i’m so excited to share this
How did you get started in your career as a lighting and furniture designer?
I have always been designing, for as long as I can remember. Growing up in a small town in Ohio, I was lucky to have good public school art programs and teachers. My work often was very conceptual and functional. And It was encouraged. After a brief moment in an Art school at Kent State University, I moved to Los Angeles and was immediately ushered into the world of commercial film, where I found an outlet for art. This world was an inspiration for me. I created sculptures: gold plated carts, rabbit fur sandbags, Arri 2c cameras made of ten-year collection of camera tape. C-stand lamps and stools, paintings woven from miles of stolen raw stock film with vignettes directly from my experiences there. Directors and producers soon took notice of my interest towards art and design and I began finding and designing pieces for their homes. A gallery here in Los Angeles discovered some of the lighting, furniture, and paintings I was making for these homes and started selling them. What was a silent, obsessive, “hobby” — fast became a “career”.
What kinds of things do you design?
I design and hand make furniture, lighting, and decor as sculpture for the home. My intention is that these pieces occupy space as both art and furniture and I feel successful when you cannot tell the difference.
Are you doing what you always imagined you’d be doing?
Yes. From my youngest memory, I always wanted to be making and creating art. With my hands and my heart. From the inside out.
What part of your job would we find most surprising?
Maybe that I do most or nearly all of it myself. The designing and then making. The wiring, painting, powder coating, finishing — the driving around this town for materials, the pickups and drop-offs. The PR, The photography — Installs. I even used to do all the “books” — financials, invoicing. But I have since been gifted the Incredible Toby — She keeps me in line these days.
How would you describe your design aesthetic?
I don’t feel I am attached to any specific genre aesthetically. It is Silhouette I am most drawn too in a specific piece. How it occupies space. It can be so impactful, creating romance or whimsy. Be nostalgic. Evoke a scent, or remind a song. Create Environment and mood. Tell a story. A poem. Cause catastrophe — A room can have all of this. And for my needs too. I think I design with that in mind. I hope that what I make creates a feeling. Sometimes a smile. Often that it is polarizing. Creates tension. A disagreement. An asymmetrical balance. I wish it to live in any ‘aesthetic” — either as a secret. Or as the “elephant in the room”.
How does someone visit your showroom, is it open to the public?
What’s the easiest way for you to find inspiration?
I am constantly inspired. I am a true believer that inspiration comes from the inside out. I think when I am balanced, at my best ‘self’. When I am listening and acting and creating from a guttural response. I am inundated with thoughts and ideas — a busy mind. And I am grateful for it — It is me and Everything around me.
If you had to select the perfect soundtrack for being your most creative, do you have a musician, album or genre you’d recommend?
It surprises people that I like to work in silence, But music is beyond important to me. Again mood and tone of an environment. I listen to so much different music. I create endless “playlists” I grew up in the time of “mixed tapes” they were novels in my young life. If I had to commit to just one that can combine the beauty and joy and melancholy and saddens that is the catalyst for at least a moment of creativity. I would say
What are some of your favorite instagram feeds?
Who’s your favorite artist or the last great exhibit you saw?
I have so many. Painters, mostly sculptors.
What is the best advice you’ve ever received?
I love the Arthur Ashe, quote: “ Start where you are. Use what you have. Do what you can.”. I find myself silently repeating that.
Do you have any tips for small business owners?
I’ll take some? My advice is to see more sunrises.
What does success mean to you?
I have always had such trouble with that word success but I understand its importance as a question. Success has come in growth. I had to grow to see it. There have been moments of pride in accomplishment, from putting together entire showcases of all my work, selling that work, success in money from time to time, sales that change the game giving me more opportunity to create bigger and better more realized pieces. Success in accolade, moments when peers show interest and support. But the most successful experiences come when I see an impact I make on my son directly related to who I am. And what I am trying to be as a teacher for him. He is polite, empathetic and kind and when I see him conscientiously practicing this with others, this is success to me.
Who would you like to sit down to drinks or ‘dangerous tea’ with?
I Smile. When I was a young man maybe 13 or 14 my art teacher had a poster: “100 ways to be an artist” and I think #2 was invite someone dangerous to tea. “Enough said” I read no further. Anyone, Everyone. There is so much I can learn from someone. There are contemporary artists around me, in Los Angeles, artists like Stephen Kenn and Marry Little. Our conversations are fuel. And are often geared towards encouraging each other, and towards some sort of “good’ we can do for a community with the skills we may have to offer. “Dangerous Tea” is a conversation and it is “play” with peers who I admire. Who encourage and challenge. I don’t like to use the word inspire — It is to EVOKE. Light fires. Build temples. Write poems. I hope in this time we get to be here, creating, and following the passions of our hearts, we can cross paths, listen, drink tea, force hard truths, and nearly regretful dares. And find the unlikeliest of strangers who become fast friends or forever soulmates.
What is your idea of a perfect day?
This question makes me think of my last day. Alive I mean — In a good way. A perfect day would be An acknowledgment and a silent bow between all those who were the closest in the time I was here. “Human skin has been equally hard and joyful to live in, all is forgiven, I carry the best of our time together.”
Any favorite secret spots we should know about?
Secret spots. So many categories. I have my hunting spots, dining, and late night hauntings. But art, I always take people I love, from out of town, to the top of