This article is a part of the series to discover female career paths within the creative and digital industries
Meet a dear friend of mine Lina Bartkute from BITS AND PIECES. Amazingly charming lady, born the same day as me – 10th of July. I guess the magic of the day is part of the reason for my endless admiration.
How old are you?
What’s your profession?
I am an educated fashion designer and fine artist (focusing on textiles) currently based in Bergen, Norway.
My work moves between art and design and is most of the time entangled in each other. Having a diverse experience and background both in art and design I have an interest in merging different disciplines, new technologies with old and traditional craftsmanship.
What is it that you do daily?
It varies from day to day, but I try to get out and go for a walk. It freshens the mind. The walk allows the brain to switch into a diffuse mode which helps to find ideas and figure out different problems.
What is your mission in life?
Maybe to understand myself, as well as other people, better.
When did you first meet clothing design?
In the childhood my favorite dolls were paper ones and I was making them tons of paper clothes. Could one disagree that this was design process?
What is your point of inspiration?
I am inspired by other people, people who are very much passionate about something and following their dreams. To be inspired I go to theater, exhibitions; I do research and read a lot about the subject that I am interested in at that moment. But most of the time the burst of creativity happens when I am in the process of making. I love expression “thinking through making” and I try to apply it in my work. When I am alone and in silence, I daydream, and then magic happens.
I think inspiration is always there, it just needs to be triggered.
Why BITS AND PIECES? How did you get the idea?
The basic application idea appeared in 2011 when I was thinking how to bring an old and at that time undesirable crafting technique – patchwork – back into life and make it contemporary.
Patchworking methods, shapes, patterns are the same since “forever”. Just google “patchwork” and you will know what I mean. I wanted to challenge a pattern creation itself and introduce some technology into it. Therefore I researched patterns in different cultures and history, patterns in nature, mathematics, etc. and found some principals which I discussed with Paulius Friedt who works with graphic design and technologies. After a while he created an app which could generate random patterns infinitely.
For some time the application lived its own life, taking part in one or another personal art project until one day Paulius and I bumped into Eglė Šlipaitytė who saw the potential in the application to become something great. She inspired us to give it a new life and Bits and Pieces was born. Eglė takes part as a marketing and advertising specialist as well as a project manager.
The vision was to create a lab for digital adventures in contemporary art and design.
We started by trying to share the creation experience enabling customers to make unique personalized items by simply using the app. Due to some technical problems the opportunity of using an online app is still on its way. At the moment Bits and Pieces offers T-shirts and sweatshirts with one-of-a-kind patterns. Each piece of clothing exists in one size and has a code to guarantee uniqueness. Also we have some limited edition Christmas trees for your home.
Who has helped you in the process?
Friends, brothers and sisters were always ready to give a hand.
How much time did it take from the idea to the launch of the brand?
From the very primary idea it took perhaps more than a year, but from the point when we decided to launch Bits and Pieces as a brand – several months.
What is your wish for this project?
I wish to attract people who would want to collaborate, create projects together with us. I also wish to widen the focus area of Bits and Pieces – explore different visual expressions and other application methods.
What are the next steps – what are you focusing on right now?
What kind of lesson have you learned so far?
There is the right time for each idea.
How many people are there in your team?
3 – Eglė, Paulius and me.
What would be your message to other girls?
Experiment, do things that scare you, don’t be afraid to do mistakes.
What’s your credo?
“If you can’t stop thinking about it, don’t stop working for it.” Unknown
“Eventually everything connects – people, ideas, objects.” Charles Eames
Do you have any favourite artists?
At the moment my favorite are Anna Sophie Berger and Donna Huanca. Also check brands such as ffixxxed and HAiK which balance between art and design. I admire Yohji Yamamoto, Lika Volkova as personalities and love films by Wim Wenders.
What are your plans for Christmas?
To be with beloved ones.
What do you do on Sundays, is it the free day for you?
Since I am a freelancer, it differs. I may work, go hiking, read or study the language. I can also spend the whole day watching films or have a cozy dinner with friends.
Where did you study and do you think you would apply there again?
I finished fashion design studies at Vilnius Design College, graduating in 2008. After working mostly for a design practice, I went on to study Fine Arts at Bergen Academy of Art and Design from 2011–2014. In 2013 I spend half a year in Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts, School of Design as an exchange student in textile design.
Would I apply to these places again? If I would know what I know now, perhaps I would choose differently. But that’s just a speculation. I think you never know until you try.
Is university important at all?
A diploma itself is not important. At least it is not in the artistic career. But perhaps it is different in other areas.
In general studying is great! It brings you to a stimulating environment, teaches you common professional language (!) and enables you to meet likeminded individuals. Also the university or in my case academy gives you an opportunity to use facilities and professors’, technicians’ brains for your craziest experiments, which are essential in learning the subject. That becomes luxury after you graduate.
Did you have an interesting internship?
I haven’t had any formal internship so far, but I’ve worked for few brands as an assistant designer, which could be compared to a longer internship. Previously I worked in Lithuanian design studio Studija LT. Presently time to time I’m involved in projects together with Norwegian clothing brand HAiK. Two different companies, two different experiences – both are invaluable.
What advice could you give to those looking for a dream internship?
Name it! And if it is truly a dream place, the application process will be a joy.
Sometimes it just takes one, just takes you. To set the tone for the way everyone behaves.
Beware of the development of your bits & pieces.
have a question? @rtumasonyte