Interview with Mek Frinchaboy : Multifaceted artist and fellow Red Hook friend
We interviewed the talented and beautiful, Mek who collaborated with us on our limited edition New York Candle for the Holidays. Right now it is only available in our Rockefeller Center Store and is in very limited quantities.
She has such a fresh perspective on bringing the world around us into design and a brave soul landing in New York from Argentina and flourishing in her own right. So get to know Mek and visit us at our store in NYC for this special collaboration.
Who are you?
My name is Mek Frinchaboy, and I'm originally from Buenos Aires, Argentina. I moved to New York five years ago after initially coming for a two-week workshop at Cooper Union. The city immediately captivated me. And felt I needed to stay. So I took the leap, applied on Valentine's Day I filed my Artist visa, and received approval within two weeks. I was shocked! I've heard people say that New York City can either absorb or reject you—I'm grateful to say that it's embraced me wholeheartedly.
Where are you from, what made you want to live in Brooklyn, and is there anything you miss about Argentina?
I've found my sanctuary in Red Hook, Brooklyn. The neighborhood bears a striking resemblance to my last residence in Buenos Aires with its two-story buildings, waterfront fresh air, and awe-inspiring sunsets. Above all, it's the unique community that makes me feel at home.
What I miss most about Argentina is undoubtedly my friends, and, on a lighter note, the pastries. Although I can find Argentinian pastries in Queens and New Jersey, they're just not quite the same.
We know you specialize in graphic design, art direction, and you've even published a book, would love to know more about how you have developed your craft to be so multifaceted.
Over the past 20 years, I've honed my skills in graphic art, design, and art direction, working with an impressive range of clients including The Walt Disney Company, Discovery channel, Mozilla, Carolina Herrera, Discovery, Coca-Cola, Baileys and many more. I've also had the privilege of teaching at the University of Buenos Aires, CUNY, and Lehman College. On the artistic front, I've illustrated two significant art installations commissioned by the Argentinian government. I've also been published in numerous books and self-published my own, "Forever Spring." Although my portfolio is diverse, my true passion lies in large-scale projects that amplify the essence of beauty, community, and belonging.
Any advice for up-and-coming illustrators or graphic designers?
Find what energizes your spirit and pursue it relentlessly. The fields of illustration and graphic design are vast, teeming with opportunities for exploration.
Any favorite projects in terms of Art Direction?
One project that remains close to my heart is Sound Labyrinth—a 400-square-foot interactive installation commissioned by the Government of Argentina. I was not only the art director but also the hands-on illustrator, working in collaboration with Plan Studio.
You can see that project HERE
Why did you choose a creative field and what is your favorite aspect of it?
In my youth, I had a list of 32 careers that intrigued me. Deciding on a lifelong profession at 17 is a daunting task, especially when you are a very curious person. Eventually, I opted for graphic design because it offered versatility and required minimal mathematics—a humorous but true point. I attended the public University of Buenos Aires, where I later taught for four years. The experience of being in public, free university unlocked new perspectives for me, making me realize a sense of shared fascination among people from the most diverse social backgrounds. What I cherish most about design is the ability to materialize the abstract ideas and concepts that people hold in their minds—it's a form of alchemy, if you will.
We were so excited to do a limited edition Charcoal candle with you and fell in love with your design style. What inspired you for this collaboration?
I'm really into quality home goods and always try to shop local whenever I can. The first time I walked into Apotheke's store in Red Hook, I instantly fell for their candles and couldn't leave without a few. Now, every week, lighting one has become this soothing ritual I do while watering my plants. One day, the idea of collaborating with Apotheke just popped into my head. So I reached out, and Chrissy and her team were incredibly welcoming and so receptive that we soon hatched the idea of creating a limited-edition candle for their Rockefeller store, featuring my all-time favorite scent: charcoal.
The Art Deco buildings in New York have always caught my eye, particularly around Rockefeller Center. The area takes on an extra layer of charm when the skating rink opens—it becomes a hub of joy, drawing people from all corners of the world. This collaboration embodies my affection for this ever-inspiring city; it's my personal love letter to New York.
Picking a favorite New York spot is always a fun challenge. If I had to narrow it down, I'd say my top two would be the Mignone Halls of Gems and Minerals at the American Museum of Natural History – it's like stepping into a dazzling storybook of Earth's treasures. Not only do these halls showcase the beauty of minerals, but they also unravel the fascinating tale of how our planet's got this treasure trove. The creative ways we've used these gems for personal style and cutting-edge tech are mind-blowing. It's a place where art and science dance together, a constant source of inspiration.
And then, there's The Valentino Pier, where the summer sunsets are truly magical. The serenity that envelops the surroundings as the sun gracefully sets below the horizon holds a special place in my heart. It encapsulates the perfect fusion of artistic inspiration and tranquility, reminding us of the timeless allure of the natural world.
Photo by Nadia Bautista