Interview with Pony
As soon as we saw her Frank Ocean sticker, which legit made us laugh out loud, we knew we had to interview Pony Mtl. There’s something about her wry sense of humour that is ridiculously endearing. Her work is effortlessly irreverent, even sad in a lonesome, wistful sort of way. And she’s figured out how to whip all these attributes into a whirlwind of pop-culture references, rap lyrics, puns, and cartoon penises.
What have been the major milestones in your career?
I would say one of the big ones would be the Still Optimist photo collection. It confirmed that I could express my vision through different mediums.
That felt amazing and so special.
Also I would say birthing a seven-foot-tall penis.
What’s the biggest hurdle you’ve overcome, and how did it impact your business? — Asked by Frankie Ratford from The Design Kids
Every heartbreak is a hurdle. Every bad decision is a hurdle. Every health complication is a hurdle. But they’ve all made me the strong woman I am today.
- — What would you do if you weren’t doing what you do now?
1. How much of your day do you spend working?
Probably an unhealthy amount. This is my 2018 resolution.
Things have been going great for the Pony brand these last few years. I feel so lucky to be able to do what I love, so I don't take it for granted, and do it a lot. I have high expectations for myself. Maybe too high sometimes.
I also feel like I spent so many years partying, doing drugs, disrespecting my body, and crying over boys, that I don’t want to waste any more precious time. Although I know that those bad decisions and over-dramatic heartbreaks have shaped who I am today. I am learning to be satisfied with what I have, and let myself grow naturally as an artist instead of pushing myself too hard every day. I want to trust that life is on my side.
2. Where is your ideal work environment?
I used to watch movies, documentaries, and TED talks while I was working. But I’ve recently been reading a lot about brain activity, and specifically memory, because I'm looking to strengthen my memory power. I go through some obsessive phases like this. At the moment it's experiments with dolphins, and dolphin intelligence – I don't know why this is my focus now. Anyway, I'm convinced that I can't fully do two things at once. My brain can only do one thing at a time. When I separate my attention, I take away focus from what's most important. So in order to produce the best work I can, my ideal work space is a clean apartment with scented candles, a lemon water by my side, and some soothing music in the background. I need plants, I need light, and my dog chillin’ somewhere near me. Basically just a zen atmosphere to stay focused. (OMG, I SOUND LIKE AN OLD PERSON! WHO AM I????)
3. What do you hope to get across with your work?
I want to make people laugh. Smile. Make people feel understood and less alone.
I want it to be like a big hug for their eyes when they see it.
All eyes need hugs.
4. What inspires you?
Emotions. Rap music. Rap lyrics. My friends. My special friends, if you know what I mean. And finding the human vulnerability even in the coldest verses.
5. What's the secret to a successful day's work?
A productive day where my ideas are in place and where I don't have 12,000 things hanging over my head, distracting me from my main focus. Having goals. To-do lists. Eating a bunch of veggies. Going to the gym. Keeping in touch with my friends. Talking to my mama, knowing she's good.
6. Is there anything in your life that you can't live without?
My friends and my contact lenses.
7. Is there anything about you that people might not know?
I'm a health freak. And a pretty spiritual person.
Oh and also I often binge-watch motivation videos on YouTube. The one's with the stock footage of athletes running as if they were being chased by their horrible pasts. I'm all about that life.
8. What would be your dream project?
Designing something for Kanye West, Tyler the Creator, or Kendrick Lamar. All artists that I truly admire.
9. What is the most time-consuming aspect of your work?
Being a naturally unorganised human. But I'm working on that.
10. What legacy would you like to leave behind?