One of the more enjoyable Project Lena perks is that we get to interview fantastic and talented designers. This month we are welcoming a special guest to our San Francisco studio–the creator and designer behind the Solitary Man jewelry. We are very excited to get a glimpse into his world, where creativity and inspiration meets execution in fine jewelry metals and craftsmanship.
Oleg Sharov’s designs are a lot like the designer himself: fun, fresh, and arresting. Born in Moscow, Russia and now living in sunny Santa Barbara, Calif., Oleg’s love and infatuation with fine art and design started at young age, when his family moved to Europe. He continued his education at Moscow’s top art school and later applied that knowledge to graphic design. But like all creative personalities, his true calling is to create things by hand, express his unique artistic world by giving to us, mortals, pieces of art expressed in his clothing brand 3cp Clothing, clay sculptures and his latest creation–.999 solid silver jewelry pieces. Seeing a designer’s pieces in person is a MUST. I was blown away by the intensity and complexity of Oleg’s silver quality, which doesn’t fully show up in images. The world should watch out for this major talent.
The Q & A:
projectlena: We love the fact that the Solitary Man jewelry pieces each represent something that has a personal meaning to you. Can you tell us how you want your pieces to affect your clients?
OS: I see every piece that I create as art sculptures. Each one is hand molded and hand finished, which gives them all a different look. I want people to see them for what they are, unique and different art pieces. I want my pieces to relate in some way to the person wearing it, be it some odd imperfection, a lighter shade or a darker finish, thus underlining their individuality.
projectlena: Who is Solitary Man?
OS: Solitary Man is within each and everyone of us. It’s the voice inside your head, the gut feeling, the 6th sense.
projectlena: Can you tell us a little more about the design inspiration behind the Solitary Man pieces?
OS: I believe that there are many beautiful things right in front of our eyes that we don’t notice in our everyday lives. Basic objects have beauty in them that people often overlook and take for granted. Taking an ordinary object and putting it into an extraordinary environment to change it’s visual perception is inspiring to me. That’s what I am trying to accomplish with my designs.
projectlena: Tell us about your process. Do you start with the raw materials and noodle with them until you have a direction, or do you envision a design and go source the materials?
OS: The idea usually comes to me from something I see. I then put it down on paper and try to picture what it would look like as a piece of jewelry. I then make a first “prototype” out of clay to get a three dimensional tangible version of my idea. Once I am satisfied with the “prototype” I move forward with it to get it ready to make a silver version. The last step is the polishing/finishing and engraving of my piece. I know it sounds like it’s pretty quick but it really isn’t, it could take from a few days to weeks to get from “prototype” stage to silver. I am very picky and an attention freak! If the feeling about a piece ain’t right, I will not move forward with it.
projectlena: Which do you consider more rewarding, designing for yourself, or designing for others?
OS: In a way I am designing for others because I am selling my jewelry to people. The creative and production process is for me and the product is for you. I put a piece of me into every thing I create trying to touch as many people as I can and share my vision.
projectlena: Where can people find your designs?
OS: To get the latest information on the line people can visit the online store at www.solitarymanjewelry.com or www.facebook.com/solitarymanjewelry. I try to interact with people as much as possible and love feedback and comments from our fans!
projectlena: Where do you want to take your line? What is Solitary Man’s dream?
OS: It would be great to spread the word about the line as much as possible and have people all around the world rocking the unique pieces I create. I would love to collaborate with artists from different countries to create something unique to their culture. For now I’ll settle for US domination!
projectlena: What is your current obsession? Anything new we should know about?
OS: That’s a hard question. I really don’t have obsessions per say. I have certain things I like and dislike. For instance, right now I am reading Keith Richards biography and I am fascinated by his love of music and his life experiences. What an incredibly talented individual with an inhuman drive, I mean the guy has NEVER missed a show! Kind of makes you wonder about what you are doing with your time.
We are looking forward to seeing the Solitary Man jewelry pieces on the pages of Vogue, InStyle, Bazaar, and celebrities internationally. We wish Oleg the best in his creations and we are sure to wear his pieces that speak so close to us too.