TRIM Magazine Interview With Creative Director Kriza Borromeo – (1278)


Collaborate /kəˈlabəˌrāt/: To work jointly with others or together especially in an intellectual endeavor.

What is TRIM? It is a journal, a catalogue, and an exploration in collaboration. Creative Director Kriza Borromeo is undertaking six projects, each with an emerging artist from a different creative field, and TRIM is the record and documentation of those projects. What TRIM is interested in is the space between the beginning and the end. The uncertain time when the project is off the ground, but no one knows where it will land or where it will go on its way. She wants to capture that moment of uncertainty, and the obstacles, innovations and moments of mad genius that will strike along the way, all the while moving ever closer to the goal that wavers, indistinct, on the horizon: the finished piece.


ST: So what you’re doing is creating that space between the concept and the carrying out of the concept. Is that what TRIM is? That in-between time when you’re working out all the variables and you don’t know what’s going to happen?


KB: It’s basically a playground for creative people to work on projects that they’ve always wanted to work on. To work with someone who will push them, and will extend those ideas, broaden their minds—an opportunity for them to take on, and then have something to show for it at the end. 


I don’t want it to be like normal magazines, how magazines are basically an update of [things like] movies, fashion, what’s hot, what’s in. I want it to touch on all those subjects but really focus on collaboration and the individual and the process. 


It’s like being in school again but without deadlines. You create your own deadlines. You don’t have an instructor there to give you feedback, you have to rely on your own intuition and your own research, and the other person you’re working with.


What is it about collaborations? Why are you so drawn to them?


I’m interested in a lot of creative fields. I’m not just drawn to one aesthetic. And I think that design is the bridge between all these creative fields. Before I went into design, I was interested in visual arts. I’m still interested in photography, in illustration, in painting, I don’t want to let go of all those roots. I still want to explore those fields, and fashion as well. But I don’t want to completely dive into it, that’s the thing. I want to experience working with the projects, but I’m not an expert in those fields and I don’t think I ever will be. 




TRIM is Kriza’s graduate school—each project being a crash course in one particular discipline. Through the process of working with these artists on shared projects, and the exchange of ideas and skills, she hopes to shape herself into a more experienced, knowledgeable designer. But TRIM isn’t just a vanity mag. TRIM’s idea is to provide each collaborator with the chance to work on a project they’ve had on the back burner, or an idea they’ve been kicking around, or something they’ve dreamed of creating but haven’t gotten the chance yet to make it happen. TRIM wants to take these ideas and bring them to physicality, meanwhile recording the ups and downs of the journey.


So this is a learning experience for you.


It’s not really whether we create the best project of our lives, or if it’s super crap and we don’t even want anyone to see it, it’s really the point of getting there. We’re going to weep and sweat and bleed over this project. Whatever it is, we’re still going to love it because of the fact that we did all of that work for it.


Where do you want TRIM to go?


I think the concept of TRIM can live anywhere, because it’s all about people meeting and working together. So if I were to move to Europe or Asia or anywhere, I could still continue it with the people I meet there. It’s just a matter of meeting the right people and being in that same headspace, because TRIM is about growth. Right now I feel that I need to grow more as a designer. 


I think with design, collaboration is one of the most important things, and I need to learn how to do that, and I like doing it, and I can learn so much about different creative fields. After just working on this second project (with Mikelli Orbe), I’m already learning so much, and I think I’m becoming a better designer because of that. So I think after six projects, I’ll be in a place where I’m confident enough to continue with design, because right now I think I’m still not a good enough designer, to be honest. So I’m in that learning phase, I’m in school. 




The artists Kriza hopes to work with will be people like her—who are poised at the edge of something tangible but who aren’t quite there yet. Maybe they are just out of school or are working on making a name for themselves. They are excited about their careers, which are just beginning, and they are passionate about their craft and their work. Because that is what TRIM is about. It is about work, and about growth, as artists and as professionals.


Do you find that collaboration connects you in a way with other artists?


Of course it does. It’s not just networking, or meeting other people. When you work with someone, you get to learn about the way they work—their lives, the way it informs their work, what inspires them, their families, their background, their stories. You connect with people on a different level when you work with them. As opposed to just knowing someone and knowing about their work. What I’m finding right now which is really cool is that I’m starting to see inspiration, other people’s sources of inspiration, which really gives you an idea of a person and their work. 


Like Janice (Wu) for example, she loves James Sowerby and Aurel Schmidt, and to see who she likes, I begin to understand why her work is like that, and it’s also a little bit of her personality, why she likes these artists. It’s the same thing with Mikelli —Yohji Yamamoto and Comme des Garçons, all these designers that he loves, it’s really funny to see them because I see a little bit of him and why he likes them. At the same time I see a little bit of his work, how he sort of references their aesthetic in his work. 


So I’m sure as I collaborate with different people I’ll begin to see—it’s like a window opening up to a different world that I get to take a little peek into, and enjoy the view and kind of see a different perspective that I never would have seen otherwise if I were working by myself. 


Why have you chosen Mikelli for a collaboration?


Mikelli and I, we think the same way. We’re both dreamers. We dream of things and we love creating. We share the same passion for creating and for working. We both believe that if we could not create we’d probably be the most useless people on earth because there would be nothing else that we could do. So when we get together it’s just an explosion of ideas, and yeah, we just get excited.




Kriza is a graduate of Emily Carr University of Art and Design with a degree in Communication Design. Originally thinking she was going to be a tennis star, she didn’t discover art till she was fifteen. But, she hasn’t looked back since.

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