Eva Zar Thinks More is Always More—and Less is Always Shit

The Austrian artist told us about being bold with her colours as well as her creative projects.

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There are people who inherently look interesting, and Eva Zar is one of them. She’s everything but your shy, girl-next-door hiding inside her apartment. Her appearance is part of her uniqueness, but it’s her work as a photographer, installation artist and curator that speaks for itself; just check out her Instagram and you’ll get a glimpse of the peachy world she exudes while staying true to her inner self.

We recently had a chat with her and found out that monochrome isn’t her thing, overcoming fears is important and advice from drag queens can be very influential.

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GIRLS ARE AWESOME: What was your first major artistic project?

Eva Zar: Back in the days, my mum had to work long hours and we didn’t have the time to go shopping, so I think it was probably the 101 Dalmatians outfit I “designed“ for a carnival when I was about five years old. I made one for my little sister as well so we could be twins. If you’re asking about the real big business, my first huge project was with Warner Music Germany and Media Productions in 2013. I was asked to conceptualize and produce the costume/set design for Left Boy’s music video “Security Check”. I remember that it was a hell lot of work and no sleep at all (we literally didn’t sleep for 45 hours) but in the end, it was totally worth it. Crazy people, great vibes and an insane result—which is basically all you need in a good project.

You grew up in Vienna. Do you still feel the city’s influence in your work?

My mum, who influenced me and still influences me a lot, is from Dagestan, Russia. Although I grew up in Vienna, I grew up with more Caucasian culture than Austrian. To be fair, though, an upcoming project I’m working on right now is inspired by Vienna’s architecture.

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What’s your favourite (life) lesson from school?

Wow, this is a tough one. I learned a thousand things at school, mostly through really embarrassing moments, but here are three that stand out. First, sometimes all you need are thirty seconds of crazy, insane courage—just closing your eyes for a moment and asking yourself, what would I do if I wasn’t afraid? Second, if you don’t ask or go for what you want, your answer will always be no, no, no. Last but not least, I learned that one should always pay attention—no matter where you are or who you’re with, pay attention to all the details around you, because they’re vital.

What’s the most unexpected response you’ve had to your work?

I remember somebody telling me they thought my work was superficial—not conceptual enough but too commercial. They said they didn’t really understand what I was up to because I only pretend to be an artist and really do it for the money. At first, I was kind of surprised and offended, but in the end, I thought it was funny. I realized they were right. I make my money by doing something I’m actually passionate about and I guess that’s a good sign.

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A lot of emerging female creatives make use of Instagram & Twitter. Are you tempted by the artistic and communicative power of social media?

Of course! I strongly believe that social media is a necessary tool for creatives. Our social media appearance is our CV, whether we like it or not. Clients will visit your Instagram/Twitter/Facebook/Snapchat accounts if you work in the creative industry. You better make sure there aren’t any pictures of you having the time of your life on Ibiza back in 2007. That’s never a good idea.

Why do you choose to work with flashy colours in your work?

Because I’m not into minimal black and white stuff. Never was, never will be. I remember learning one important thing from my friend Andy, a drag queen from Vienna. He told me, “more is always more—and less is always shit”.

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How do you think people perceive you when they meet you in real life?

I think it really depends on the situation, my mood and the time of day I meet someone. I’ve already heard a lot of opinions about the first impressions I give people. Some people thought I was crazy, some thought I was the nicest person on earth, some thought I was a total bitch. In the end, all you can do is try to be a nice and honest strawberry—but there’s still going to be somebody who doesn’t like strawberries, you know?

Do you think women and men have equal access in the creative world?

Haha, no! The creative world is, just like every other business, about leadership, persistence and power. Those values are still considered meant for men. A woman is still taught that no matter what she does, no matter what her achievement is, her value depends on how she looks. Hollywood tells us that women are fundamentally insecure and that they have to be sexy and beautiful to have power. If you see a female leader, her character will most likely be portrayed as a cold, bossy bitch who gave up everything else to make it in the big business. There’s a reason behind the massive gap between featured male and female artists. I constantly find myself in a room surrounded by male artists and it’s not because there aren’t just as many female artists out there.

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What’s the question you’ve been waiting to be asked in this interview?

Perhaps, what I think about the term “true love“—but only so I can answer with a quote by Robert Fulghum: “We’re all a little weird. And life is a little weird. And when we find someone whose weirdness is compatible with ours, we join up with them and fall into mutually satisfying weirdness-and call it love-true love.” I just think it’s just too cute not to share it.

Thanks, Eva.

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