Name: Aubrie Costello
Neighborhood and City: Queen Village, Philadelphia
Livelihood: Silk Graffiti Artist
Instagram: @xoaubriecostello #SilkGraffitiByAubrieCostello #TheUnravel
Woman I Admire: WOMEN - I’m in awe of Philly’s female creatives, artists & activists right now.
Go-to Outfit: black top, black highwaisted pants, a big coat, my Pskaufman boots, silver rings, and my specs. I gotta uniform.
Can't Live Without Product: My essential oils
Cocktail of Choice: Silver tequila on ice
Travel Destination You’re Dreaming of: Japan
Current Craving: Ethiopian veggie platter from a spot in West Philly and a glass of red.
Best Advice: Sleep on it.
Favorite Quote: When we think that something is going to bring us pleasure, we don’t know what’s really going to happen. When we think something is going to give us misery, we don’t know. Letting there be room for not knowing is the most important thing of all. We try to do what we think is going to help. But we don’t know. We never know if we’re going to fall flat or sit up tall. When there’s a big disappointment, we don’t know if that’s the end of the story. It may be just the beginning of a great adventure. Life is like that. We don’t know anything. We call something bad; we call it good. But really we just don’t know. - Pema Chodron
De-Stress Technique: Meditation, Hot Yoga, and taking a long walk from south to north listening to my music.
Favorite Track On Your Current Playlist: I currently have Frank Ocean Pink + White on repeat.
What are the three words that best capture you?
Slow and Steady
What gets you out of bed in the morning?
I’m not a morning person, so I’d say good coffee & art - a cool project in the works helps me get out of bed.
In your words, what is your brand and what is its mission?
I tell stories in silk. I create messages in shredded fabric by hand using words which I’ve collected by eavesdropping on the outside world. I sew large-scale silk flags using words from others and put them out on the streets for people to interact with and relate to. My silk graffiti works begin as ephemeral installations of the simple quotes I've collected.They are created out of the visceral, cathartic act of destroying yards of opulent silk. Outdoors, they live as intimate conversations with passersby. They end faded, torn, weathered, revealing the many forms our mere words and reflective thoughts can take. I install the pieces outside to be discovered and leave them there for the elements to do what they want with them, turning them into a beautiful mess. Nature is an essential medium to my work. When exposed to the elements, the pieces are destroyed. They deteriorate, affirming that in nature, everything falls apart.
My mission with my work is to start a dialogue, a thoughtful, meaningful conversation, a little self-reflection, with each & every person who takes a minute to slow down and read my silk words hanging before them. I hope to tell a new story with each interpretation…
What was the moment you knew you had to create your brand?
It was after I did the first silk tag outside of my studio door, on a wall in North Philly 10 years ago. As I watched the silk letters blow in the breeze, they looked so elegant and haunting, and really seductive. I knew I was onto something and that I had found a new way of expressing myself. It was the first time I had made something that I felt was just as complex and nuanced as it was simple and relatable. I felt that many people could relate to these words on the wall.
What parts of yourself are reflected in the soul of the brand?
I relate to my medium - silk. Silk is a delicate, natural, beautiful fabric - but it’s not fragile - it’s one of the strongest natural fibers in existence - the older that I get, the more I relate to my medium. I see myself reflected in the ever-changing quality of my work. I recognize how important and helpful it is to be open to the process - in my personal journey and in my artistic practice. It is a process that is forever evolving, shifting, and transforming.
What was your biggest doubt before starting your brand?
I feared my artwork wouldn’t be meaningful to others. I was wrong.
What makes your brand so different from others in the space?
I think I’m the only chick in the game doing this the way that I’m doing it.
How does your brand help women feel more fearless?
Every time that I hit the streets with a new silk message, I realize that I am giving the person I’ve quoted a bigger voice and platform. Most of the time, I’m hanging these words without permission, on my own terms & in my own time. I hope that by seeing my process and by seeing my finished work, women find the courage to speak their truth, and express themselves how they see fit, without fear or worry holding them back.
Where can we connect with you and get some for ourselves?
Hit me up. I’d love to meet you, share stories, and share my work with you. www.aubriecostello.com