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Wade and Leta | Creative Studio


Now You See Me

Wade Jeffree and Leta Sobierajski's Brooklyn studio in New York combines purposeful eclecticism and performative design to create satisfying and emotional visuals, ranging from traditional identities to color-loaded compositions that use every skill. Their work exists across multiple worlds, blurring the boundaries of disciplines and industries; some might call it "multi-disciplinary," but they will tell you they don't think of their work in terms of disciplines. They tackle every new challenge with the enthusiasm of an anime hero embarking on an adventure. Their practice is about exploration, and they believe that work and life are intertwined, especially since they live and work together every day. We talked with Leta Sobierajski and Wade Jeffree about their work and production practices.


Who are Wade and Leta? Could you briefly introduce yourselves? How did your journey to becoming a globally recognized designer duo begin?


We are Wade and Leta and we make music for your eyes. We want to create art that is connected to daily life for as many people as humanly possible. Our work exists in a multitude of mediums, from sculpture, to painting, product, and place, and our aim is for the pleasure of our work to be reflected in the people who experience it.


Seaport District Sea Sculptures & Paint Your Own Path


How would you describe your artistic philosophy of creating satisfying and emotional visuals, combining purposeful eclecticism and performative design, ranging from traditional identities to colorful and intense compositions?


We have decided that it is important to keep doing new things, no matter the outcome. If we can't do this with client work, we will do it with our personal projects, so we can keep moving forward. Since we always have the ability to learn by watching YouTube or reading forums, there is no reason not to pursue something new.


How does your interest in anime and games reflect in your work? How do these elements serve as a source of inspiration for you?


It’s a source of inspiration for us, above anything else. Like reading books or traveling, anime and games are equally immersive and encourage us to think about new worlds and alternative ways of thinking with experience and atmosphere. Much of our way of thinking is inspired by daydreaming and mind wandering and we want to channel these elements into the playscapes we create.


 

"We believe that we must constantly change to stay alive. We feel energized when we continuously learn and grow, evolving with the things we want to do and the people we work with."


 

Healing From Another World


Your use of color is very confident; how did you develop this?


We believe color is a vessel for joy and no matter what we create we want to apply that ethos into whatever we create. When we take a step back from work we want to ensure that this is expressed holistically throughout our breadth of work. We also took time to develop it over the years of working together so that we have systems and principles in place to base our decision off of. 


Can you tell us a bit about "Falling Into Place," your first large-scale outdoor installation in Tokyo, which combines sculpture and playground on the roof of Ginza Six's Art Park?


“Falling Into Place” was a huge milestone for us in that we finally were able to create an artwork in a city that we have considered a second home of ours for several years. Like New York, Tokyo is also a city alight with energy so we wanted to create space for people to gather away from the chaos to experience the work. People can utilize the artwork in a multitude of ways so it creates a space for all ages to experience, climb, jump, chill, work and more. With our work we want there to be no barrier to entry so utilizing color and simple shapes allows people to engage without any apprehension or insecurities. 


Falling Into Place


Which of your works has excited you the most in terms of the design process and the resulting product?


Each project is a milestone for us, and a stepping stone towards the next creative pursuit. We have to thank graphic design for teaching us our fundamentals about form, shape, and color, thankfully we have been able to move away from the world of logos and typography to focus our energies more on experience and structure. We’re proud of everything we have made, even if the path to get there was a little bit bumpy, and therefore, it’s quite difficult for us to choose a favorite project because each one has been so integral to our evolution as a studio. With that said, Falling Into Place was the first time we truly experienced the impact of our work in playscapes, as we saw both kids and adults enjoying the space with unbridled enthusiasm.


How do you think living and working together affects your creative process? How do you draw inspiration from each other?


For us it’s honesty and fluidity that are most important. We are naturally both upfront and honest people, so things tend to find a place of resolve quickly because we will just keep throwing ideas back and forth at each other. Initially, upon project commencement, we’ll spend time individually doing research and writing and sketching in order to formulate our own ideas, and then we’ll merge paths and evaluate which thoughts to pursue and which to leave behind. Depending on the project, one of us will begin to flesh things out visually while the other continues to explore the overall feeling and concept further. Thankfully there are two of us, so we can handle multiple projects at once, all while balancing quotes, emails, and other things that a studio typically does.


Paint Your Own Path


Are you excited about the future? What are your plans?


It’s hard for us to not be excited about what’s to come. We’re optimists when it comes to our practice, so we’re constantly looking forward to where we will land in our future, even if it isn’t always the most predictable. Every year always seems to bring more promise than the previous one and our projects become bigger and broader. We are fortunate that our work takes us to diverse places outside of New York City (but sometimes within NYC too!), so please keep an eye out for where we might be popping up next. 



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