Q: How did you start making art?
A: I’ve been enamored with creating things for as long as I can remember. I spent my childhood coloring, painting, and making collages, and as I got older I became interested in the digital mediums that I would see on TV and school computers. For my 13th birthday, my parents gave me a small, lime green point-and-shoot camera which became permanently strapped around my wrist. From backyard photoshoots with my sister to making short films, I began to figure out what types of art moved and motivated me, and learned how I could create the things I was seeing in the world around me.
Q: What does "being creative" mean to you?
A: To me, “being creative” means finding a way to show others your individual perspective of the world. Each one of us sees our surroundings differently; we observe based on what we have learned to appreciate, our personal values, our likes and dislikes, etc., so no two people will view the same thing the same way. Creativity is using various mediums to tell a story, to allow others to share in your interests and values, and help the world experience something in a new way.
Q: What is your most important tool?
A: My camera, of course!
Q: What would be your dream job?
A: Honestly, what I’m doing right now is pretty close to what I’ve always dreamed of. Growing up, I constantly went back and forth about what I wanted to do, but the one thing that stayed consistent was my love of telling stories. Today, I’m double-dipping into two jobs – working as an exhibit graphic designer at Children’s Museum of Pittsburgh, and running my own photography business. I split my time between creating visual experiences that allow children to see, play with, and learn from their favorite storybook characters, and capturing some of life’s biggest events for its recipients to look back on forever. Through everything I do, I am constantly surrounded by people who are having the time of their lives, and if that isn’t the dream, then I don’t know what is.
Q: Describe your first reaction to the piece of furniture.
A: The first thing that caught my eye with the piece was the color – I think people tend to think of office furniture as basic and relatively unexciting, but this chair was bright and bold. From the vibrant, textured fabric, to the modern, sleek edges, I immediately loved how this chair could liven up any room in an instant.
Q: Is furniture art?
A: Absolutely! Just like any other visual medium, furniture tells a story. The main purpose of a couch may be comfort, but the color, fabric quality, and height of the armrests can be the difference between a room feeling modern and minimal, or cozy and lived-in. Like all art, there’s no one way to make a piece of furniture – careful thought and plenty of time go into both the process of creation, and the choice of the consumer, and often times the tiniest details make all the difference.
Q: How do you think art influences design of furniture and vice versa?
A: Whether we are talking about large scale paintings, animated films, or area rugs, all art is influenced by society. People curate their lives to their exact tastes, and often those tastes come from what is popular, as well as what is accessible. People work to surround themselves with a style that excites them, and so I think furniture is often reflective of art that people enjoy. Vice versa, art is reflective of what people naturally fill their lives with, so everything can flow together seamlessly.
Q: What are some of the most inspiring things happening in design today?
A: As someone who loves visual imagery, I find some of the most inspiring design can currently be found in magazines and on social media. Independent printed works like Kinfolk and Cereal both contain gorgeous visuals and act as works of art when stacked on coffee tables. Branding and curation on social media is a huge, and incredibly accessible source of inspiration for many, whether it be from a trendy accessory shop to a minimal lifestyle blog. Some of my favorites at the moment include Ban.do, Cottage Hill, Everlane, and P. F. Candle Co.
Q: What is the best piece of advice you've been given?
A: The best piece of advice I’ve ever been given is to know your why. As creatives, we all have our ups and downs – instants of pure motivation and drive, and then the mirror of which is feeling lost and uninspired. In those moments adrift, if we have a solid reason for doing what we do – not the money, or the attention, or the finished products – but something that keeps us going in the long haul, we will come out thriving.