New York-based graphic de­signer Ju­lian Mon­tague shows us around his per­sonal home stu­dio

De­signer and il­lus­tra­tor Ju­lian Mon­tague sheds some nat­u­ral light on his per­sonal home stu­dio

Computer Arts - - Contents -

The stu­dio apart­ment where I live is lo­cated on the West Side of Buf­falo, New York state, a post-in­dus­trial city bor­der­ing Canada on the shore of Lake Erie. Most of the neigh­bour­hood con­sists of tightly spaced Vic­to­rian houses – one of which I used to live in be­fore down­siz­ing.

Buf­falo is lovely and, as I've al­ways used the same space for both my graphic de­sign and art prac­tices, I like be­ing able to work day or night without hav­ing to leave home. I can't func­tion cre­atively un­der ar­ti­fi­cial light­ing, so the nat­u­ral light I'm so reg­u­larly treated to here is ideal. I've been liv­ing here now for five years, and though I orig­i­nally planned it to be tem­po­rary, since meet­ing my wife it's worked out fine. The ba­sic lay­out has al­ways stayed the same, but a lot of the im­ages and ob­jects are swapped in and out. I of­ten need a lot of vis­ual in­spi­ra­tion around me, so I end up fill­ing the wall space with work I like and things I'm work­ing on. I want to be a min­i­mal­ist in in­te­rior de­sign, but in prac­tice I'm not.

My un­cle Stephen Mon­tague is a com­poser, and I have a col­lec­tion of posters from his mu­sic ca­reer rang­ing from the late ‘60s to ‘80s dis­played. This one (1) by Hu­bert Hilscher cen­tres on the War­saw Au­tumn mu­sic fes­ti­val. Grow­ing up with some of them hang­ing in my house, I think they had a big ef­fect on the progress of my de­sign sen­si­bil­ity.

It doesn't hap­pen that of­ten, but some­times I like when a piece of art or de­sign catches me off guard and I can't ar­tic­u­late pre­cisely why I think it is good.

In this case that piece is this mid-cen­tury bud vase (2) from Fin­land. I'm not re­ally sure why I like hav­ing it in the stu­dio so much. One day I might find out.

This Mi­nolta SR-T 101 (3) was my fa­ther's cam­era which I used when I was in High School dur­ing the pre-dig­i­tal era. I haven't used film for a project in 10 years, but I use vin­tage lenses on my dig­i­tal cam­era. I like ap­pro­pri­at­ing tech­nolo­gies of the past for use in the present. As a de­signer and artist, I do some­thing sim­i­lar when I draw on the con­ven­tions of mod­ernism in my work.

I usu­ally have a va­ri­ety of printed ephemera (4) around the stu­dio. It can be de­signs or im­ages I like, for­mats I want to re­mem­ber, or items I'm pho­tograph­ing for my In­sta­gram feed.

I've dealt with nat­u­ral his­tory in some of my past art­work and I'm in­creas­ingly in­ter­ested in ge­ol­ogy pro­cesses. The idea that you can see the de­tails of the bark of a tree (5) that died 250 mil­lion years ago on the South Coast of Pangea (now North Ari­zona) is pretty re­mark­able.


Ju­lian Mon­tague is a New York-based graphic de­signer and il­lus­tra­tor, spe­cial­is­ing in book cover de­sign.






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