breaking bread

Q & A With ARDOR Artist Marleigh Culver

ARDOR, our chili-infused extra virgin olive oil, was made even better by artist Marleigh Culver's brilliant artwork on the label. Read all about this New York artist and her process for creating one of our most popular labels to date.

Q & A With ARDOR Artist Marleigh Culver

Marleigh Culver is a New York-based artist inspired by Color Field Painting and Post-Painterly Abstraction. Her art and design background leads her to collaborate and work with brands and companies of all sizes through design, marketing and art direction. Marleigh's main motive is to attribute and capture beauty and meaning through different mediums.

Tell us a little bit about how you entered the art world.
I’ve studied and been fascinated by art since I was young. I was (and am) pretty shy and introverted, and always loved visits to the museum and art classes. Visual work really resonates with my inner feelings I can’t express, where music I feel like I can express my related feelings through listening. I went to two high schools, a normal one from 7:30-12 and then a magnet arts school from about 1-4 or something like that. I studied art and design in college as well. Through Tumblr and now instagram, I’ve been able to use those platforms to share myself and my love of my work.

Your art is so bright and bold, tell us a little bit about your inspiration and process.
Color burns into my brain from whatever I see. I might not be able to remember faces but I remember how that one painting in the Tate made me feel that one time. It’s just something that reaches inside of me. My process isn’t anything fancy. I think a lot, I’m always in my head. I’ll have ideas pop up and I’ll either draw or paint them straight away or draw in my Notes app and save it for later. For example, I was in a yoga class doing down dog (this sounds so pretentious!) and I turned my head and across the street in a building window saw this vase holding this long green leaves with a bright red flower on top. I went to sketched it right after class. I am just so attracted to color, it’s very energizing to work with.

What was the process like for creating ARDOR’s label? How did you create it?
I grew up around chilies because my grandma is Thai. I remember her growing them in the garden and drying them. She still has a bunch of baskets of them today. I also went and visited my family in Thailand a couple months ago. The thing about chilies and their oil is that the flavor is so vibrant and abrasive. I wanted to carry that through in the design, with texture and saturated and rich, romantic color. We tried a few versions, some clean, some rough and this got it perfectly in the middle.

How did your move from Virginia to New York influence your art? Is your art heavily influenced by your location or your inner thoughts/mood?
My location really doesn’t affect it too much. I see it all as things that transform in my mind. I am lucky to have a shared studio space here though. It’s my escape from the madness. Moods definitely affect my work and how it’s produced or how it looks.

What does living in a golden state mean to you?
Letting go and embracing and looking up.