KOKETIT- With love from Tel Aviv
A look inside the transcendent life and work of Shira Barzilay. She answered everything we asked her candidly & most graciously. We truly enjoyed reading and understanding a bit about her life.
Few facts about Shira :
105k followers on Instagram
Has illustrated for brands like Chanel, Roberto Cavalli and H&M.
She describes herself as an Artist & an Influencer.
Name : Shira Barzilay - aka, KOKETIT
AST : Where are you from ? Shira : I’m from Tel Aviv, Israel
AST : Where are you currently located ? Shira : Tel Aviv, Israel
AST : First job ?
Shira : My first job was to dress manikins for Diesel as a fashion design student. I had to travel from store to store and style window and store displays. The styling part was fun but It was always such a battle taking off and assemble the limbs of the dolls.
AST : Current Job ?
Shira : Today I am an artist – I have my own brand “KOKETIT” and I also work as a graphic editor for GOstyle Magazine.
AST : At age 17 when most are still confused about what they want to do, you decided on becoming a fashion illustrator. How did you come to that conclusion ?
Shira : I was always a very decisive person. Even at a young age – my mother tells the story of me picking out outfits for kinder garden and how she had no say what so ever in the manner. My love for drawing came early and by the time I was a teen I was heavily obsessed with fashion illustration since I was a child. One year I had received as a gift – the big book of Versace that contained amazing illustrations and it fed right into my soul. I wanted to be the next Versace. I was fortunate enough to graduate from high school early and so I decided to apply to fashion college. I got in at age 17 and was the youngest student to go there. Of course, once I was there, I realized that making clothes was a lot different from illustrating them.
AST : Tell us about your most challenging project.
Shira : The project I’m working on right now. I’ve been exploring with animation and live art performance, in the intention of bringing my art to a whole other level. Performing live can be very stressful and a lot of preparation is required. In a way I have to create choreography to the drawing process and its really taking me outside my comfort zone. Some days I want quite it all and other I feel as though im really growing which makes it all worth the while.
AST : Walk us through your personal life. Can we know more about Tel Aviv from your perspective & how is Bono doing ?
Shira : Bono is everything!!! 😊 He is 11yrs old and a super loving a clever soul. I enjoy every minute of him. And I love to share him on my social media platforms because he’s such a star!
My life as a single women in Tel Aviv is pretty awesome. I work really hard and make sure I party hard as well. Tel Aviv is such an incredible place for night life, food, and culture. I love to go out with my girlfriends to great bars and restuarants. We ofcourse have our favorite spots and areas in the city. Every true Tel Avivian is sure that their neighborhood area is the best in the city and tend to stay in that radius. Its hilarious.
AST : Describe the place where you work from. What inspires you ?
Shira : Not to sound too cliché about it, but I get inspired by everything. Music is a huge part and so is nature and fashion. I also have a thing where I see faces everywhere. They pop at me from the most unexpected places such as cracks on an asphalt floor. I’ll see eyes nose and a mischievous smile – just popping up to say hey. Is that weird? Maybe so. Im always encouraging and practicing my imagination. its one of my favorite things about myself. That and compassion
AST : Could you tell us about the “ art on photographs “ series that you have been doing ? Whats the thought behind it ?
Shira : As I said, I see faces everywhere and have a very developed imagination. so if I come across an inspiring photo, I feel seduced by it to turn it into a sort of canvas and create over it. It’s a place where the conscious meets the subconscious- that’s what line drawing is to me. An expressive stream of sub consciousness pouring out and when I mix it with existing photos, im adding my own layer to the story, so it could enhance or completely change the narrative.
AST : What 5 pieces advice would you give to students who want to follow a similar line of work?
Practice your craft every day. For me – Instagram is an amazing practice of my creativity. I’m constantly searching and thinking and feeling my creations and sharing them on such an immediate platform is totally rewarding. Its like being a member to the gym of creativity where the workout is just so much fun and you get fast results too.
Be clever about your business decisions. It is a common thought that artists are bad in business and therefore they shouldn’t even try. That’s not true. If you want to be successful as an artists/ designer/ illustrator – having your own business and being your own boss is the best way to grow.
Find you niche. Too many people are doing similar things now a days. Finding your signature style is imperative to stand out in an over flowing sea of talent. Once you find you, do you. And only you. No one will do you better than you.
Don’t be discouraged with failures. Learn from them, move on.
Listen to your inner voice. Medidata. Its ok to get advice from others but at the end of the day you have to have a strong conviction on your work.