Entries Tagged as 'Interview'

10 Questions with Chelsea Maier

Nov 14, 2014

(0 comments)

Chelsea Maier is the uber-talented mind behind In Plan View, a young and blossoming company which seeks to make our dining tables extra beautiful! Her obsession with textiles has stirred her to create a collection of ‘brightly-coloured, textured and patterned everythings’ right here in Winnipeg. She is also the mother of Summer Skin Clothing, the sister company to In Plan View. When she’s not busy creating her own things, she’s teaching art to kids at the Artful Owl studio. She shows so much passion in her work and has so much love for Winnipeg. She might be leaving us for BC in the new year but she will certainly continue to inspire us wherever she may be. Lucky for her (and you), EQ3 has something in the works in response to her final answer – that will be revealed soon!

 

 

Nina Quark: Which room in your home is your favourite to spend time?

 

Chelsea Maier: Bedroom. Or specifically- the bed area within the bedroom. I think a bed is an open canvas for your style to be achieved via what you choose for linens, throws, pillow styles, and the frame itself. It’s where comfort and design meet best without apologies. Next to the bed is my favourite piece of furniture- a bedside table. I have had everything from an upside down milk cart, to stools, to more conventional bedside tables. A bedside table is my favourite corner of the bedroom because it houses all of lifes best goodies- books stacked high, lamps, plants, fresh flowers, water at night, coffee in the morning, photographs, art…  a sketchbook in case you can’t fall asleep because of ideas…

 

 

NQ: What was the highlight of your summer?

 

CM: This summer was wild! I don’t think I was in the same place for two days at a time. Highlight had to be wandering around the streets of Vancouver in the sun and thinking ‘In the New Year this will be our new home’.

 

In Plan View

 

NQ: What are you most looking forward to with winter approaching?

 

CM: Seeing what magic the locals cook up for us this season. When I first moved here I thought you ‘Peggers would hibernate or something while winter was in full force. It’s the exact opposite. So many things happen because Winnipegers look at winter as an opportunity. I’m excited to see the new warming huts. I’m excited to see the renderings of the new Raw:Almond come to life, I’m excited to explore all the new restaurants opening up, I’m looking forward to a skate or five on the river trail. The expressions on peoples faces as they rip down the frozen river on skates in the open air? Pure joy. Winter here is priceless, if you surrender yourself to it, if you make it your friend.

 

 

NQ: What was the most inspirational thing to happen in your week?

 

CM: Right now I teach 9 art classes at a local childrens art studio. It inspires me on the daily. This week I asked a group of girls in one of my classes to finish the sentence ‘When I make art I feel…’ and one of the girls wrote: ‘When I make art I feel: happy and confident. Excited like I could make art forever. I feel like I could be an artist’. I think I’m going to frame it.

 

In Plan View

 

NQ: With many new local spots to dine, is there one in particular which really impressed you?

 

CM: Well, I’m currently writing this at ‘The Store Next Door’ which just opened its doors on Monday, by the owners of Chew (on Corydon). I’m sitting at one of two large handmade wooden tables, they have a raw wood farmhouse door separating the bakery/cafe/store from the restaurant, their baked goods look picture perfect, they have take home meals and homemade sauces packaged in mason jars, and I just had the best bowl of potato salad of my life. It just has great vibes. I’m moving in.

 

 

NQ: If you could choose any natural environment to view outside of your window, what would it be?

 

CM: The Ocean. Or a Mountain. And/or both. Aka the view out my grandma’s kitchen window.

 

In Plan View

 

NQ: Which musical artist has most recently earned your admiration?

 

CM: Adam Cohen! His new album is beautiful. ‘We Go Home’ is so so beautiful. I am seeing him perform at the West End Cultural center in November. Hopefully I don’t cry like when I saw his father, Leonard Cohen perform two April’s ago. Music is so powerful.

 

 

NQ: Who do you look up to and why?

 

CM: One person?! Right now there are so many people around me that inspire me daily and are doing so many great things out in the world. I will have to claim that it is one of my best girlfriends from Winnipeg, who recently picked up her life and moved to Toronto on a whim, taking major risks all in the name of adventure. It is the first time she’s moved away from home, lived on her own, had to start from scratch to find a job etc. But all of that aside, the conversations we have had about her experiences of establishing herself in a brand new city are so inspiring. I think they have total crossover into the design field. I believe that learning and exploring a new city can be such a catalyst to the design process, and for rapid change, improvement, observations, and motivations. You know that feeling when you buy a brand new sketchbook, and you flip through all it’s crisp, blank white pages? I think moving to a brand new city is exactly like that- the perfect mix of pressure and anxiety, of opportunity and potential. I’m really proud of the first few marks she’s made in that new book.

 

In Plan View

 

NQ: What movie are you most anxious to see (new or old)?

 

CM: I decided today I need to brush up on two movies: Mary Poppins, and The Sound of Music. I watched those when I was so young, I want to explore them as an adult now. You know, just me, a glass of wine, and do re mi fa so la ti do!

 

 

NQ: What is one product you would love to see added to the EQ3 line?

 

CM: EQ3 + In Plan View haha… Tough question though! EQ3 has a wonderfully curated, well rounded collection. I am totally coveting everything that has the option of being built with white marble (your end tables, dining room table, cheese board, etc). Thinking back, I really liked your collaboration with artists for pillow cases, notebooks and tote bags. Carrying feature art prints that are printed and ready to hang would be really phenomenal. Everybody needs more art on their walls!

Krisjanis Kaktins-Gorsline

Oct 25, 2014

(0 comments)

Krisjanis Kaktins-Gorsline is an artist living and working in Winnipeg MB.  He paints wonderfully layered, complex paintings.  His work is the kind that gives a lot.

 

He studied fine arts at the University of MB and went on to do his MFA at Columbia (graduating in 2008).  He has painted for most of his life. Since his first solo show in 2006 he has shown works across North America – most recently at Actual Gallery in Winnipeg MB.

 

This most recent show, aptly titled Fruit on Black, was an overwhelming representation of his work.  The show featured a pseudo-sculptural component, walls stenciled on site and an interactive QR code that led to a beautiful image of Martha, the world’s last passenger pigeon that was hidden in the basement of the gallery.  This decisive randomness was grounded by solid, beautiful paintings.

 

fruit on black 2

 

Fruit on Black confirmed my preconceived notion that Kaktins-Gorsline’s paintings are amoung some of the best AND most interesting being created today.

 

wall 1

 

In addition to the sparkly resume and insane talent, Kaktins-Gorsline is also a really nice and funny guy who is one of the best people to talk to at a party.   Examples of said funny-ness can be seen below as responses to questions I recently asked…

 

Madi – Where did you grow up?
Krisjanis – I was born in Winnipeg but moved to Brandon when I was about 6 or 7. We lived in the North End of Winnipeg but our particular area was on the decline.  I think my mom wanted to live in a safer place while we were growing up so we moved to Brandon.  With the exception of one year spent in Halifax, I lived there until I came back to Winnipeg for University in 2001.

 

M – Where is home // how do you define home –physical space or a feeling?
K – I’m not sure that I’ve ever really tried to define home per se. I think it ends up being a bit of both.  It seems like the two kind of map onto each other. If you spend a certain amount of time someplace you are bound to have feelings for it.  At this point I’ve lived in Winnipeg so long that it just feels like its in my bones.

 

M – Describe your work
K – Sweet sweet paintings.

 

fruit-script(joy_production) 1

 

M – Over the years that you’ve been focused on creating, what have been your biggest influences?
K – Oh there are so many at this point.  And they are always changing. I’ve never had an “art hero” really.  I just end up stealing little bits and bobs from all over the place and then somehow they synthesize into what I make.  Honestly the only constant thing I could really point to would be nature, but that just seems like a given.  You’d have to be a real jerk not to be inspired by nature.

 

M – How do you envision people will interact with your work? Perceive it?  // or do you want to control their perceptions?  Has the desire to control/shape perceptions changed over time or stayed consistent?
K – I’m not really interested in controlling people’s perceptions per se.  I just think about my own perception and trust that there will be people who might share that perception.  But often other people’s takes on the work are just as interesting as anything I might have intended.  I think that the real art of artworks sort of hovers somewhere between the work and the person looking at it.  The objects are really just there as a prompts for thought, so the viewer is the one who completes the work really.  Its more of a co-production.

 

M – I know you live in Winnipeg now – how does this place affect your work? Or does it?
K – … I often think about this, but have never come up with a great answer.  I’m not sure that my work really has that kind of direct relationship to the city right now.  Some of the earlier work was directly about the history of the city but most of the recent work would just have a more ambient relationship.  I’m sure that so many years of winters here must have left some kind of traumatic trace on my work.

 

Martha - re-sized

 

M – I wonder if it has become taboo to think of Winnipeg as just a place to live, we’re always encouraged to point out the idiosyncrasies of this place as some sort of a justification for being here.  Do you feel that way? And/or do you feel that there is something truly special about the city?
K – A lot of cities deal with this sort of thing. There is always a tension between the local and the global. Local idiosyncrasies are what makes a place interesting and unique but that can also slip into a kind of myopic provincialism. But there is a flip side to that where a lot of what is imported is a kind of generic globalism, so people feel like Winnipeg is cosmopolitan because we have an H&M at the mall or whatever. I think real cosmopolitanism has something to do with being able to see the unique differences in a specific place but also being able to think about them in relation to a larger global sphere.  I think the environmental movement really nails it when they say “act locally, think globally”.  There is tons of amazing culture in Winnipeg, but often Winnipeg is the last to recognize it.

 

M – How does teaching affect your work? 
K – I really like teaching.  Teaching makes me have to constantly reconsider what art is and how its made.  I try to approach teaching in a more symmetrical way, so that the students are defining the direction of their work as much as I am. For me, the ideal classroom is a space of experimentation and investigation where everyone, including me, is exploring the possibilities of what art is, rather than just reproducing the conventions of art.  I think this is the real potential of education.  Otherwise it just becomes a space of indoctrination rather than innovation.  The students are so smart and talented that my job is really more about facilitating the space for them to take responsibility for their work and develop their practices.  The up shot of this is that often I am learning as much as the students are.

 

fruit-script(network_libido)_4

 

M – I find process-based questions to be super hard to answer because often times when I am designing something everything happens really fast and my “process” changes.  That being said, please humour me, and describe your process if you can…
K – I’ve never really thought of myself as having a signature process. Actually I would say that my work ends up largely being about designing a certain process for making a body of work just to undermine it with the next body of work. Often I think I’m trying to torture myself.  It’s just that I’m more interested in creativity than style really.  I’m not that interested in locking down what I do as much as I am figuring out what I could do.  So often it becomes a weird game of getting in my own way and undermining my own habits to keep things interesting.

 

M – Do you need specific working conditions, or are you flexible?  How much energy do you pull from the environment or people around you?
K – I do like to work alone a lot, and that can be really productive, but its also great to have people around.  I think the studios I’m in now are perfect because I can work alone when I want but if I’m bored I can walk down the hall and bug someone. More and more lately I’ve been interested in working on collaborative projects with other people just to mix things up.  It starts to feel pretty anti-social being alone in a studio all the time.  Often you can end up feeling like a shady vampire type. Working on this new show I was able to hire friends to work with me in the studio so it was actually quite lively.  I had a friend do a couple of DJ sets while we worked.  That was pretty great! Any working condition is improved by judicious cuts of Todd Terje and Floating Points.

 

fruit_script(jaune_brillant) 3

 

M – Your show at Actual gallery (which was AMAZING) just came down.  How did it feel showing in Winnipeg (where you currently live)?  Did you feel differently than you do when your work is shown in other cities? 
K – This show was actually the first solo show I’ve ever had in Winnipeg. Showing in Winnipeg was quite different.  More nerve racking. Usually I just go to another city for a week, stay in a hotel and then leave soon after the opening happens.  Its often a whirlwind of meeting new people, setting up, going out, etc, and then I split. Showing in Winnipeg actually felt a lot more like having a show for my family or something.  I mean, my family literally went, but I also basically know most people in the art scene here so it’s really just a bunch of friends at the show. But somehow that actually made me more nervous.

 

M – What is your typical email send off?
K – I think for the last while I’ve been in a bit of an email send off crisis. It’s good to have a go to email send off, but it can seem a little insincere. Unless your send off is “Sincerely…”, I guess.  Best! All the best! Cheers! Adios! Toot-a-loo! xoxo! Whatever.

 

Our Hands–Theresita

Oct 21, 2014

Comments Off

Our Hands will be a recurring series of hand portraits and questions with the intention of illustrating the people that help build our products. Furthermore, this body of work is quite personal. It embodies properties that I speak about in my own art practice which are about the new immigrant experience and their adaptation to life in Winnipeg. Currently my focus is on the wave of tailors and seamstresses that came to work in Winnipeg’s flourishing garment industry in the late 1960’s and early 70’s.

 

Theresita

HandPortraits_001-Theresita

 

5 Questions with Theresita

 

Charles – How long have you been a seamstress?

Theresita – I have been a seamstress for 14 years.

C – What is your job title?

T – Sewing machine operator.

C – In 5 words or less describe what you do with your hands all day?

T – Sew and hold fabric.

C – What makes your hands unique?

T – My manicure.

C – Would you change anything about your hands?

T – Nothing.

C – What is your favourite thing to hold.

T – My face.

10 Questions with Arren Williams

Aug 14, 2014

Comments Off

Here at EQ3, we’ve decided to change it up! Each new interview will pose questions which we hope reveal something interesting or quirky about someone we admire. This month we’re featuring Arren Williams, the Creative Director, Home at Hudson’s Bay. (You can also shop EQ3 galleries at The Bay!) We’re aiming to inspire whether that takes form through food, books, travel, etc.. Questions and answers will be kept brief and each new interview will include a photograph taken by our feature someone!

 

View from Arren's desk, including a fresh espresso!

View from Arren’s desk, including a fresh espresso!

 

EQ3  What is your current obsession?

 

ARREN WILLIAMS  I live my life constantly design obsessed, but right now I’m very into craft beer, and always enjoy hunting down a local brew whenever I travel.

 

 

EQ3  What has been your drink of choice this summer?

 

AW  Other than beer, I have a bit of a thing for ice cold dry rosé.

 

 

EQ3  What was the last meal that wowed you?

 

AW  Açorda de Marisco, eaten in a little dockside restaurant in Olhão, southern Portugal. It’s a seafood stew made with bread, and it totally blew my socks off.

 

 

EQ3  In your opinion, what is the most essential coffee table book?

 

AW  I have a vintage Terence Conran ‘The House Book’ from 1974 that came off of a very stylish aunt’s bookshelf. That’s definitely a favourite.

 

 

EQ3  One lesson that changed your outlook on design?

 

AW  Stopping worrying about what other people will think.

 

 

EQ3  A room is never complete without ____________?

 

AW  In my case, a black and white Whippet named Spot.

 

 

EQ3  If you could only see the world in three colours, what three colours would they be and why?

 

AW  That is possibly the most bizarre question I have ever been asked. To be honest, I never limit myself when it comes to colour!

 

 

EQ3  Name the most inspirational place you’ve ever travelled to or would like to travel to.

 

AW  India. I’ve been a couple of times for work, but would love the chance to travel around the country.

 

 

EQ3  What is the most played song in your music library?

 

AW  We actually have a record player at home, so the other day Haircut One Hundred’s album, Pelican West, was on repeat. It took me back to my, ahem, younger days…

 

 

EQ3  What is THE conversation piece in your own home?

 

AW  It’s probably a toss-up between a vintage clown painting on our gallery wall and our rather obnoxiously loud, and heavily patterned, sofa.

 

 

Interview: Sam Grawe from Herman Miller

Jun 23, 2014

Comments Off

We’ve referenced WHY, Herman Miller’s online essay series, a number of times on the blog. Through a collection of stories, interviews and videos, the essay series invites readers to discover why Herman Miller does what they do. Herman Miller has managed to make WHY playful, yet meaty – publishing a 4,000 word essay that doesn’t feel daunting, and a 108 second video that covers 108 years of design history.

 

Curious about the work that goes into developing these stories, we interviewed Sam Grawe, Editorial Director at Herman Miller, and the man behind the WHY series. Grawe has been interested in design since a young boy. In college, he studied art and architectural history, and it was there that he learned about 20th century design. Grawe went on to be the Editor-in-Chief of the popular architecture publication Dwell Magazine. After 11 years with the magazine, Grawe began working for Herman Miller, first as a consultant, and then as the full-time Editorial Director.

 

It comes as no surprise that he’s a modernist at heart, with Eames, Nelson and Girard topping his list of personal design heroes.

 

WHY-2

Cover designs of Herman Miller’s WHY publication (print)

 

EQ3  What prompted you to move from consulting to working full-time with Herman Miller?

 

SAM GRAWE  There are very few truly design driven companies in the world, no less the United States, and Herman Miller has one of the most storied histories of design with Nelson, Eames, and Girard. All are longstanding personal heroes of mine, especially Nelson and Girard, with Nelson having been a magazine editor prior to being a furniture designer and working as the Creative Director at Herman Miller. I think it was the opportunity to work with such an incredible legacy, and to think about how to communicate that today.

 

In addition to that, just being a part of an organization that is really dedicated to problem solving design, and what that means in the 21st Century and moving forward.

 

 

EQ3  Have you always had an interest in design? Do you have a specific background in it, or is it something that has just come naturally to you?

 

SG  Actually, if I go back to my youth, I think I was pretty obsessed with Lego. Whether it was my parents telling me, or whether it was myself learning about it, I always thought I was going to be an architect. I studied architecture and architectural history, and I ended up ultimately studying art history. But, as I was studying art history, I got a little bit of 20th Century design history too.

 

Then I moved to the Bay Area in the late 90s and I became more and more interested in industrial design and furniture design. I knew that I wanted to work somehow in design. I was thinking at that time that I would go back to school for a design degree, but I ended up working for a guy named Bruce Burdick, who actually did the Burdick Table for Herman Miller in the early 80s. I worked for Bruce for probably 2 years in San Francisco, and then I started at Dwell (Magazine) in 2000, right after the first issue had been published.

 

Obviously, I had an amazing education at Dwell – eleven years there – and great exposure to contemporary architecture and to contemporary design. I had the opportunity to meet so many people and be exposed to so much. That was one of the great pleasures of that job.

 

LO_Covers-2

The Living Office is Herman Miller’s framework for understanding the future of office design.

 

OffDoc-2

 

EQ3  Now, in your role at Herman Miller, what does a typical day look like for you as the Editorial Director.

 

SG  I don’t know if there is a typical day, but I am involved in a lot of different projects. I am in charge of all of the writing, but I am also in charge of my own editorial projects.

 

I also work really heavily with the brand design team that consists of all of the designers internally doing our spaces, our graphics and our digital work. “How are we conveying the messages that Herman Miller should be conveying? And, what medium are we going to use to convey it best?” And then, “How are we going to bring it to life?”

 

I’ve also been really heavily involved in the core team that has put together Living Office, which is the framework for Herman Miller’s understanding of the future of office design and work. I think anyone would tell you, at Herman Miller, that we’re kind of a meeting-based culture. There are a lot of cross-functional teams, and things happen in a pretty organic way amongst those teams.

 

 

EQ3  You mentioned about the variety of mediums that you work with. Is there a particular medium that you find most gratifying to work with?

 

SG  I think there is something, ultimately, always satisfying about print. It’s sort of finite. You can hold it in your hands, and it’s an object. Once you’re done, it’s done.

 

On the other hand, right now I have sort of an unabashed love for Instagram. I think Instagram is, for me, probably the most satisfying of social media, from both from a personal standpoint and I think we’ve been having a lot of fun with the Herman Miller Instagram account, as well. But it’s just because it’s visual, and in a way it feels less promotional than some other formats.

 

WHY_UncommonVision_21-2

“Alexander Girard: An Uncommon Vision” pop up celebrating first archival re-introductions of Girard’s furniture and screen printed fabric panels (New York Design Week, May 2014)

 

WHY_UncommonVision_10-(2)-2

 

EQ3  Do any particular projects, then, standout in your mind as a favourite?

 

SG  I’d have to say the recent work that we did with the pop-up showcase for Alexander Girard in New York.

 

I’ve always had a supreme passion for Alexander Girard, since a friend of mine introduced me, in probably 2001, to his work. It was less known than Nelson and Eames, at that time. In a lot of ways, his work was more ephemeral. He did textiles, and he did restaurant interiors and office interiors. Those are the kind of things that get changed or go away. I think, also, he did so much work that until you start digging, you don’t really realize that he was such a polymath and really did do everything. But when you start to discover his world, it’s just kind of amazing. It’s this endless trove of treasure.

 

In some ways it’s unfair to just put a table by him into the world, especially to a world that doesn’t know him as well as Eames or Nelson, without giving more context to what he accomplished in his lifetime.

 

 

EQ3  We’ve talked about the WHY series a fair bit on our blog and we really love it! We’re curious how this particular essay series developed because it’s a slightly different twist on a blog.

 

SG  My colleagues Steve Frykholmand Clark Malcom did a magazine called “See” in the mid 2000s, which was this beautiful high production value magazine that I think they did a total of 6 issues for, back in the day. They were just re-launching a new magazine called WHY, and that was one of the first projects that I worked on. We’ve done 3 print issues of WHY.

 

The idea is “Why does Herman Miller do the things that we do?” If there’s not a strong why, there’s kind of no point in doing it. And that’s, definitely, very much the ethos of how we approach things at Herman Miller – from our products, to our marketing, to everything. We want stuff to very much have purpose, and WHY is really the mechanism for bringing that conversation to life, whether it’s in print or it’s on social media, or in digital format. We launched last July online and I think we’ve produced something in the order of 35 stories in the last year.

 

Eras-2

 

EQ3  Where do the ideas for stories come from? Where do you draw inspiration from?

 

SG  We work in a somewhat programmatic way with the marketing organization, so we base what we are doing on WHY with what the business is doing at the base level.

 

I’ve been able to bring in some great folk – my colleagues Amber Bravo and Everett Pelayo – that have a really good sense for editorial and for how to bring a story to life. Then we’ll take what is happening in the world of Herman Miller and we have editorial meetings. It’s a process almost like at any magazine. You have pitch meetings and you have creative meetings, and you sit around and you shoot around ideas. The one that kind of hits the nail on the head, or gets closest to it, is the one you pursue. But again, it comes back to “What’s the best way to bring this content to life.” We’re not married to any one approach. So sometimes it might be a video, sometimes it might be a photo essay, sometimes it might be a 2000 word interview.

 

 

Image Source: All photographs courtesy of Herman Miller

Shop EQ3.com For Modern Furniture and Accessories