I had the good fortune to meet Paola Thomas of MirrorMirror over the weekend, and subsequently was invited to attend The Lab, a brand-new design community get-together she helped put together with John Tusher, owner of Velocity Art and Design. I expected it to be interesting, but found it to be nothing short of inspiring.
The Lab was inspired by Grace Bonney of Design*Sponge, whose Biz Ladies Meetups were “the catalyst for realizing how necessary creative gatherings such as The Lab are to the vitality of our design community,” says Tusher. He envisions the monthly events as places where everyone who is creative, from interior designers to collage artists to cheesemakers, can meet, share ideas, socialize, and find new outlets for their art and new inspirations for their businesses.
John Tusher introduces Matte Stephens to the crowd at The Lab, held at the Velocity Art and Design store in Seattle’s South Lake Union.
Click the link for more photos, inspiration, and information on attending the next event. –Mary T.
Stephens’ sheer determination has led to both work and friendships. He first contacted Tusher in 2001, only to have his art rejected. After Stephens worked for years to finesse his style (“I wanted my art to be design,” he says) Velocity began carrying his work, and Tusher became both friend and mentor. Such determination has also played out on a personal scale: getting up the nerve to make a phone call to one of his idols led to Stephens’ friendship with iconic designer Irving Harper.
Stephens, who mixes his own colors, told the crowd, “Red and black mixed together make the weirdest brown in the world. And I like it.”
Following a Q&A session with Stephens, the energetic Lab crowd lingered past the official end time of 8 p.m. Here Amanda Kindregan, whose art Stephens collects, laughs with his wife Vivienne.
Paola Thomas with printmaker Bradford aka “Uncle Beefy.“