Today we’d like to introduce you to Isaac Safdeye.
Isaac, please kick things off for us by telling us about yourself and your journey so far.
I’ve always been drawn to puzzles. Figuring out how pieces with different shapes, fit to create a complete and coherent form.
This interest is not a bystander in my life, rather an instinctual drive to create something of meaning from the overlooked. At the core of nearly every work of art or endeavor I’ve ever worked on, this concept of connecting pieces seen thru various lenses has guided my creative process and challenged my perspective.
So, what is my art form? Creation. I design-conscious and versatile clothing to create a wearable experience. I produce concerts and festivals to create community experiences. I make sounds and play instruments to create music.
I was born and raised in Colombia, where I began my music education. From cacophonous recorder orchestras and never-ending piano recitals, I was exposed to the world of sound. At the age of 13, I began to play the guitar and fell deeply in love with the instrument. That same year, we moved to Miami, Florida. Colombia at that time was in a spiraling upheaval and our parents wanted to live a life ungoverned by fear of security.
My teen years in Miami were filled with writing songs with an old tape recorder (yes, tape) while exploring the world of electronic music and all-day raves. After graduating high school, inspired by the music I was listening to and the songs I was writing, I attended Berklee College of Music where I studied electronic production and design and music business.
While at Berklee, I composed electronic music and learned how to DJ. I partnered up with a friend and began to release DJ mixes and perform at local venues. Soon enough, we were playing shows throughout the east coast with the occasional international gig. Performing live created a whole new understanding of my relationship with music and how powerful it is in creating community. To graduate, I had to fulfill my last credit for school – an internship. I managed to bother someone at Goldenvoice enough times to get me a summer gig organizing posters and helping the booking team. I came to Los Angeles expecting to be here for three months, it’s been nine years.
My time at Goldenvoice was incredible and quite frankly, a master’s education in the world of live entertainment and community engagement. From booking to production, art curation to artist management and touring, I had the opportunity to learn, work and grow within different roles at the company. My later years were focused on developing Latin talent and the SoCal Latin music scene, furthering my understanding of the relationship between creation and community building.
During my last year at the alma mater, I sought a deeper connection to my creative process. I wanted a physical manifestation of the feelings from the experiences I’d been producing. And just when I had no idea where to turn for inspiration, I found myself walking through the desert, surrounded by dissimilarity with a group of friendly strangers – Burning Man. Every year, we built a camp where freedom, creativity, and consciousness could flourish. That year, as we were building our shade structure, a roll of fabric came with a production error. Rather than discard the piece, we jokingly wore it as a shirt – a wearable marker of our tribe. This marker became a mindset, one I carried over past that week. I wore the rag around my neighborhood, sparking both interest and confusion with those I encountered. It was so uncommon to what they knew, it generated a reaction. And a reaction tells a story.
As the narrative unfolded in my mind, I scrambled to learn as much as I could about clothing. Design, construction, materials, process, all new tools I needed in my arsenal. A dear friend taught me the basics and we put together a design for a shirt. The design was to provide the freedom to go with it everywhere, style it anyway, and in the process, make me aware of what I’m wearing. It was to be incredibly comfortable and locally sourced. The shirt represented the same ideals we lived at our camp in the playa. That’s how Velvet Lamb was born – an apparel brand that makes comfortable, versatile conscious clothing.
As you can see, each piece added to the puzzle of my life has formed a deeper connection with creation and its meaning. First, I learned to create for myself to find meaning in my actions. Then, I learned to create with others in order to understand how we all relate and find meaning with each other. Finally, I learned to create for others to share my experience with the world.
Each one of these experiences can be seen simply as a career or practice; another part of life. But by seeing beyond their intended purpose, seeing them together, they begin to thread a wider perspective and forge a cohesive, unified form. Creating music for myself, experiences with others and clothing for others have a common denominator: creating to find meaning in how we relate with ourselves and the world around us.
Art intends to generate thought, provoke a reaction, release a feeling, all while connecting us to something greater than ourselves. And I believe there is no better place to find meaning in art than in the parts overlooked.
In your view, what is the biggest issue artists have to deal with?
Focus. We live in a world of distractions, infinite options, and constant comparison. It’s the perfect cocktail for a stall in creativity, superficial connections, and repetitive themes.
Yes, options and distribution channels have expanded to provide more tools for our craft. But these tools can cause a rift in our process and limit our potential if not kept in check. For art to grow and establish meaning, one must dedicate quality time to the practice, uninterrupted by external voices conditioning its purpose. With a lack of focus, true connection is inhibited and the work’s intent and message will run amok.
What’s the best way for someone to check out your work and provide support?
For each aspect of my work, you can explore and support through the following channels:
In relation to my clothing brand, Velvet Lamb, you can find us online at www.velvetlamb.com or follow us on Instagram @velvet.lamb to keep up with new releases, local events and fairs and promotions.
My music project, Izzi Willow, can be found on Spotify or any other popular streaming service. You can also follow on Instagram @izziwllow to stay tuned for upcoming releases.
For my live production work, you can probably find me behind the curtain at some of this city’s major Latin concerts and event. If you’re interested in collaboration or need assistance on a project, you can reach out to email@example.com.
- Website: www.velvetlamb.com
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Instagram: instagram.com/velvet.lamb (clothing), instagram.com/izziwillow (music), instagram.com/sankaman_vibrations (personal)
- Facebook: facebook.com/velvetlambwear
Luke Lovell – Insta @saint_luke