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
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.