed the shop I got so wrapped up in the transition that I stopped making them. After spending a couple months in LA my skin was dry and I wanted something thick to moisturize using the same scents I was adding to my mists. Some of my earliest memories are scent memories. I’ve always been drawn to specific scents and I spent a fair amount of my twenties learning about oils and perfumes, specifically aphrodisiacs.  Now  I’m more interested in medicinal and energetic  application of plants. Palo Santo brings in sweetness and enhances creativity, cardamom  counters lethargy and acts as a mood uplifter and bergamot is a confidence boost and a motivator.

How would you describe your personal style?

Since being a mom it’s pretty formulaic and preppy with 1940’s/80s influences and very effortless. The first thing I put on is exactly what I’m wearing for the day none of this mirror and then changing business been there done that and I truly do not care anymore. my wardrobe is small and full of only pieces that work together and that I love. (I’m sure Amber was appalled when she my small, color coordinated closet hah!)  On a daily basis I’m either in some shade of cream, deep emerald green, brown or black wearing pants, cotton top and an oversized jacket. No stripes or patterns I don’t want to think at all when I’m putting clothing on which is the opposite of what I was doing before having a kid.

What should we expect to see from you this year, anything exciting in the works or any goals for 2024?

Deeper dive into COQUI product lines!

What was your favorite part about the Tailored Union shoot with Amber Maalouf?

Styling my outfits for each sock was so much fun! I rarely think about outfits these days so dressing up thinking about color was a serious highlight.

What was your favorite pair from the Tailored Union Spring Collection you modeled and why?

Loved the socks with the beige heart because they’re simple with a flirty flair!

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Photographed by Amber Maalouf : @mountainspirit