MEET THE ARTISTS:
WHERE DID YOU GROW UP: I grew up in a small town called Momence, Illinois and then we moved to Chicago when I was 17.
Momence is the quintessential small town. It had one tiny grocery store in town, a small town newspaper and a ‘main street’ that was a constant flow of 16-year-old dudes cruising back and forth with their windows down looking for.. I don’t know what, trouble, their soon-to-be-wives? The town itself is a square mile in size and surrounded by 20 miles of cornfields. Chicago, obviously, is the complete opposite. I owe my not knowing anything about pop culture to the cornfields around our house - though I’m not that great of a conversationalist at parties, I can get down on some stargazing, cornfield walking and laying in the grass.
WHEN DID YOU FIRST BECOME INTERESTED IN SET DESIGN + PHOTOGRAPHY: This is a funny question for me because I’ve always had these things around me. My dad was a woodworker and I grew up restoring homes with him, we then opened an antique store and I quit high school to do the business with him - finding furniture, restoring furniture, finding the history of all things. I also was always interested in photography at the same time. I was the yearbook/newspaper photographer at my high school, I worked at a photography studio when I was 17 and ran the photo labs during college. For some reason, after school, I tried my hand at set design and didn’t start taking photos in a commercial arena until a few years ago after working alongside some pretty great photographers for years.
WHAT INSPIRES YOU: Architecture, art history, color, walking, reading, and my partner, Sean.
DO YOU HAVE A FAVORITE SET YOU’VE BUILT OR IMAGE THAT YOU'VE TAKEN: Yes, of course. My favorite project was for the Fleet Foxes world tour. Sean and I designed the sets and background projections for 23 songs. It’s one thing to make a set for a billboard, but to make moving images for 20,000 people to view while listening to their favorite band is INSANE.
Photographically - it would be the co-creation project I did with Dropbox. It was the quickest job I have ever done. I designed the sets in 2 days...so it just was exactly what was in my head, and we made an incredible image together. With the added ‘floating people’ (rigged on wires by the stunt guy from Batman) the image became my dream of dreams.
WHAT ARE ONE OR TWO OF YOUR FAVORITE MOMENTS FROM PAST SHOOTS: Every time I walk into the shop and see my team building sets. There’s nothing I love more than seeing these sets being made by my friends. It feels like the woodshop I grew up in.
Also, when we had a pink horse on our Aizone shoot in a set that I designed that was 30 inches on the far end and 18 feet tall on the front end...it was so so amazing.
IF YOU WEREN'T A SET DESIGNER/PHOTOGRAPHER WHAT WOULD YOU BE DOING INSTEAD: Definitely architectural preservation.
WHO ARE YOUR FAVORITE HISTORICAL FIGURES: Ray and Charles Eames.
WHAT SONG GETS STUCK IN YOUR HEAD MOST OFTEN: Call Your Girlfriend by Robyn.
WHAT IS YOUR SPIRIT ANIMAL: I don’t know but I always try to figure it out...it’s either a dolphin, a skunk or a yellow cat.
IF YOU COULD ONLY EAT ONE FOOD FOR THE REST OF YOUR LIFE, WHAT WOULD IT BE: Chocolate chip cookies...if they didn’t make my stomach hurt.
WHAT IS THE ONE ITEM OF CLOTHING THAT YOU WEAR MOST OFTEN: High waisted pants since 2006.
WHAT WOULD THE TITLE OF YOUR AUTOBIOGRAPHY BE: "Not a Knot"
WHAT IS THE HARDEST THING YOU'VE EVER DONE: Grow up.
WHEN'S THE LAST TIME YOU LAUGHED SO HARD IT HURT: At Christmas with my family in a cabin in Denver playing board games.
WHAT IS YOUR SECRET TALENT: Choosing paint colors.
WHAT IS YOUR GO TO DANCE MOVE: Arm wave squiggle.
WHAT IS THE STRANGEST THING IN YOUR REFRIGERATOR: Some sweet potatoes from Thanksgiving :/
WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE WAY TO UNWIND AFTER A BUSY DAY: Smoke a joint and take a bubble bath.