Red Hook, Brooklyn, NY
What do you do?
Ghost design for large fashion, bridal, and interior brands, consult on sustainable local production, create new colors and colorful products and run my company which makes healing colors and products from all natural materials. Occasionally when I get a script I like in my hands I’ll do costume design. For fun, I paint, dye and color things, ride in my boat, or hang out with my dog and cool dude!
How long have you been doing what you do? Why did you start?
It all began when I began. I would break out of my crib to finger paint on the bathroom mirror while they thought I was napping I’m told. It wasn’t a conscious decision to begin — I just began. I didn’t even realize it, as for years I was searching for what I was supposed to be doing before I realized I was already doing it.
Where is your favorite place to go for inspiration and why?
I don’t really intentionally return to places for inspiration, but I do return to people. For me, inspiration is more often stumbled upon in unlikely places and situations I find myself in. Traveling to new places and surrounding myself with amazing people generally brings it about.
Who are your favorite people to collaborate with and what does collaboration bring to your work?
Kaelen and I have been working together a few times a year since she started her brand. I think collaborating with her, for me, is the most personal. It’s fun — like dreaming with a friend. It always brings about something neither one of us could have created alone, and most of our time is spent creating alone, so that’s always exciting. She’s in the CFDA incubator right now — so proud of her.
Pamela Love and I have been working together since 2008 on various projects. She’s one of my favorite people and best friends, and she’s married to my bud from my hometown — it’s like family. I haven’t had a family member I could create with until now. We’ve made dresses, scarves, tops, styled shoots and are now making our first short movie together along with Skye Parrott and Hans Longo .
Do you have any rituals or practices that help you get into the creative zone?
Reiki, starting a fire, boiling water, distilling roses, putting on my painting jumpsuit and entering my yard in the snow to work.
If you could collaborate with anyone in the world (living or dead), who would it be and what would you do together?
In fashion, I would love to collaborate with Celine, Chanel, YSL, The Row and Honor at the moment. In building and design, I would love to collaborate with Roman and Williams. In the automotive industry, I would love to collaborate with Tesla. I want to redesign the inside of a plane — dye it, color it, and make it amazing.
What’s been your career highlight?
Discovering new, eco ways to produce fabric from cellulose plant fibers, algae-based edible paints, etc. This year, I’m engineering waterproofing, antifungal, and paint for the world’s first biodegradable and sustainable mushroom buildings. I turned pulverized rocks and a padauk wood tincture into color for three different structures — one 40ft building with surrounding swimming pools at MOMA PS1, a demo wall inside of the MOMA lobby, and another for a building conference in Las Vegas. I was at MAD food symposium last August in Copenhagen and Paola Antonelli of the MOMA got up to speak about forward-thinking and used my work as an example. She then called out my name and everyone applauded — that was a pretty good highlight.
What’s the most memorable dream you’ve had recently?
At the beach over Christmas and New Years I was having repeat nautical crime-fighting dreams that were ending with people getting stabbed. In some I was killed, and in others I did the killing. Only for my protection — not out of rage in any way. In all of them we all looked fabulous in our sailor pants, striped shirts, tiny hats and neckerchiefs. Super weird…I’m a totally peaceful person with no stabbing urges or fantasies whatsoever. Whenever I eat late, I have crazy vivid dreams. If I drink mugwort before going to bed I have a lot more controlled, lucid dreams.
Where are your favorite places to eat, drink, visit, or hang out in your city?
I love eating cavatelli with sage brown butter, the shaved brussel sprout salad, and the prunes and marscapone at Frankies 457. I think that’s my biggest repeat offense in the last 10 years as far as my eating habits go. I drink Stumptown Coffee made at home or from Cafe Pedlar everyday. I recently went to Momofuku KO on Extra Place — it was awesome!! I cook a lot so I shop at the Gowanus Whole Foods. In addition to having awesome flowers that I buy and dry to use in my paints and dyes, they stock my obsessions — Harmless Harvest coconut water and Turmeric ALIVE !
What’s something that you haven’t experienced yet that you want to?
Go to the robot nightclub in Tokyo while eating a gold foil dipped chocolate ice cream in a wafer cone.
Tell us a secret.
My new, all-natural kids product line is launching soon! I just finished working on a movie with Sam Shepard and Mireille Enos called You Were Never Here. It’s a psychological thriller in the vain of rear window. In post production now — I can’t wait to see it.