Monday, April 6, 2009

Where you go, I will follow...

I am a big singer/songwriter fan as most of you know. Carole King, she's the epitomy of the genre. Tapestry was my first album and still my most played. I normally don't advocate people following a crowd, really I'm not doing that now. I just want you to follow the passion. None listed here are without a passion for their work, for their art. Each walks their own path. So in that way, please follow their lead by finding your own path and inspiring us all. Some have made it, some are on their way up, one is already a legend historically.  When I first started in design I was admonished that I was only as good as those who would produce my work. I never forgot that. To this day, I still visit each and every provider personally. 

It is such a compulsion, even my mail/package guy Ash is the best mail guy around. In his shop he is so detailed oriented he often repackages my things and changes the shipper to be sure nothing breaks and I get the best price. I once had to get a package to my son during his travels for the Army. He had a one day stop in a city. Ash walked the package through, confirmed pickup. Then called me the next day to tell me that they delivered it three hours early. The package was picked up by a neighbor and gave me the neighbor's name. He then called back to ensure when my son got in the neighbor handed it over. That's passion.

So here goes Aprils list of inspiration.

Focus: Wood

Inspiration postings are running late this month. Here's some to look forward to. Finally caught up with Steve Ballenger from Zepsa after meeting him in New York. 
I was impressed with the woodwork then. Now, after being in their shop, nothing will every fully meet my expectations. I actually saw the makings of a yacht. The bar was the size of my whole kitchen. Perfection each step of the construction process, so perfect I'm sorry I can't show you all their trade secrets.  Just a tease, just a sample. But enough to enjoy. Never a nail head, never a hint of putty, chip or splinter. No visible means of attachment to any surface. Stairs that float, defying gravity. Designed to impress, designed for posterity.

Focus: Iron
Then there is Stewart Hallman. Stewart's business: Hallman Fabrications is not just an ordinary metalsmith studio. From large steel supports for buildings to intricate railings for churches and restaurants. He is one of the magicians I call on  make my work happen. Here with his assistant Ryan Ingram.
 Always on the cutting edge, but low key by far. Stewart has never shirked at my drawings, always adds his creative touch  just grins and tells me he'll figure a way. Check out the loop on my website to see a scribble of a bench I did onsite and the bench being delivered (sans wood seat). What you see them sitting on is a new machine made just for cutting out details like the lions head  you saw or anything you can think of actually. If you want to make him smile, ask him about riding his "bikes".

Focus: Letter Arts***New FLASH***read on to see...
Ahh, can't miss Jen Grove. Jen is an illustrator and calligrapher; her work will be on display for the events running up to the Kentucky Derby. 
She illustrated a horse and I have shots of the works in progress.  Her work will speak for itself. She actually was a bit shy of letting me use her non pro pictures-her words. She said the lettering isn't that good, that's why she took the pictures at a distance. Really, she is so funny. I dare any of you to letter a carousel horse by hand and see what you come up with. This is just eye candy.

***This just in, Jen was one of the merit finalists in Gallopalooza. Big Congrats, check all the artists' works out at the Kentucky Derby.***

Focus: History
Going old school, Jan Vermeer's was a master painter, but also a master designer. Known for his use of light, his paintings just draw you in by the precise placement of every stroke. He always had a focal point. In some paintings you can even see the pin mark of the vanishing point directly on the canvas.  If you are a student and want to learn the art of lighting and placement this is the master. If you are a pro, then just take it all in and be rejuvenated. If you want a bit of escapism and a fictionalized film of a moment of his life check out " A girl with a pearl earring".

Focus: Trendsetters
Ian Schrager's Hotels. I love The Gramercy Park Hotel in New York. Mainly because the hotel not only fits the ambiance of New York, but also adds its own personality to the city's vibe. That is saying a lot for city like New York. The inspiration for the recent wave of upgrades to traditional hotels, he recently joined with Marriott for his own signature line of hotels called 

When it comes to the culture vibe of a city, I want to see character.  With Shrager going with Marriott, we won't be getting a Gramercy Park type hotel in our city, but we can have a taste without going the route of generica.

Simply said, we are overwhelmed with generica in design. Though there is some comfort in knowing no matter where I travel, I can find a McDonald's. Best fries in the world. 

Ian Schrager leads the way and I for one don't mind following. 

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