Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Happy Chic

On Tuesday night, I attended a lecture at the Corcoran Gallery of Art given by potter and designer Jonathan Adler. I've admired his work for several years and was excited to learn more about his creative process and inspiration.

He was unpretentious and unabashedly passionate about his work and his great life. (Which he attributes to "luck, luck, luck, luck, luck, and patience.") He had such great humor and joy that I didn't mind that he sometimes spoke like an Internet-obsessed teenage girl. (Words like cas, biz, pics, internets, hi-larious, preggers, and breaky instead of breakfast. Yes, I took notes.)

He talked about his love of pottery, how he started, interior design, his business, and more. He also showed photos of some of his work and talked about the pieces and interiors. Here are a few of my favorite things from the lecture and Q&A session:

On criticism:
I try to tune out outside noise and follow my heart. 

On his business:
I say yes to everything.

On design:
Good design -- and what I strive for -- is something that is uncovered rather than created.

In design and decorating the most important things are comfort and joy. 

On his style:
Eccentricity is fantastic and glamour always.

On his pottery:
The idea was to make them look perfect.

On needlepoint:
I have an obsession with waspy, country club style from the sixties.

On his husband, Simon Doonan:
He's a genius and just the best person who ever lived. 

On why he turned his formal living room into a room with a ping pong table:
There's no TV, what is anyone going to do in it? 

I tend to have pre-conceived notions about certain creatives, especially artists and interior designers. I loved that he wanted his pottery to look like it's machine-made, because he wanted them to look perfect. And that he doesn't think interiors should be stuffy or formal. (That's pretty obvious when you look at his work, but it was still nice to hear.)

Someone in the audience asked if he found his business expansion to be limiting to his creative process and he said if anything his success has inspired him to create more. (He also has a president who handles the actual business of the business, so I'm sure that helps, but is also nice that he's not good at everything.) I liked that no matter what, he's still so committed to his art and the creation of "aggressively eccentric" and glamorous design.

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