• UO Studio Visits: Nemuel DePaula of Lenita by Grita Flower Truck

    Creative Nemuel DePaula is a Brazilian artist living in LA who's works range from art books to floral design. Here we chat with him about LA's newest flower truck LENITA and his upcoming pop-up here at Space 15 Twenty.
    Photos by Iris Ray

    Hi There! Can you introduce yourself and share a bit about your background + work?
    Oi! My name is Nemuel DePaula and I moved to the South Shore of Boston with my family from Brazil at the age of ten. I’ve been in Los Angeles for 5 years with my twin brother and our dog Milkshake. I design art books and now spend my weekends in a flower truck that I named after my mother, Lenita. 

    Tell us more about how Lenita by Grita originated?
    I’ve always loved flowers and the idea of moving back to a small town on the east coast to open a floral shop and simply age. However, over a year ago I was working on the floral design for a friend’s wedding and it hit me; I should do it now! Naming it after my mother was a no brainer. I wanted to use this moment as a thank you and a celebration of the amazing woman and mother she is. 

    What's the concept behind the Flower Truck?
    The concept is to simply merge design and flowers; to have someone walk up to the truck as if you’d be ordering a taco but instead you pick up some blooms. I also want to use it as a platform to feature other artists and designers that want to go beyond ecommerce and meet the people who love their work.

    Can you guide us through your thought process when putting together an arrangement?
    It’s all in the moment. I actually have zero idea what I’m going to curate until I get to the flower market and start shopping. From there I start choosing colors and see what flower can be the main star and what will support it. 

    What sources spark your creativity?
    Art books! I love books and am constantly browsing through the art sections and revisiting vintage books. I just love to see what designs have stood the test of time and what trends have passed. I also love pop music and whenever I’m stuck creatively I need a 2am work session and headphones blasting something shameful. (but perfect). 

    Do you have a personal mantra or favorite quotation?
    ‘Stop and Smell the Flores’. I was feeling overwhelmed with launching the truck and making sure it was all coming together and a dear friend texted me some words of encouragement to stop and smell the ‘insert rose emoji here’ and she was completely right The point is to simply stop, look around and see how stunning life can be and enjoy the moment. 

    What are some of your favorite neighborhood spots? And to pick up flowers?
    I mostly shop at the flower market in Downtown LA but am obsessed with the floral arrangements by Bloom and Plume - they’re stunning. Neighborhood wise I love The Last Book Store and Dunes is my newest obsession. I could eat there daily! 

    Can you share more about the work + activation you'll have at the Space 15 Twenty pop-up?
    For me it’s all about graphic design. It’s a reflection of my profession and passion merging. I love design and feel so blessed to do it but just like any career you start to think “what’s next?” but I don’t want to do that; I’d rather carry it into my next vision. This space is my attempt to bring these worlds together and also introduce Los Angeles to LENITA. 
    Do you have any other projects up your sleeve right now?
    I’m wrapping up two books with David LaChapelle, who is an amazing artist and person. ‘Lost + Found’ and ‘Good News’ are to be released this fall by Taschen and it’s been the most surreal experience in my career. I just can’t wait to see how people will react to it. 

    Where do you see LENITA going for the future?
    I have so many plans for the future of LENITA but honestly as long as people continue to support and show their love, the sky is the limit.

    Check out more details on the LENITA Pop-up here