Featured Artist Q & A:
Every space on Earth can be a venue for art, whether functional or simply visceral and captivating according to furniture and sculpture designer, Marc Foster. Each piece he creates is one-of-a-kind and derived from a process of bringing his diverse clients tastes and ideas to fruition. Read on and learn what inspires our first featured artist of 2015 below:
1. How did your design career unfold?
My interest in design started to blossom when I lived in Colorado building furniture with my cousin after high school. Like many things, when you are completely immersed in something it becomes natural to take a deeper interest. After that experience I chose to attend art school at Colorado State and focus on photography; however, it became clear to me that three-dimensional expression was better suited for me.
2. Your functional art creates “spaces that are engaging and communal” by your definition. While every client is different, what basic principles do you follow in your work?
More is not necessarily better, meaning my basic principle is to not overdesign. It’s easy to get carried away and go too far with ornate details. It takes experience to tailor a design to be something simple and functional. It’s important to not just create something that stands on its own; a piece should be emotive, yet complement its environment.
Wood, steel, glass, raw found objects…even salvaged airplane wings make for great tables.
3. Wood, steel, glass and found object appear to be your favorite materials to work with. What is it that draws you to these materials?
My design aesthetic tends to be more industrial and I find that these materials used in combination provide that feeling I’m looking for. Wood tends to soften the coldness sometimes found in raw metal.
4. Your projects are quite diverse — you can go from overseeing commercial interior redesigns to crafting adjustable coffee tables. What work scale is your favorite? Why?
I love small scale projects, or singular pieces, that challenge the design and engineering aspect of the process. That said, the commercial and more broad spectrum based work is also a challenge in its own right by sheer scale.
Honestly, what I find is most fulfilling about my job is the diversity of my daily work; I couldn’t do the same thing day after day– it goes against my creative nature.
5. How has living in the Sacramento area influenced your career?
I really believe Sacramento is in a great cultural growth through the emerging creative class. There’s more interesting art, more diverse food, and more dynamic events here now. People are bringing the arts into their everyday lives. It’s really exciting to be a part of this cultural Renaissance.
6. What are three lesser-known things about you that would interest our audience?
1) I hate sweets
2) I have a man-crush on Phil Mickelson (well, really professional golf in general)
3) I really wish I could breathe underwater
7. This year you’ve been working on your Ötzi studio series. Could you tell us more about this working concept?
Based on clients’ need for more space in their smallish homes, and their desire to have a unique design, I have been developing the Otzi series – a versatile modular space to enjoy outside the home — to serve both a functional purpose as well as aesthetic pleasure. It also challenges me in a really fun way to engineer solutions for their space issues e.g. moving and retractable walls, vertical motion, and storage for beds, etc.
Marc’s latest concept, Ötzi spaces, are flexible and elegant ways to add extra space.
8. What are some of the most interesting pieces you have done (working with unusual materials)? We hear you did something with airplane parts at one time?
I have done several pieces of functional art and sculpture that involve aircraft parts. I have a personal passion for the forms that enable flight, that being in the air and underwater. This transformed professionally with a client that wanted a desk from an airplane wing. Word got out that I could do this kind of thing, and now I have had clients use airplane wings for tables, light fixtures, and sculpture.
9. Do you feel that social media and technology (i.e. Pinterest, Facebook, etc) affected what your clients expect from a project? How so?
These platforms seem to provide the average person access to a myriad of types of design. What they see is so much wider and diverse than the local furniture store of the past, so this brings a lot of people to artisans like myself. They try to get what they want and “cannot find.” What I provide them is more of an interactive experience in the process of bringing their pieces to life, and product of the highest quality.
10. What are some of the most exciting projects endeavors on your plate?
In the commercial range of my business, I’m working with the Sacramento Rivercats as they prepare new club space for the upcoming season. I am also fortunate to be involved in the Warehouse Artist Lofts on R Street with the design for the Metro Juice opening there. A fun pro-bono project with Capital Stage for their upcoming play, Ideation, is underway. I have some potential large-scale sculpture in the works as well, to be named in the year ahead.
11. Lastly, what are your New Year’s resolutions for 2015?
I have two small children that are growing way too fast so a better work/life balance is something I strive for every year. And as my Dad is always saying, work smarter not harder.
Keep up with Marc:
Sacramento365 Artist Profile
Facebook/ Twitter / Pinterest
Interview by Sacramento365’s Content & Social Media Coordinator, Jamila B. Khan.