A Conversation with Interior Designer Susanna Salk

A Conversation with Interior Designer Susanna Salk

Interior design expert, home stager, author and stylist Susanna Salk stepped away from her busy life of touring homes, both nationally and internationally, for her Quintessence video series to answer some of my questions about design. Join us for a conversation on inspiration, the process of transforming a home, and how Susanna would design her dream getaway cabin. Gary Komarin: What got you interested in design? Was it always in your blood? Susanna Salk: I dreamed of growing up and becoming a powerful woman who created sexy advertising campaigns in glossy magazines. My first job out of college happened to be at Condé Nast International helping head up the New York satellite office for all their international shelter magazines. From their Elle Decor and then House and Garden and onto my own design work so it was more like a transfusion. Gary Komarin: If you had a perfect client, how would you describe that client? Susanna Salk: Someone who can inspire me as equally as they can stay open to being inspired. Someone who can be fearless, honest and funny. Gary Komarin: As you do design projects on television, as well as books, how would you compare the two experiences? Does one feed or ‘speak’ to the other, or is it an apples and grapes comparison? Susanna Salk: If you love what you do and are open to anything, then all mediums – not to mention the people you meet along the way – start cross pollinate each other continually. Gary Komarin: What do you do with a client who likes your idea initially, but shows resistance overtime? Do...
Questions from the Studio – Conversation with Barry Blitt

Questions from the Studio – Conversation with Barry Blitt

Illustrator and Cartoonist Barry Blitt may be best known for his New Yorker covers, but his hidden talent lies in answering questions. I’m sure you’ll find yourself laughing, as I did, over anecdotes from childhood classroom caricatures, the stress of deadlines and the unexpected drawing created while half asleep that put an end to his quest for nighttime inspiration. Gary Komarin: Did you draw a lot as a kid and does that inform what you draw now? Barry Blitt: I sure did draw a lot as a kid. Cartoon characters, hockey players, rock stars. But what probably resonates most with my work today was the mocking caricatures of my school teachers that I scribbled secretly at my desk, for the amusement of my classmates. It may have been Mrs. Herschkopf back then, and Donald Trump today, but the objective was the same. Gary Komarin: How do you get inside the “character” or personality of who you are drawing. Do you need to get “inside” or can you work from the “outside” as it were? Barry Blitt: Um. I’m not particularly psychological in my portraiture (but thanks for asking). Sometimes I just need enough of a likeness to know that the figure is, say, Hillary Clinton, and not Wolf Blitzer. You don’t have to deal with seeing inside the characters in my cartoons, for good or for ill. Gary Komarin: Do you ever struggle to get a certain Face or Body just right………and what do you do if it isn’t working? Barry Blitt: I recently was so frustrated at deadline time with a likeness I couldn’t capture that I actually traced a...
Questions From The Studio – A Conversation with DJ Carey

Questions From The Studio – A Conversation with DJ Carey

DJ Carey and I connected last November for The Art Issue of Connecticut Cottages & Gardens. She was gracious enough to give me some insight into the ups and downs of being the editorial director of a top design magazine.    Gary Komarin: How did you arrive at Connecticut Cottages & Gardens? DJ Carey: In 2004 I was a field scout for Meredith and a stylist working in Connecticut and knew many CT architects who recommended me to Newel Turner, Editorial Director at Cottages & Gardens, for the position of Editor in chief for the soon to be launched Connecticut Cottages & Gardens. Gary Komarin: Were you born with an editorial state of mind? In other words, do you have the organizational gene? Do you need that as editorial director? DJ Carey: I didn’t ever dream or think about being in publishing I literally fell into it! After college, with a degree in anthropology and geography and looking for a job, there was nothing in my field. So my mother, a college professor, suggested I go to Katherine Gibbs and learn how to type and get my foot in the door. After a two-month course at Katherine Gibbs I was sent on an interview at Condé Nast for an entry-level job and the rest is history! I am very organized, which comes in handy when I am putting together an issue or a photo shoot, but I do have to thank both of my parents who gave me skills that I use every day in my position – my mother being the anthropologist taught me to pull back and observe and...
Questions from the Studio: A Conversation with Young Huh

Questions from the Studio: A Conversation with Young Huh

I was lucky enough to get some time to speak with the very busy designer Young Huh, recently named one of Vogue’s Young Interior Designers on the Rise in 2015, about the design process, seeing decor through the eyes of her clients and her dream of a getaway cabin in the woods.   Gary Komarin: What got you interested in design? Was it always in your blood? Young Huh: I suppose the love was always there. When I was a small child, all play involved house and home whether it was building little dioramas in shoeboxes or building “log cabins” with sticks in the woods. It wasn’t until after I had completed law school that I realized that I needed to have a creative career and then changed direction. Gary Komarin: If you had a perfect client, how would you describe that client? Young Huh: The perfect client knows what she wants and then lets me do it. Gary Komarin: As you do design projects on television, as well as books, how would you compare the two experiences? Does one feed or ‘speak’ to the other, or is it in apples and grapes comparison? Young Huh: On television, you see space and you move through space whereas in print, you only see the two dimensional image. This affects how you style something to look good on television versus print. For print, you really have to move everything for particular camera angles, whereas I think you can relax more for TV because you aren’t confined to one shot. Gary Komarin: What do you do with a client who likes your...
Questions from the Studio: A Conversation with Harry Moses

Questions from the Studio: A Conversation with Harry Moses

I connected with documentary filmmaker Harry Moses recently, here are some excerpts from our conversation about producing the television show 60 Minutes, the importance of editing in documentary films and why he continues to make documentaries. Gary Komarin: What brought you to 60 Minutes? Harry Moses: I had produced a film for Motorola on the Family Crisis Intervention Unit of the Oakland, CA police department. I screened the film for Don Hewitt, the executive producer of 60 Minutes, who ran it and later hired me, with a huge assist from Mike Wallace, whom I’d never met but who liked my work. Mike became my mentor and was a father figure to me, but that’s another story. Gary Komarin: What qualities does a top producer of a news show need to produce the most excellent programs? Harry Moses: Curiosity. Creativity. Determination. Critical acumen. Not yielding to one’s own biases. Gary Komarin: Were you involved in the editing process of 60 Minutes segments? Harry Moses: Editing is where every film is made, particularly documentaries, where there is no script to follow. I was and am totally involved in the editing, sometimes going through 15 cuts of a story before I show it to anyone else. Gary Komarin: What How did growing up in New York City prepare you, if it did, for your work as a producer?  Harry Moses: New York City has more energy and more vitality per square inch than any other place I’ve been. If my youth was spent on a farm in rural Kansas, I doubt I’d be doing what I’m doing. Gary Komarin: You did a very...