Semi Permanent 2022, 5 minutes with . . . Wade and Leta

2 months ago by

In the lead up to Semi Permanent this year we sat down for a cheeky interview with two of this year’s featured speakers, Wade and Leta.

Semi Permanent is taking place 19-21st Oct, purchase your tickets and check out this year’s line up of speakers here .


Kia ora Wade & Leta! Can you share with us a quick background about yourselves, how you got started and the journey that led you to where you are now?


Hi! We are Wade and Leta, a creative couple running a creative studio in Brooklyn, New York. Our work ranges from branding to art direction, photography, installation, and more. Leta is from upstate New York and Wade is from Melbourne, Australia and now a dual citizen of Aus and the US!

We met on OkCupid and after a quick text back and forth we had our first date and never looked back. Soon after, we began collaborating on a project called Complements, a portrait series where we would take the mundane and channel it into our photos. This project fortunately set us on a trajectory of a collaborative relationship with client work soon following. The rest as they say is history and we now make work that tries to bring Music to Your Eyes!

When it comes to client work, tell us a little about what your design/creative process looks like. Do you ever struggle to get your eclectic ideas across the line?


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.

For our sculptural work, Leta will tend to lead the visualization as, Wade admits, he needs to brush up on his 3D skills a bit further 😉 In that stage is where openness is most important because that is when we will tend to find the nuance and strength of the work. As projects go from concept to completion, we’re engaged in every facet of the process.

With this year’s theme of ‘PERSPECTIVE’, taking a moment to reassess the lens we hold on our past, present, and future – what does this mean for yourselves and your own creative practice?

Like many people, we had a chance to be reflective during the times when the pandemic was raging, and those reflections helped us realise what and how we wanted to pursue moving forward. We’ve changed our trajectory a bit as a studio, departing from branding and focusing more on the tangible and the sculptural, as we’ve concluded that it is what gives us the most joy and freedom moving forward. For us it’s as much about the long-term as the short-term gains—both emotionally and creatively.

There’s a very clear sense of play and spontaneity that comes through in your work. What advice can you share for anyone else looking to do the same in their own creative practices?


We think that the notion of “Do what you love” is thrown around as a way to avoid giving some actual advice. For us we have always found that making and creating are the best ways to discover new paths in our work. It becomes instinctual, and is initiated by just making things that are influenced by what you like. It is important to try and find that style that feels like you. It takes time and persistence but after pushing through that you will be in a place to really take off. If you don’t do it, no one will know what you’re capable of.

Lastly, what are you looking forward to most about Semi Permanent this year and your visit to Aotearoa NZ?

It has been a dream for us to visit New Zealand and we are so excited to just get there and see its natural beauty. To couple an incredible country with a conference that has some real thought leaders and creatives, we’re just honored to be a part of it.

Follow along with Wade and Leta:

Wadeandleta.com

@wadeandleta

@wadejeffree

@letasobierajski

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