Free the birds

design, Studio

Melting Clocks and Caged Clouds – how Surrealism delights and inspires our own Seila’s Beautiful Thinking

‘What is time? Is it now? Is it expanding?’
Salvador Dali’s The Persistence of Memory sets the thoughts free in the mind of Seila Sarramian, Design Director at Free The Birds.
Indeed, Surrealism is a seemingly inexhaustible wellspring of inspiration to Seila’s creativity.
‘You’re born with it’, Seila explains with reference to her Spanish heritage.
Iberia gave us Seila as well as Savador Dali and Joan Miro, two of Seila’s artistic icons.
Whilst Dali and Miro both hailed from Catalonia, Seila was born in Logroño in La Rioja.

However, there is clearly something in the water, or the wine, which draws together these disarmingly liberated approaches to ideas.
“It was what was there before I was even a designer, it what was in my subconscious and my culture – studying and working you get many influences. You cannot explain but you really like it’.

‘I love photography, collage, the different use of media, I love that’.
This would explain another of Seila’s Spanish Muses, the photographer Chema Mendoz, whose manipulations of real objects spin the mind and lift the senses.
‘All these little ideas and thoughts’ says Seila, reflecting on what excites her and everyone else who sits around her.

‘Everything is valid, everything is possible. There are no limits. If I want to make a floating apple on top of our heads that’s fine.’

It is this irresistible temptation to challenge convention which led Seila to design the Parfum De Secrets range for Lenor.

‘Who doesn’t want to see perfume bottles in the laundry aisle? It’s different, it makes you think. It’s original, you feel something in your gut – fun, quirky’.
Seila sees the influence of Surrealism not just in her own work but everywhere – ‘I love the Hermes shop windows, surreal and amazing’ – and somewhere a bit closer to home.
‘My son Victor loves playing Minecraft. Building houses in the sky? That is Surrealist, no?.’
Even the latest whisperings about the way the world will look in the not too distant future has Seila looking to her favourite artform.

‘The Metaverse is so surrealist. It’s not real. It is surreal. It is coming out of gamer’s and designer’s imagination.’

But the basis of Surrealism is essentially the same as our own Beautiful Thinking and the very thing which Seila engages with every day whether at work or out and about in the world she loves to embrace.
And it’s simple.
‘You can express things that are difficult to express’.
‘Hola’ to that.

Seila Sarramian
Creative Lead at Free The Birds