Archive for the ‘Live, Work, Create.’ Category

How’s the Wevther?

Wednesday, December 19th, 2012


Archimedes, had his famous eureka moment while taking a hot bath. For Jacob Heftmann, it was a hot shower. While trying to figure out what he was going to wear after showering, Heftmann came up with the idea for, a stylish and smartly minimal site that offers up fashion inspiration depending on the weather outside. Heftmann created the algorithm and design himself, and despite the site only launching recently, it has already garnered praise and coverage from Swiss Miss to Refinery 29, and has even attracted a few resumes from those eager to work on the new project.

Heftmann’s studio/apartment in the heart of Bushwick is not unlike his website – it is tasteful, spacious, well-curated, but also approachable. It’s orderliness however belies the insane amount of work coming out of the space. Juggling the newfound attention to with Heftmann’s demanding client work can be especially challenging at times when there’s an overwhelming urge to work all the time when your studio is ten feet from the shower. To keep a balance between work and play, Heftmann often throws dinner parties at his ten seat table, and makes a concentrated effort to meet clients and collaborators at coffeeshops, or in our case, for a short walk around the neighborhood to shoot photographs and answer a couple of questions right outside the Morgan train stop.

What led you on the path to becoming a Graphic Designer?

I actually studied philosophy and art history at the University of California – Santa Barbara. I spent half of the year traveling and competing as a sponsored snowboarder, and in the summer and fall I would take 20 units worth of classes so I could graduate on time. I had no idea what I wanted to do when I was in school. After I graduated I realized it was going to be hard to get by on degrees in philosophy and art history. I came from a very art and design conscious family so design just sort of happened on its own. I’ve always been interested in technology and when I started to see the potential of design in that context, I knew what I wanted to do. That was around 2007. I was frustrated by my choice of degrees at first but in retrospect I’ve come to appreciate their value; philosophy taught me how to think and art history taught me how to see, which are good tools for a designer.

What are your inspirations for your creative activities?

I’m dubious about the idea of trying to force inspiration. The best ideas come from a combination of seemingly unrelated concepts, and that has to happen organically. To borrow from Chuck Close, you have to kind of just show up and get to work.

The closest you can get is to put yourself in the right situations. I almost always have a camera with me. It reminds me to keep my eyes open, rather than just floating along. I try to travel three to four months out of the year, which is a big part of why I work for myself. It sounds pretentious, but I can’t stand glamorous travel. Traveling is the best way to learn if you allow yourself to be in uncomfortable situations.

One thing I try not to do is look at what’s happening in graphic design, especially digital. It makes for derivative work. I follow it, of course, but I’m more interested in other disciplines, like architecture, photography and science.

Can’t decide what to wear today? Visit, or view more of Jacob Heftmann’s work at his website.

The Model Musician

Thursday, November 1st, 2012

If you recognize this Brooklyn musician, it’s because you’ve probably seen him in our Fall shoot in Redhook. We caught up with Sean Wood at his home which doubles as his studio in Bushwick, where the JMZ train roars along between takes right outside of his window.

What do you do? I am a musician – songwriter, singer, performer. I play the violin, piano, guitar and create programmed beats.

Tell us about your creative workspace and how you work in it? My workspace is in my bedroom in Bushwick. I have all of my instruments, mics, midi controllers, plug-ins, etc. in my personal space. It can be a little confusing at times knowing when to focus on sleep, and when to focus on “work”, but the intimacy and proximity to my own personal space I have found, can be a good thing in terms of efficiency :)

What are you inspired by? I’m inspired by a myriad of things. Love, loss, joy, sillyness, family, friends, cheaters, haters, lovers. I have way too many musical inspirations to name off.

How do you “Live, Work, Create?” When i think of this motto, I think about staying true to myself and my motivation in what I love to do, which is music. So I guess I “Live, Work, Create” everyday. I wake up thinking about music and my family and how to love people better, and how to be happier. I go throughout my day with this and I hustle, hustle, hustle. It’s the New York way. I will always be living, working, and creating music – for myself, my community, and for my sanity.

Shop The Arthur Sherpa Shawl Collar Jacket

Listen to Sean Wood’s music here, and check out the release party for his new record Sudden Love at Rockwood Music Hall in NYC on November 18th, 9pm.

Catching Up with Documentary Photographer Bess Adler

Tuesday, October 2nd, 2012


Bess Adler, braving the elements in the Alexander Wool Toggle Duffle Coat, the Alma Sheer Utility Pocket Blouse, Matinee Fine Checkered Shorts

Bess Adler’s white and gold bike and 5 pound bag always catches our eyes when she rides by. We caught up with her and wanted to know what catches her eye. Turns out it’s been a pretty wide range of subjects from the competitive world of American bodybuilding to the building of Ubuntu Blox Factory in Port-au-Prince. As a documentary photographer, she currently is exploring alternative approaches to sustainable living with a family who has created their home inside a gutted school bus which runs on vegetable oil.

“My work is driven by a curiosity to capture subjects who invite me into unfamiliar worlds which is why I try to travel as much as possible. I am extremely appreciative of the learning process that my personal projects have taken me through and I’m always excited to tell these stories.”

Within her ever growing body of work, we were especially inspired by her photojournalist work seen in some our favorite Brooklyn newspapers.

Outside her Greenpoint studio in the Charm Neck Tie Pullover and Mavi Denim

“I love shooting for newspapers because of the vast diversity in assignments. My day could bring me anywhere from photographing a new restaurant in Red Hook to documenting Brooklyn’s last working seltzer factory in Canarsie”

Having grown up in Midwood and now based in Greenpoint, navigating the borough to get from one assignment to another for this Brooklyn native is an easy task, made even easier with her single speed Trek District 3 which has not only become her standard form of transportation but also a source of inspiration.

“Riding is just relaxing – it lets me clear my head after one assignment so that I can focus on the work ahead. Also ideas will always pop into my head as I am visually taking in the landscape.”

But her favorite way to relax is Thursday night tastings at Dandelion Wine on Franklin Street.

“It’s a great community activity and I always say yes to delicious wine and cheese. The only times I don’t go is when I have a lot of editing that needs to be done. Then I bring my laptop to Troost and order a beet sandwich with iced tea. I guess it’s a win win situation.”

Adler, relaxing on her couch and mini gallery, with the Lace Applique Pullover and Ornament Lace Pencil Skirt

See Bess’ work at


Live, Work, Create. A New Tumblr

Thursday, September 27th, 2012

One of our favorite new projects we’ve been working on here in our studio and around Brooklyn is our new Tumblr: Live, Work, Create. Unlike most other Tumblrs that pull from other websites (something we don’t mind at all), LWC is comprised of content 100% produced by our design team. So pardon us if we’re a bit excited.

Artist Series: Lauren Bahr

Thursday, September 13th, 2012

Hailing from Houston Texas, Prop Stylist by day and all around Visual Artist Lauren Bahr  gives us a glimpse into her hectic schedule and how making Greenpoint, Brooklyn her home base has allowed her to Live, Work, Create.

“I’ve got a little studio room in my house, which I’m quite grateful for. My favorite way to work is to have people come over and do their projects while I do mine—sort of like an art collective vibe where I get to serve everybody tea or booze and we bounce ideas off of one another as we work.”

Aside from hosting her own informal artist salons, Lauren clues us in to her favorite down-time spot Troost. “It has top-notch coffee during the day, and at night it becomes this groovy, totally relaxed bar with great food until 11pm,” Bahr explained. Having a neighborhood go-to is a must when you’re building sets and propping shoots for the big names in print and fashion. With such a busy schedule, Lauren still finds the time to work on her own art and has landed two upcoming shows at Moma PS1 and Gallery/Project Space Envelope.

“This year I found myself transitioning from 2d to 3d; I’ve been really drawn to making sculptures that can exist on a wall. Without fail, it seems like I choose the long way of doing things; right now I’m hand making these 1/4” beads that will eventually combine to fill a very large tapestry. I could get my objects pre-made or order a custom fabrication; but I enjoy the hand-made process too immensely.”

Dalmation, 2012. Hand-dyed twine wrapped around a wooden frame


The Donna Belted Shirtdress

The Woodstock Anorak Coat

The Grand Snap Fleece

Photos 1&3 by Bess Adler 

See her work Sunday at the grand opening event of Gallery/Project Space Envelope, 164 Orchard Street, NYC, September 16th, 6-9pm. Lauren’s pieces will also be featured as part of the The Perfect Nothing Catalog and Andrés Jaque’s performance Ikea Disobedientsat P.S.1 MoMa, 22-24 Jackson Ave at 46th Ave, Long Island City, NY, Sundays September 16th and 23rd 2012, 3 – 5pm.

Get inspired by her awesome color coordinated inspired blog:

and purchase her rope sculptures at The Perfect Nothing Catalog

Building A Studio One Table at a Time

Wednesday, August 1st, 2012

The Lawrence Plaid Shirt

At 32 years old, Matthew Fairbank did not expect to be a boss. After working for a number of furniture design companies for six years, he had no capital, startup money, or game plan, just five pieces of furniture he had designed and constructed. Fairbank hauled those to the now defunct BKLYN DESIGNS show at St. Ann’s Warehouse in DUMBO, where small, local craftsmen could get their work in front of an audience. At the show, Fairbank was able to land a client, which led to another, then another, spending each project commission on a new piece of machinery. “I was making no money, basically borrowing from Peter to pay Paul,” Fairbank reminisced. Eventually, Fairbank’s long hours, hard work, and scrappiness afforded him the ability move out of his shared Williamsburg studio (similar to 3rd Ward in Bushwick), and graduate to his own studio in Greenpoint just four months ago.

Inside the designer’s studio

“When I was working for design firms, I missed the touching, making, and working in the wood shop like I had been doing at RISD (Rhode Island School of Design).  To be honest, I don’t want all this responsibility, but I’m very grateful to have it. My friends think it’s cool to be your own boss, but there have been times where I’ve had to wait weeks to pay myself because I’ve had to pay vendors or my employees,” Fairbanks hard work and sacrifice has most recently led him to signing on to a showroom at the New York Design Center in Manhattan, where potential clients can touch, see, and examine the surfaces and tight gaps of his handmade, custom furniture rather than trying to scrutinize them online.

As for his creative process, Fairbank’s describes it as amalgam of influence and inspiration. “There are a lot of artists who are sure of what they do and make, but I feel like the vast majority of artists don’t really know what they want to say when they are in the process of making something. I try and have an idea of things that I like, like Mid-Century Modern, Art Deco, super minimalist sculpture and architecture, but how all that stuff filters through my hands – I don’t know how it’s going to come out. Or maybe it’s something that influences me that isn’t in my field. Maybe it’s a different art form. Maybe it’s a material – something in nature. I’m a big fan of untampered with materials, and I also really love contrasts – shiny things next to rough materials. I hate decoration, but I love finding an old historical detail and making that detail the main feature of the piece. For example, for the Moellar Table that I built, I used the distinct shape of the Queen Anne leg and exaggerated the silhouette of the shape, but everything else about the table is sparse – it’s just about the leg.

left: Matthew’s favorite – the joinery cutting machine, right: The Moeller Table


To see more of Matthew Fairbank’s work, visit his