Up next on deck for the Artist Spotlight series is David Cervantes from David Cervantes Designs. We met David through my mother of all people (she is the woman who has opened up most of the doors in my life by chatting up everyone she meets) and he has been a great fit for our clients ever since! We have worked with David on multiple projects for some custom pieces and he has blown away our clients - David has a vision that aligns very well to ours and we have loved working with him. So we thought, he's basically an artist, why not include him in the Spotlight series!! Check out his Q&A below:
What is your education and background? I Graduated from the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign in 2010 with BFA in Industrial Design, with a concentration on Furniture design.
What is your favorite resource to work with? Favorite resource to work with, People. When you begin a creative dialogue with an idea that was yours, then you voice that idea, with someone else. It's at that point in which it has now faceted into a spectrum of ideas, each unique and probably wouldn't have been achieved if that conversation didn't collide with another individual.
When was the first time you saw yourself making custom furniture? What made you think this was something you wanted to pursue? First time I saw myself making furniture was in high-school, always tinkering and modifying things or up-cycling items to decorate and sculpt a room. I think it all began when I was an apprentice in a stained glass shop, making lamps and chandeliers. I envisioned myself creating items that will make its owners space truly theirs with items that are as unique as the clients.
What is a day in the life of David Cervantes? Starting when your feet hit the floor in the morning! My day begins at 5AM-7AM, I head to the gym and shower, 8AM-5:30pm teach and instruct at the TechShop, a maker-space in which members create, engineer and prototype their ideas. All through-out the day I am sketching, fabricating, building, teaching and monitoring so no one gets hurt using heavy machinery. 5:30-9:30 on some days during the week I instruct and teach the use of laser cutters, metal and wood cnc machinery, 3D printing, Vacuum forming, machining and powder-coating. The days I instruct, classes end at 9:30 pm. I will work till 12-1 AM on custom furniture fabrication. The days I don't instruct I fabricate custom furniture from 5:30PM to 1AM. On the weekends, I sleep in till 9am and work on custom fabrications, whether its drawing sketching, creating renderings, engineering or building.
How would you describe your work? As of right now, its very client driven, its mostly what the client has in mind with little notes of my design style sprinkled in. But when I make things that are more open to limited productions, I would say its very stark, sharp and contemporary. Lots of rectilinear lines and sharp angles with mixed media of sorts. A lot of material combinations of wood, metal, composites like carbon fiber, plastics like Acrylic and 3D printed joinery.
What drives you creatively? What drives me to create is the thrill of seeing my clients and customers gleam with happiness when they enjoy their items. Pushing the envelope of intelligent, sustainable and creative design.
Do you have a favorite piece or installation? My favorite piece so far is hard to distinguish. All of the items I've worked with are a learning experience and all come with their own challenges and quirks. If I had to pick one, I think the item I'm most proud of is more of a sculpture, a geodescic dog house. Getting all the angles right, it was a puzzle in its self. The item was then donated to be auctioned benefiting Gateway Pet Guardians.
Where is your favorite place to work and why? My favorite place to work is in my basement, sounds super creepy? Typically all my design begin as sketches and ideations, so listening to DJ Mark Farina, some real loungey blues/hip-hop while I engineer and lay down the preliminary groundwork before the raw construction begins. Typically it's down in the lab where its dark, quiet and lonesome until its figured out, to which then I emerge and head into the woodshop, welding bay or where ever I need to start.
How would you say your work has evolved from when you first started David Cervantes Designs? My work has become more 'tame' progressing. A lot of clients and customers aren't too keen on owning furniture that is sculptural as well as functional. A lot of folks are tuned into a Restoration Hardware, West Elm, Pottery Barn look which is ok, but its what they're accustomed to seeing. So when they see something that's a little more unique and new, they're very hesitant because that design hasn't been rung through mainstream retail yet. So its a fun challenge to sprinkle in little flavors that I'm tuned into while creating and tailoring creations for specific needs for customers.
Who do you look up to in your field why? I look up to Frank Lloyd Wright for his stark vision and attention to detail, he's kicked the bucket almost 100 years ago and he's still fresher than most designers. Designers like Prouvé, Le Corbusier, Ludwig Mies van der Rohe, artists like Picasso, Banksy, Frida, Lichtenstein, and of course Leonardo Da Vinci, all these men broke conventional thinking, reshaping structures and ideas in various fields and mediums.