ADDRESS Interview with Sean David Carter.
Define your craft in 3 sentences or less. After 25 years of running a design studio I’ve decided to take my personal paintings – a thing I did as some form of cathartic therapy and launch them at Address. I see it as taking the lessons I’ve learned in the trenches of design and flipping them into an expressive and typographic painting style featuring the names of Vancouver streets. I believe there is a direct connection from the place where we live and work and the resulting creative outcomes.
Describe your creative process. I paint as an emotional and gutteral response to the rigours and discipline that the field of design dictates. I design for an intended outcome or transaction yet I paint simply because I can. It is entirely the process of working with paint and letting the outcome determine itself that inspires me. And as much as I want to park my design instincts when I paint I cannot. Design thinking gets into my brush and my arm and controls it. Most of my paintings have been painted over 4 to 5 times simply because I am never fully content with the outcome. The paintings blur the line between art and design.
Where do you find inspiration when experiencing a creative block? Walking in Vancouver neighbourhoods. The muffled sounds, the soft energy, the certain muted greyness but with spikes of vibrant colour, that certain ‘Vancouver-ness’ that is so hard to capture in paint.
What advice would you give to young designers / makers / artists / creatives aspiring to make it in their field? Accept the fact that you will always feel like a hack and imposter. My mother used to say that I would fake it until I make it. And I think that’s pretty much what I did. Know that the learning curve needs to be steep. Know that you need to be uncomfortable to produce meaningful work. Stay hungry even after you eat.
What’s your dream project? The one I am currently working on – whatever that might be.
What art / design trends are you excited about? I’ve always tried to work against trends – at least in my design practice. I prefer to zig while the trend is to zag.