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Hello, I am Maya De Marco!

Updated: Apr 29

Where are you from? What are you doing in Amsterdam?

I am a 19-year-old graduating graphic and web design student who comes from Montreal a city in Quebec, Canada. I live in an area called Montreal-North situated equidistant from the river that extends the length of the island and a Tim Hortons (how Canadian of me!).

Currently, I'm undertaking a remote internship with the Street Art Museum Amsterdam (SAMA) to enhance my artistic knowledge and gain on-site experience with different branding projects. I eagerly embraced this opportunity to immerse myself in diverse cultural experiences and engage with individuals from varied backgrounds. I thrive on incorporating different perspectives and ideas into my work, a skill I'm refining remotely at SAMA. I'm particularly drawn to the distinct approaches to design, marketing, and branding found across continents, tailored to diverse audiences and cultural norms. My goal is to gain valuable insights and practical experience during my time here that I can apply to my future career, whether at home in Montreal or wherever else life may take me!

Can you tell something about the place where you come from?

Montreal is a big city known for its multiculturalism (and of course great bagels and poutine, never ending construction, and freezing cold winter weather). Whether you’re a music lover, food connoisseur, or mural admirer, there’s a festival for everyone! Our city embraces both the old and the new, where one can find modern art and architecture mixed into the cobblestone roads in Old-Montreal. Growing up in Canada as a second-generation Canadian with Italian immigrant grandparents, Italian culture has deeply shaped my life. My childhood was filled with the aromas of Nonni's garden and kitchen, where the traditions of Italy came alive. Living in Montreal, a city that embraces many cultures, further enriched my experiences, allowing me to appreciate not only my Italian heritage but also the diverse backgrounds of those around me. Given our province also has a strong French influence, I have learned a repertoire of languages including English, French, Italian, Spanish, and German. Here is a picture of one of our beautiful sunsets in Downtown Montreal (where you can see all the construction cones) as well as a picture of all the snow we get in the winter.

What is your favourite activity/ the things you like to do during your free time?

I love lots of hobbies, but my favourite ones are the cozy ones such as reading, spending time with my loved ones, scrapbooking, and drinking a cup of tea while watching rom coms. I also enjoy yoga and meditation after a nice long day of designing on my computer. Some of the occasional ones include going to concerts, road-trips with friends, travelling to visit family back in Italy, and shopping.

What fascinates you the most about the city?

Since my internship with SAMA is remote, I do not have the chance to explore the city for myself. However, if ever I do, I would love to immerse myself in the rich art present all around. Whether it’s seeing murals outside or watching intricate dances created by brilliant choreographers, I want to meet the passionate people behind the work. I also love to admire the architecture and the scenery, as you get to simultaneously experience the classic bright facades while embracing the flowers. Coming from a bustling, industrial city, the prospect of navigating Amsterdam's streets by bicycle rather than being stuck in traffic sounds utterly delightful. Here's to hoping for a chance to experience the city's unique energy in person and use it as inspiration for my work and life!

What is your relationship to street art? Art in general?

I grew up around a very artistic and conceptual architect as a father. Thanks to his influence, my whole life has been based around art in different formats like singing, dancing, drawing, interior design, graphic design, web design, and a list that just keeps going. In school, I always LOVED my arts classes, graduating high school (and even elementary school) with honours in arts. One class that I really liked was my secondary 5 art class where we learned about street artists like Banksy and other artists who create projects with unconventional objects. I am also really into local Montreal Street artists such as Stikki Peaches and Miss Me Art. I jump at any opportunity to unleash my inner child and dive into the world of oil crayons, getting delightfully messy in the process. It's a joy to have a career that lets me collaborate with passionate artists and explore brilliant concepts. Art and all of its facets has influenced my view on my career as well as my life philosophy.

What are your responsibilities at SAMA?

In my role, I'll be diving into various branding projects and communication materials, along with some exciting web design tasks. My focus will be on crafting print projects such as presentation designs and business plans, as well as logo designs and signage that will showcase SAMA to the community and boost our visibility. It's a creative journey ahead, blending design with purpose to make a lasting impact!

Do you have a favourite artist in the SAMA collection?

Yes, I do! I really enjoy Alex Senna’s work and story as an artist. The messaging behind his art resonates with me as it focuses mainly on how different people are represented and the atmosphere inspired by everyday life more than the actual painting skills. I admire the simplicity in his art that can emotionally compel the public and leave a significant impact. Although he does not use a lot of colours, there is strong emotion conveyed in every one of his characters and pieces. I find it super cool that he can also turn his characters into sculptures, which once again enhances the emotional and personal aspect of his work.

What interests you most in the concept of SAMA?

I'm particularly intrigued by SAMA's approach of considering its visitors as users rather than mere viewers, customers, or consumers. This mindset reflects the idea that everyone is an active participant in the experience provided by SAMA. I appreciate the human-centered aspect of this approach, where engagement and interaction are at the forefront, creating a more meaningful and inclusive experience for all. This idea really makes SAMA feel welcoming and open to all artists and creatives, no matter how big or small.

Which artwork of the SAMA collection do you like the most?

Among many different inspiring artistic pieces in the SAMA collection, one that really piqued my interest and tickled all the right parts of my creative mind is the Kiki Skipi art piece featured on the website. I also enjoy many of her other pieces featured on her Instagram. The characteristic of her never including human features in any of the faces in her art is very intriguing to me especially since all her art features people. The contrast between obscured facial features and the inclusion of nude or partially nude subjects in the artwork speaks volumes about the concept of being both masked and exposed simultaneously. The vibrant use of colors consistently captures my attention and draws me into her creations. What stands out to me about her art featured on the website is not only the use of partial nudity and bright colors but also the incorporation of facial features like eyes, although not placed conventionally on the face but on the wing instead. Additionally, I appreciate the crafted bird-like nose included in the artwork as it still is not a realistic facial feature, aligning perfectly with her unique artistic brand. This intentional blend of elements creates a captivating and distinctive aesthetic that resonates with me.

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