Larissa Moraes: The Law is not enough
Prior to joining a jewelry design course her passion had been dormant for a number of years. Having completed the course, she took a chance and started to design. Her first necklaces radiated with the serenity of Claude Monet’s paintings. The textures in her earrings evoke the paintings of the insane, earless Van Gogh, or Louis Tiffany’s precious items of Art Nouveau elegance. Posted on Instagram, they all gained immediate recognition. Read the story of the Brazilian designer Larissa Moraes, and find out why she quit her legal career in Brasilia to discover a new strength and a sense of life in jewelry.
What’s your jewelry like?
So, my jewelry is unique, handcrafted in 18k gold and natural stones. My inspiration comes from art. I imagine a way to turn the art of great masters into a piece that can be worn. In my first collection, I immersed myself in Van Gogh’s work and created pieces that challenge logic through textures, twists and colors. I am currently working on three collections where I seek to recreate in jewelry the emotion I feel when observing the works of art. The collections honor Monet and Beethoven and the third is based on a fictional meeting between Louis Tiffany and architect Victor Horta.
How did you mother play an important role in your life? Was she the one who instilled the love of jewelry and sensitivity to art in you?
My mother is a visual artist. I grew up among brushes, canvases and books on art history. I think my love of art came up there. The passion for jewelry came later, it came the moment I realized that the jewel is a usable sculpture, a work of art displayed on one’s own body.
I am trying to picture you as a little girl. Back then, did you prefer drawing over homework?
I’ve always loved drawing and coloring. Art classes were my favorite but I loved other subjects too: Portuguese language, geography, mathematics, for example. My notebooks were always colorful. I have very happy memories of that time.
Why did you bury your love for art and jewelry? Why is it so difficult in Brazil to follow an artistic path? How do artists get by in Brazil?
I grew up in a home with a lot of inconstancy, and I mistakenly related this inconstancy to art. I sought a path that seemed safer, more rational. I didn’t think it was possible to unite art with rationality, I was wrong. Now that I’ve made peace with art, I’m so happy that all the difficulties of a new career don’t scare me! Being an artist in Brazil is difficult, however you have phenomenal access to fantastic raw material, precious metals, gems and precious stones.
Did you study law by a choice of reason? What did it teach you?
I chose Law because I imagined that I could build a career that would enable me to be financially stable and also the chance to help others in matters of justice. The relationship with the area taught me a lot! I met people of beautiful soul and heart full of good intentions. I understood that society is made up of multiple forces and different ideas, which complement each other and depend on respect and collaboration.
You took the plunge with jewelry by quitting a serious job. You worked for the senate and the federal government? WOW! You are an amazing woman! Do you think that the legal skills and experience will prove useful in the jewelry line of business? Or do you rather think that your law-related job allowed you to accumulate funds to now do what you love to do?
I actually believe that my legal profession has allowed me the financial flexibility to create my own collection. All the experience I’ve accumulated is present in my relationship with jewelry. Law and work in the political area have also enabled me to meet strong, determined women who face the limits of the system every day to achieve their goals. This observation of the strength of women and the networks of communication and support that they create also impacted a lot in life and my relationship with art and jewelry. It’s for this strong, determined woman that I design. Working in the Brazilian Senate has also afforded me the opportunity to visit Brazil extensively.
It is a country that is rich in culture and natural beauty. Everywhere you go you see something new that reenergizes your creative drive. It shows that you have a truly romantic soul. Where does the love for the old masters of painting come from? Why do you interpret those particular paintings by means of your jewelry?
Yes, I can say I have a romantic soul. I find art in almost everything I see and do. I bring this from my childhood and have reinforced this lifelong practice. Art was also for me a refuge in times of difficulty. It’s a place of pleasure, of rest. So I don’t think much of the masters themselves, but I think about the works of art they’ve created. Like they created them for me, so I could rest there, so I could study and try to understand what else those almost magical brushstrokes mean. I try to go deeper into their works and present angles that many people have not even noticed. So I extract from the works a detail and present in another way, with gold and natural stones, to give that work of art even more wealth and meaning. I also get inspired by nature, music, architecture and all the beauty that human beings can create.
How are you spending your time during this tough world pandemic situation? Do you feel any impact on your creativity?
I’m at home. Respecting the quarantine. Studying how art manifested itself after the great sufferings of humanity. Seeking my voice: what I mean about this time of introspection.
Do you have any advice for artists/designers how to get through it?
I’m in no position to give advice. Quite the contrary, I would love for more experienced designers to help me get through this moment. The only thing I know is that I’m capable of reinventing myself. I’m getting ready for this new world that’s coming.
Today Larissa won the 1st Prize in A’DESING AWARD & COMPETITION.
Congratulations, we are so happy for your success!