Sattom Alasad is a dear friend of Hella Looks, an Architect, a Designer, and DJ on the rise. I've always known her to have an amazing eye for visuals and incredible taste in music, so I was more than excited to learn about her creative journey and where her inspirations lie. From being guided into a creative path by school teachers at an early age to watching her parents design her childhood home, all roads have aligned for Sattom to embrace her calling as a natural-born artist.
HL: When did you first become interested in art and design?
FA: My earliest memory of my interest in art and design was in 4th grade. I had a teacher that spotted my eye for it and I was helping her decorate the classroom and come up with a different theme every year through 6th grade. We would sketch ideas and think of materials to use and I would volunteer to go shopping for options. As a teenager, I was designing school uniforms for myself and my friends, which were customizable, and I was also designing gowns either from scratch or going shopping for fabric and repurposing one of my sister’s dresses. Ever since, I’ve been drawn to improving the quality and aesthetics of the space, or the clothes I’m in and just everything around me in general.
HL: What made you want to follow a career in architecture?
FA: I had switched my mind from going to college for fashion design, to law, to business school, and I had gotten accepted to a good business program and was ready to start until I was faced with some “technical issues” that made me switch my mind to architecture pretty much last minute. It wasn’t something I’ve always wanted to pursue. I didn’t realize it then, but my interest in spatial design started as I was watching my parents spend years designing our house together since I was around 10 or younger, mind you neither of them has a formal background in design. I was tagging along to visit other houses in construction for inspiration, going to marble/tile stores, furniture exhibitions, etc. I enjoyed doing that as a kid which is kind of surprising. I actually picked the exterior finish of the house myself when I was 12, or perhaps my dad made be believe I did haha. It was a Terrazzo wall treatment, which is a mix of marble, quartz, granite and tiny chips of glass with very light salmon paint. It’s pink and it sparkles!
HL: What is the biggest inspiration for your own designs?
FA: I’m fascinated by how a thoughtful play of light, form, and materiality can alter the sense of space and create a significantly more pleasant experience, so I strive to achieve that in my
designs whether its architecture, furniture, products, or art installations. My recent visit to Casa Gilardi by Luis Barragán is a big source of inspiration at the moment. Barragán’s designs incorporate elements of modern architecture while staying rooted in Mexican culture with the use of bright colors, local materials, and height constraints. That’s something I’ve been exploring lately, to be able create “original” work - whether I’m designing or DJing for that matter - while staying true to myself. To do that, instead of trying to produce more work, I’ve been spending most of my time during the past few months learning and growing as a creative by reading, listening to podcasts, going out to see more art, and traveling. Input is as important, if not more, as output. As for my present work, sometimes I abstract a personal experience into geometry and materials, like my installation ‘Foreigner’, and other times I’m refining the aesthetic of a product to turn it from a merely functional object to an art piece worth admiring, like my custom design CDJs.
HL: What do you look for when deciding which art exhibits you want to visit?
FA: I follow a lot of artists whose work I love on social media and I keep an eye for exhibitions they might have in LA or whichever city I’m traveling to. I also constantly check what exhibitions the galleries around me have to discover new artists and get my regular dose of art inspiration. Whenever possible, I’ll make it to the opening night of an exhibition to get a chance to meet and speak to the artists about their work. I lean more towards contemporary art and work that immerses the viewer to have to use more than one of their senses to experience and interact with the art, especially if body movement is used as a tool to do that. So a lot of the exhibitions I like to see might be art installations of different scales, functional art, large sculpture, or a well-designed space that is activated by musical or dance performances among many other works of visual arts.
HL: What are 2-3 Los Angeles exhibits that you would recommend seeing right now?
FA: Here are the ones I'm currently eyeing...
Phillip K. Smith III
October 12, 2019 – February 16, 2020
Bridge Projects, 682 Santa Monica Blvd.
It’s a site specific installation in a 7,000 sf space featuring Smith’s signature mirrored surfaces
and dynamic light program. I got a chance to go for the opening day in October where the space was activated by live music and poetry, but on December 14 the artist will be present again for a book party including a panel discussion with the curator among other things.
On the Eve of Never Leaving
November 1, 2019 – January 11, 2020
Solo exhibition exploring the notion of time, memory and materials using large-scale drawings, cast and carved sculptures, and site-specific installation.
November 16, 2019 — January 9, 2020
Tanya Bonakdar Gallery
In this solo exhibition, the artists, who comes from a music background, poses questions such as what is the shape of sound? What does it feel like? Can we smell it? How does it move through your body and what kind of sensations does it trigger?
To see more of Sattom's work, visit her website here.