Zen Genius http://zengenius.com
1.What do you see through windows?
I see a long history of retail and creative entertainment dating back to the 1800′s. I see windows and I think about the years of connections made between the shoppers and stores. I see the essence of the store’s image or their current focus.
2. What gets your attention in a window display?
A window with a great concept, captivating story, clever use of materials/textures and effective use of color and lighting will always grab my attention. I also love to be caught
off guard and shocked by a window.
3. What feelings are evoked when you gaze into a styled window display?
Awe and amazement. I love being moved by a great window that makes me think: “How on Earth did they do that?”
4. Describe your most memorable window display moment?
My most memorable window display moment was when my partner spotted me while I was working in a Victoria’s Secret window. Our eyes met through the glass.
5. When was the last time a window inspired you to go into a retail store?
Neighborhood furniture stores in Long Beach, CA. A well placed mid-century modern furniture set featured in the window… it drew me right in.
6. Did you always want to work in the world of window display or was it an accidental career choice?
Window display was a bit of an accident for me. I did not know there was a career opportunity in a creative field like window display and a friend explained it to me when we were walking by a department store. I knew instantly that I wanted to be in visual display.
7. What was your first job that involved retail window display?
My first visual job was at Lazarus Department store in Cincinnati, Ohio. I was on the selling floor and did not realize that I wasn’t supposed to change the displays in my department. Luckily the visual manager, Marianne Twist, reprimanded me and then told me about a temporary holiday position in the Visual Department. My first window display was for Ralph Lauren and I made rosettes out of the socks and did a fall color run of polo shirts. This was in the eighties right before they started boarding up and painting store windows.
8. How much of the creative work you do is part of your social life?
I’m always thinking and looking for inspiration…whether I’m shopping, on vacation, watching TV or seeing a concert or show…. I just can’t turn it off. It’s always fun to observe, react and brainstorm creative work when you are with your friends! Some of the best people I’ve met in my life are Visual people who always know how to have fun and push the creative envelope.
9. Who or what inspires you in your work?
I’m reading a biography on Frank L Baum the author of the Wizard of Oz and the Founder of VMSD (Shop Window Magazine). The fact that Baum was a merchandiser in the 1880′s, an avid fan of Window Display and that he wrote some of the most memorable and visually exciting stories ever is pretty f***ing cool. I just read that his Tin Man was inspired by a display window for a hardware store….body from a washboard, stove pipe limbs, a frying pan face and a funnel for a hat. Love that!
10. What is your wildest dream for a window display?
My wildest dream would be to create a window display where the “Snozberries taste like snozberries” and people are encouraged to lick the windows. I guess that could get pretty gross after awhile and it may be unsanitary too. But… it’s a dream, right?
23 October 2011
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