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Thursday
Apr242014

artist profile: brett whitacre

Where was your favorite place to live?
Chicago has been my favorite place to live. Plenty of discarded materials lining the alleyways.

What’s your favorite room in your home?
My studio, of course, but the kitchen is fun for inventing.

In your opinion, what is the best designed item of all time?
Shoes are amazing pieces. Where would we be without proper shoes?

What are your sources of inspiration?
Architecture, clothing, the human body, aviation, urban decay, advertising, ancient history.

What do you drive?
A van. Its optimal for me to be able to haul and move raw materials…plus my drum set and large paintings.

What one item do you wish you owned?
An airplane—I’m wild about aviation.

What are your interests outside of design?
I love making music and performing and have for many years. Also love to dumpster-dive and go to rummage sales.

Who are your design icons?
No one in specific. Structural engineers.

Form vs. function?
A good mix of both is healthy and ideal.

What is your personal decorating style?
Vintage meets ultra modern.

What’s your favorite possession?
My mind and my hands.

What was/is your biggest indulgence?
Going to the cinema.

Do you have one low budget decorating tip?
Support local artists for unique, original images for your home. Utilize thrift and salvage stores for frames and treasures.

What’s the best career advice you ever received? Ever gave?
In 2004, after completing one of my first paintings on glass, a friend said “Dude, you should make a lot of those!” 10 years later, those glass paintings support my art career. Advice I give to other artists: Be a master of 1 or 2 techniques—don’t spread your talent too thin.

To see all of Brett’s current works for CB2, go here.

Thursday
Feb272014

renegade handcrafted: BROOKLYNrehab

Where was your favorite place to live?
Brooklyn were I am now and have been for over 10 years.

What’s your favorite room in your home?
My living room with front balcony. It is a combination of new and vintage items. It can be whatever I need it to be. A space to relax. A space to entertain. A cozy perch to watch the interesting people in my neighborhood pass-by.

What do you drive?
My bike. It is the easiest way to get around the city and good exercise too.

What are your sources of inspiration?
Flea markets and travel. I love looking at the past and other cultures for inspiration.

Alyssa Zygmunt of BROOKLYNrehab What are your interests outside of design?
Good food. Nature. Biking. Exploring new places.

Who are you design icons?
John Pawson, Zaha Hadid, Eva Zeisel, AvroKO.

Form vs. function?
Why choose?

In your opinion, what is the best designed item of all time?
The egg.

What one item do you wish you owned?
Air Stream Trailer.

What is your personal decorating style?
Eclectic.

What’s your favorite possession?
A small anvil that once belonged to my Grandfather. I use it everyday and it reminds me that I come from a long line of makers.

What was/is your biggest indulgence?
Living in New York City, ever evolving mix of interesting people and emerging ideas.

Do you have one low budget decorating tip?
Buy similar objects in groups of three or more to create an instant collection. Flea markets and vintage stores are a great source. It can also be a goal for future treasure hunts as you expand the collection.

What’s the best career advice you ever received? Ever gave?
Received: Do what you love because you spend more time working than you do anything else. Gave: If you love what you do it does not feel like work!

cloud napkin holder round wood cheese board bulls eye coaster set flag serving board

To see the Renegade Craft Fair capsule collection for CB2, go here.

Thursday
Feb272014

renegade handcrafted: ryan kapp

Where was your favorite place to live?
I’ve only ever lived in Ohio and Chicago and I would have to say Chicago is my favorite by far. I once heard someone say that Chicago is a serious metropolis in the middle of nowhere. I really liked that assessment and I think it lends a certain dimensionality to the people who live here. If Chicago was like it is in the summer year-round, then it would be completely blown out. But we suffer through the winter every year because we love it here.

What’s your favorite room in your home?
My favorite room is the dining room. We have a huge book shelf in there with all my design books, LP’s and little objects that I love.

What are your sources of inspiration?
Anything that captures the right mood at the right time - it can be the weather, a certain type of light, a skateboard photo, a song, a memory.

What are your interests outside of design?
Skateboarding, music, travel, nature, sharks, Chicago Bulls.

Who are your design icons?
David Hockney, Alex Katz, Charley Harper, Chris Ware, Geoff McFetridge.

In your opinion, what is the best designed item of all time?
It would have to be the skateboard. It’s so simple but you can do so many different tricks with it. It’s also a blank canvas and all the fantastic graphics from the 80s were some of my first visual influences.

Ryan Kapp What do you drive?
2000 Honda Civic, manual transmission.

What one item do you wish you owned?
One of those mod hanging fireplace orbs.

Form vs. function?
Can I have it both ways?

What is your personal decorating style?
Mostly Mid-Century Modern with personal objects thrown in.

What’s your favorite possession?
My semi-auto screen printing press.

What was/is your biggest indulgence?
Donuts & vintage action figures.

Do you have one low budget decorating tip?
Do-it-yourself framing—order frames online at wholesale prices and put everything together yourself to save on labor and mark-ups.

What’s the best career advice you ever received? Ever gave?
Best advice received: Try to do whatever it is you want to do so well that the rest takes care of itself. Best advice given: Don’t make life harder than it already is.

french bulldog screen print shiba inu screen print

To see the Renegade Craft Fair capsule collection for CB2, go here.

Thursday
Feb272014

renegade handcrafted: iamhome

Sarah and Joseph Belknap of iamhome Where was your favorite place to live?
We love Chicago, it’s the most well rounded city we have lived in.

What’s your favorite room in your home?
The kitchen. We love to cook.

What are your interests outside of design?
We are practicing visual artists and love to cook, camp and play ping pong.

What are your sources of inspiration?
Color, science, humor and the cosmos.

What was/is your biggest indulgence?
Good food and cocktails.

What’s your favorite possession?
We have a small meteorite collection that is slowly growing into a big one.

What one item do you wish you owned?
We want a couch we haven’t had one in the past five years because we were rehabbing our living room. We have just finished the room but it is still couchless.

What is your personal decorating style?
Our home is pretty minimal it’s the complete opposite of our studio. We need a place to go to that is simple and peaceful.

Who are your design icons?
Coop Himmelblau and Ronan and Erwan Bouroullec.

Form vs. function?
We think they should go hand in hand.

In your opinion, what is the best designed item of all time?
The telescope.

What do you drive?
We drive a black Nissan pickup truck we lovingly named Starbuck after Battlestar Galatica.

Do you have one low budget decorating tip?
Keep it simple and only decorate with the things you truly love.

What’s the best career advice you ever received? Ever gave?
We received it and we pass it down: have fun… experiment without restraint… and if you stop loving it, don’t do it anymore.

fluorescent skull thumbs up trophy

To see the Renegade Craft Fair capsule collection for CB2, go here.

Thursday
Feb272014

renegade handcrafted: FoundRe

Raun Meyn of FoundRe Where was your favorite place to live?
After college, I lived in a converted attic space above an old Victorian in downtown Kansas City, Mo. The rent was cheap and the space was beautiful. It was hands down the coolest apartment I ever had. I wish I could import it to Chicago.

What’s your favorite room in your home?
When I’m at home I spend the majority of my time in the living room. Even though I watch a lot of Netflix, it’s also my creative space. I keep my bass guitars there and love to have private jam sessions. I also have a drafting table set up that I use to sketch furniture design ideas.

What are your sources of inspiration?
I’m definitely inspired by my surroundings. I’m constantly looking around. When driving, my wife is always yelling at me to keep my eyes on the road. I can’t help it, if I see an old beat up billboard or a dilapidated building I have to stare at it. I’m fascinated by the vague history being told with textures and subtle colors. I think it stems from growing up in the burbs where everything is so clean and well kept.

What are your interests outside of design?
I love collecting vintage things and hunting for antiques. I also play bass and drums and make music with friends whenever possible. Making spontaneous music with good people, who speak the same musical language, is one of the most gratifying feelings I know.

Who are your design icons?
Barney Bubbles is my all time favorite designer. He was a graphic designer and artist in the 60’s who made a living producing art for record albums. He did some really interesting things with not only the album covers, but also with incredibly detailed inserts and posters. His stuff really resonates with me.

In your opinion, what is the best designed item of all time?
That is an impossible question. I will say that I love all things vintage. I especially love old cars and motorcycles (60’s and 70’ era Harley’s make my eyes pop and my heart beat fast). I love old vans too, like the 1967 Corvair van. That thing looks like it’s cruising down the road, even when it’s sitting still.

What was/is your biggest indulgence?
I love dark roast coffee and medium to dark bodied beers like Ambers and Porters. I would say the coffee drinking is a straight up addiction, but sipping on a cold beer is more of a well-rounded indulgence.

What do you drive?
I have driven many things in my day—I have owned 14 cars, three mopeds, and two motorcycles since I was 16. Currently, I drive a 2005 cargo van that I use to haul lumber and furniture. Before that I had a 1974 Ford E-100 Chateau Club Wagon. That thing was beautiful! I loved it, but it hated hauling junk and I eventually had to trade it in (it was taking too much abuse). Now when I’m not driving the cargo van, I ride my 2004 Harley Sportster 1200. Weather permitting of course.

Do you have one low budget decorating tip?
I think one of the cheapest most impactful DIY tips is taking old black and white photos and having Kinko’s blow them up as big as they can enlarge. The pixilation starts to really add something to the image when you go really big. And you can find very interesting subject matter and good compositions by just digging through old photos at antique stores. You could also use family photos. If you really want to spice it up, have FoundRe make a killer frame for it out of one-of-a-kind salvaged wood.

What’s the best career advice you ever received? Ever gave?
The old cliché, “Do what you love and you’ll never work a day in your life,” speaks to me, along with the quote from famous fashion photographer Bill Cunningham, “If you don’t take money, they can’t tell you what to do—that’s the key to the whole thing.” I just think that’s brilliant; your career shouldn’t solely be about making money. Your career should have some semblance of passion behind it! We should all love what we do, even if it’s not our job. Having external interests and passions make life a much more interesting journey.

renew tall clock renew frames

To see the Renegade Craft Fair capsule collection for CB2, go here.