You may have never pictured Her Royal Highness in sheer Chanel trousers, but Freddie Smithson aka ultimate Insta-artist @FreddieMade will soon change that – for the better. Flawlessly editing some of the most relevant cultural icons (or enemies) into unlikely scenarios, the London creative is unafraid to push boundaries and ruffle up some feathers. Whether it be merging the worlds of fashion and politics, high art and low culture, even the most niche of references go down a storm with his ever-growing Instagram following.
As his bio promises, Freddie works with “brands that have a story to tell (and want to have fun too!), which makes sense why he’s teamed up with Sony (and us!) on an exciting new project. Joining a collective of creatives to create exclusive designs for the newly launched FES Watch U, HUNGER caught up with Freddie to find out just what it means to be a creative force in 2018…
Why did you want to be involved in Sony’s project? Talk us through your design and process?
When I was approached about the Sony Project, I was excited to be involved for the concept of the watch. I’m someone who doesn’t have a single style at all, I change the style of clothes I wear on a daily basis depending mostly on my mood. So to hear about a watch that can have a totally different design every day sounded like something I could get involved with! My concept for the design ‘Time on my Hands’ came from my constant desire to have more hours in the day! Time has become the new luxury, it’s that opportunity to think and be creative. I always crave having extra time on my hands or ‘me time’, which is where my inspiration for this design came from. Along with acting as a gentle reminder to find time for yourself, my concept plays on the idea of time on your hands in a more physical way. The two clock hands rotate around the open palm of a human hand, with two further hands wrapping themselves around the wearers wrist.
Do you remember the first collage art you ever made?
I’m not sure if it was the first, but the one that springs to mind was during my time at Leeds College of Art on Foundation. My final piece there was a huge collage created using scanners and photocopies that was an exploration of my relationship with being Sagittarius, looking back it was all very abstract and sort of lacked purpose for anyone except myself haha! But I think that was a starting point of exploring the idea of merging two subjects and conveying a message through one medium.
What are your greatest artistic influences?
I have always been massively influenced by Surrealist artists. Duchamp (Who’s ready-made art influenced my Instagram handle), Magritte, Dali. I love their unique perspectives on the world, and think they were pioneers in their field, so I have a lot of respect for them! I also love Picasso, I have dozens of prints of his in my flat. Big names aside, I go to exhibitions most weekends and often arrange trips abroad around exhibitions that are on, I find influence from all sorts of big and small names. I also love looking and and photographing architecture, which whilst it has no direct influence on my work, I think it allows me the time to think up new ideas whilst out in new environments.
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"Time has become the new luxury, it’s that opportunity to think and be creative. I always crave having extra time on my hands or ‘me time’, which is where my inspiration for this design came from."
How would you describe your creations in 3 words?
Bit of fun.
Who are your favourite Instagram accounts?
My top three would probably have to be @DecorHardcore who posts my dream interiors on a daily basis, @Siduations because I love his artwork, he and I have followed each other for years now and he and I often get commissioned for the some work / written about in the same articles, and @Nadialeelee because her photography and films are out of this world, I’m obsessed!
How does it feel to make art for your growing following?
I really enjoy it! I often struggle for time, having a job and freelance projects alongside, but I always make time where I can! I love that there are people out there who enjoy following the nonsense I create and post, I like to think its a few seconds of light relief from all the negativity you see online today!
Your art often focuses on political and social moments, do you think art has an obligation to be culturally relevant?
I definitely don’t think art has an obligation to be culturally relevant, not at all. The artist can of course choose to convey whatever message they like! However, I think especially with society today and in the age of sharing art online and especially on Instagram, the pace at which content is shared and the reactivity allowed, really lends itself to making instant statements on political and social moments.
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"I love that there are people out there who enjoy following the nonsense I create and post, I like to think its a few seconds of light relief from all the negativity you see online today!"
If you could collage just one subject for the rest of your career, who would you choose?
Tough one – but probably the Queen! Collages I made of her really helped kick of my career lol! She also expresses so many moods through her many facial expressions and mannerisms, meaning I’d never run out of content! Plus is such a British icon!
The new FES Watch U is available now in the UK, Italy, France, Germany and Spain. It is available in silver or black and is priced at approximately £529 and £699 respectively. Find out more here and check out a selection of styles in our gallery below available to buy via amazon.co.uk. Follow Freddie on Instagram @freddiemade.
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