The ToyShop Home Offices of Chris Lee

The ToyShop Home Offices of Chris Lee

Gregory Han
Oct 1, 2010

Lifework continues their interview series with the artists behind the Design for You painted Eames rockers. Here's Christopher Lee, a graphic artist with a penchant for toys and organized chaos.

How long have you worked in your current studio? And where is it? I left my job last October to work as a full-time freelance illustrator. My studio is the second bedroom in the townhouse that I rent.

Describe your style? How would you define your aesthetic? I experiment with a lot of different styles and don't really feel bound by just one. My favorite style to work in usually mixes handmade textural qualities, muted color palettes, simple characters and type. I would describe my aesthetic as minimal but with whimsical undertones.

As an artist how do you keep your space organized? I'm thinking here of the physical space but also your computer. Are there any particular programs you find really useful? I shove all of my paperwork under the rug! I actually wish I had more formal places for things. My closet is fairly messy but all of my pens, paper, packing supplies and other various things I use on a daily basis are close at hand. Actually my whole office is organized chaos because I like to fill my space with as much inspiration as possible. It's a little messy in that regard but I have a whole house that I can keep clean. In regards to my computer, I find FontExplorer X Pro invaluable for organizing my fonts. I've tried other programs in the past, but this one takes the cake for me.

Tell me about the experience of painting the Eames chair? How much prep did you have to do? What inspired the final design? Painting the Eames chair presented a bunch of different challenges for me. This was the first time I've ever painted anything. That was was probably the biggest hurdle for me to get over. I sketched the piece first and then brought it into Illustrator where I planned the colors and finalized the composition. I printed out the illustration and started mixing colors and writing down the ratios so that when it came time to painting the actual chair I could focus on just the painting part. I was inspired by the idea of a shepherd in nature. An entity of sorts that guides and oversees all that is living.

What inspires you? I really dig the mid-century modern furniture and architecture. There was just so much design history during that period. I'm also a fan of this DIY "Etsy" movement that is influencing a lot of things these days. My girlfriend is always a constant inspiration along with our Boston Terrier, Ponzu.

What would you change about your workspace if you could? I wish I had more space. Everything is pretty cozy at the moment.

What do you most love about your space? I love my vintage 80's/early 90's toy collection. The corner that my desk is situated in is my own little nostalgic retreat. If I'm feeling stressed all I have to do is glance at something and I'm transported back to 1989.

Originally published at Lifework by Cerentha Harris

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