100 Days Project: 5 minutes with Mahani Del Borrello
As this year’s 100 Days Project rapidly approaches the 3/4 way through milestone, we grabbed a quick five minutes with Mahani Del Borrello, creator of Chromalgam. Mahani is making a range of digital and analogue colour experiments, stating that, “Having long been a fan of pastels, I will use them to transform my own photographs and illustrations into colourful, dreamlike worlds”.
Hi Mahani, can you tell us what your 100 Days Project is about?
It is mainly about experimenting with colour. I had a completely different idea in mind before I began, but the first day snuck up on me and didn’t quite go to plan, so I quickly had to rethink what I was going to do. I had taken a photo some months before of the interior of a building that I found really interesting. I had always meant to use it in some way, so I digitally redrew and coloured parts of it. That kind of set the direction for the rest of the project. A walk on the Nelson Street Cycleway (pink path) in Auckland also had some influence on my project. It lifted my mood instantly, and I remember wondering at the time, how much happier everyone would be if all roads were pink! I call the images chromalgams because they are an amalgamation of images, digitally drawn areas, and colour. It has also become about exploring, as I am constantly on the lookout for interesting scenes or locations that I can use.
Why did you decide to take part? What did you hope to get out of it at the start?
I moved to New Zealand earlier this year and thought it would be a good way to connect with other creatives. Initially I wanted to end up with a series of hand-drawn or painted works and improve my skills in that area but, as I mentioned things, went awry. I also tend to move between different mediums and projects, so I thought it would be good practice to focus on one project for an extended period of time.
How’s it been going so far?
The days when an image works well I love it, other days can be a struggle. I have a large archive of images but not many of them suit this project, so it isn’t just about working on the images now, I also have to go out and photograph them as well, so it is quite time consuming. The benefit of this though is that I get out of the house and take in my surroundings.
What’s your day job? Show us some of your work.
I’m a graphic designer, although I have been doing a bit of illustration work recently. I am currently working on some illustrated maps and am keen to do some more textile/surface design. You can also find me in a printmaking studio or taking photographs.
What have been the best parts of the 100 Days Project? And what are some of the challenges?
Best parts—there was a get-together on Day 25 in Auckland. It was very inspiring to meet fellow 100-dayers and see some of the projects in person. And, although my job is creative, I am really enjoying making something for myself and having more control over the final pieces
Challenges—definitely time! And being disciplined enough to keep going. I have fallen behind a few times, mainly because I wanted a break from my computer screen, work deadlines, or because I didn’t have an image to work with. I am also going on holiday and won’t have access to a computer, so I have been trying to get ahead so I can keep posting while I am away and not have too much to catch up on when I return.
Do you think you’ll make it to Day 100?
I hope so! I feel like I have come too far to quit now. Plus I want to print a book of chromalgams to celebrate reaching 100 days.
Do you have any tips and tricks for people considering taking part next year?
Definitely keep it simple, unless you have heaps of spare time. And don’t be afraid to share your failures. If something doesn’t go right one day, don’t give up, learn from it, and keep going.
Keep up to date with Mahani’s project at: 100daysproject.co.nz/projects/100-days-2016/mahani-388
Or see more of her professional work at: mahanidelborrello.com