"I was born and raised the son of two psychiatrists (kinda explains a lot?) in New Haven, CT. I have lived in NYC since my undergrad days at Columbia University. After that I went to film school, designed t-shirt graphics for a resortwear company, was a room-service waiter at a posh hotel, designed garden products for Martha Stewart, and finally went back to school for Industrial Design at RISD. I love Star Trek (The Original Series), the Grateful Dead, Barack Obama, and cats (I own two - Oliver & Daisy)."
How or why did you start working dimensionally?
Not sure when it started, but I should probably credit art teachers in kindergarten as well as my mom, who always encouraged my artistic endeavors. The above image is a recent drawing of a kindergarten art project that coincidentally involved using recycled products.
What or who has influenced the way you work?
Tibor Kalman, the late, great graphic designer was a huge influence on me - I had the pleasure of being his personal assistant for a summer. His best two lessons: 1. Simplify, simplify, simplify. Then, just when you think your design is as simple as it can possibly be, make it even one step MORE simple. 2. As a designer, look for opportunities with the minimum number of assholes between you and your audience/consumers.
Please describe your working process.
When I'm working with garbage, I will collect stuff even if I have no idea what to do with it. But I try to keep it on view in my apartment, and let its presence slowly inspire me. I kept a junk bicycle in my bedroom for several weeks before one day it dawned on me how to make it into a functional stool (image below). Besides that, I like to wait until a couple of days before something is due - deadlines really get my adrenaline and inspiration moving! :)
What do you enjoy most / least about working dimensionally?
I love it when my 3D creations work from several angles - i.e. a sculpture that one can walk 360 degress around and always find interesting. That's sometimes how I know whether a garbage flower will work or not - if I have to worry about which way the leaf is pointing, it's probably not such a great garbage flower to begin with. And I love forgetting all my troubles as I engage in an aesthetic/design exercise. Joy. Enjoy least?...hmmm - finding space in my apartment to build stuff - it's impossible! Guess I need a studio.
Eric Lewis - Garbage Flowers
All images and content © Eric Lewis