My name is Mariale (María Alejandra Montero) and I was born in Maracaibo, Venezuela. I graduated from Unversity as a designer. In 2006 I came to Barcelona to do a postgraduate course in Editorial Design at the BAU, and I stayed.
I crocheted from being very small. My grandmother put a crochet hook in my hands and taught me the basic stitches whilst she told me stories.
In 2008, I did an amigurumi workshop and this changed my life. From that moment I couldn’t stop making amigurumis and inventing characters. I gave my first personalised amigurumi as a surprise gift to my partner Jorge. It was a replica of him and he still has it at his place of work. When I saw his reaction, I could see that personalised amigurumis make a special gift that touches the heart, and decided to dedicate myself to this. I have worked in various design studios, magazines and editorials, but from 2012 I decided to dedicate myself 100% to Lalala Toys together with Jorge. Now, as well as making dolls, I write patterns for books and collaborate with other creators, and I love it!
#ApanaBagApana means leaf in Wayuunaiki. This project takes me back to my origins. I am from Maracaibo (Venezuela), a city near the Guajira peninsula, where the indigenous people of the Wayúu ethnic group comes from. I grew up surrounded by handicrafts and colours, and I suppose that this inspired me from an early age. I love everything related to its culture. The bag that I have designed is an interpretation of the typical Wayúu bag, but I’ve adapted it to my style. The colour palette that I’ve used is more saturated and delicate. I worked with Baby Nature because, as well as being a pleasure to work with this material, I wanted to crochet with a small hook so that the design would be more pronounced. I wanted to combine forms found in nature together with simpler geometric ones. From here came the fusion of the stripes and the leaves. This is a project that comes from the heart and carries a large part of me within it.
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