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Pasadena Vendor Spotlight: CLAU

How would you describe your style?  
I like designs that clean, simple, functional, with a touch of asymmetry, detail and or color.  The products that I create represent this type of sensibility. I also feel the aesthetic in my designs are not dissimilar to wabi-sabi. 

(wabi-sabi aesthetic include asymmetry, asperity (roughness or irregularity), simplicity, economy, austerity, modesty, intimacy, and appreciation of the ingenuous integrity of natural objects and processes.)

Are there any artists / designers that you particularly look up to?
I look up to Naoto Fukasawa and Dieter Rams. I love the classic, timeless look and functions of their designs.

What do you feel makes your work unique and truly your own? 
Since my products are handcrafted, each piece will be inherently unique and different from one another.  Coming from a product design background, I keep the user in mind. I make sure that the product first serves a function, as well as balancing the design so its fashionable and not purely utilitarian. An example would be my signature k(not), which adds a simple, but fun and distinct detail to my designs. Another subtle design detail that I do, is  the thread detail that appears on the corner of my bags, wallets, and cases. Playful design choices such as a pop of color, as with the threads in the k(not) key hooks and key clasps are yet another element of my personal style. It's these details that reflect my personality and my sensibility as a designer.  

What sort of things inspire you?  Where do you look for inspiration?
I look at everything! I can get inspiration from a wide spectrum, anywhere and anything in between being out in nature, to a visit to the hardware store. It can be something as a simple branch that has a unique kink and bark coloration. Some of the best designs and color harmonies happen in nature. Where as something like a small brass rivet opens up ideas on how I can use it as accent piece to showcase the brass finish, like adding brass buttons to the card cases and wallets.

What is your creative process like?
My head is always brewing up ideas. Whether I'm out an about, exploring new coffee shops or relaxing at home reading or watching something. There's no specific time when creativity happens, it organically happens whenever I get inspired by something or sometimes it's just out of the blue. I just make sure I keep an open mind about everything so I don't close any doors on something that can potentially become a good idea. Once I get an idea though, I make sure I document it as soon as I can. If it's some tangible that inspires me, I'll take a photo. If it's a design idea, I'll do a quick sketch, but sometimes I'll jump straight into mocking it up it as a prototype. There are no rules with creativity.

Shop CLAU at this weekend's Jackalope Art & Craft Fair at Central Park in Pasadena!