Introducing Fake Magic: A Story of Four Friends

Welcome to our Website! We are so excited to have this huge step in the creation of our Art Collective complete. Now that we’re here, and there is a full website with products, events, bios, and links to our other work at your digital fingertips, we thought it might be nice to introduce you to Storied Stitches through our process, or rather, by telling you how we got here and where this comes from.

It’s hard to say exactly where this started. The four people behind Fake Magic have been friends for years, but even before that, each of us have been making art since we were old enough to hold a pencil. Making art is like breathing for us. We honed our crafts and abilities in college, then graduated and continued to create. We continued this way independently for about three years. Earlier this summer, Kaz convinced us all that we needed to team up.

Four good friends at the beach

Tori made some amazing t-shirts and just about sold out at the CCA Craft Fair in 2017. They were colorful, funny, and witty. Among them was the iconic “Fake Magic” Shirt. She said at the time that it would be a great brand name, though we’re still unsure if she was joking. Although she majored in glass at California College of the Arts (CCA), after graduation she expanded her discipline to anything she could do at home, and wherever the muses took her, and she transformed an intergenerational stash of yarn into granny square creations, and eventually hosted a birthday party that involved tie-dye, which was an instant hit.

CCA Craft Fair 2017. Debut of Storied Stitches and Tori's t-shirts.

Valentina was Tori’s college roommate. After graduation, she teamed up with a friend from the Textiles department at CCA, Caroline Walters, and started the collaborative Fiber Arts Zine, Storied Stitches. They discovered the zine fest world, the knitting side of Instagram, and diligently churned out issue after issue for two years (as Capricorns do). Caroline moved away to Wisconsin and Valentina found herself in need of friends to collaborate with. They still do Storied Stitches remotely and we continue to collaborate with Caroline when we can. Because of her experience with Storied Stitches, she learned important things like how to make a website and etsy, how to apply for events, and more that are all becoming useful here now. She invited Kaz to table at a zine fest with her, and it was just the nudge he needed to finish a project to sell there too, and to give him a taste of the exhilarating energy of selling work in a high-energy convention.

Kaz selling his poetry book at the San Francisco Zine Fest

Kaz has been working in theater since graduation, trying different sides of it, from acting to stage managing, to teaching kids, and eventually working in the accounting department. He also has been writing his entire life and discovered the world of slam poetry while at UC Berkeley. He continues to compete at poetry slams, and this summer had a very successful kickstarter to turn his poems about his transition into a book. He loves the arts and likes having the balance between the financial and creative sides of the arts. He also loves his friends and hyping them up however he can. Kaz had the idea to team up and work together, because it plays to everyone’s strengths and it’ a good excuse to hang out more.

Nina moved back to the bay area in the middle of all of this. She went to High School with Kaz and Tori, and had developed her practice as a painter in Southern California since 2012. She studied painting at Laguna College of Art and Design (LCAD), and has been teaching painting, selling her paintings, and doing commissions. A master of portraiture, Nina was interested in working with design and prints more, and wanted a group of art friends to work with in her old/new home when Kaz pitched the idea to her.

The creation of Fake Magic went something like this: Kaz had a moment of inspiration and said we had to start an art collective, though the original name was Pumk For Art, named for one of Tori’s original t-shirts designed after a funny drawing from an exquisite corpse game years ago (can you follow all those levels of inside joke?). Valentina had a dream during a slumber party that it was called Fake Magic, named after Tori’s other t-shirt.

The exquisite Corpse is a game where one person draws the head, one person draws the torso, and one person draws the legs, all without seeing what the other's drew. This is one we did many years ago that Tori turned into a t-shirt design. Notice it's pumk not punk.

The name Fake Magic fit perfectly. Most of us practice Tarot, and we all know about astrology, and follow the moon’s cycles. We believe in the power of intention. On a values level we are all feminists and believe in personal empowerment. At the same time, we approach our work with lightness and humor. Magic may or may not be real, but does it matter if we are getting value out of it?

Tori at our full moon winter solstice ceremony.

Based on these principles, everyone else agreed and we got to work.

Our first business meeting in Nina's gazebo studio.

The best is yet to come...

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