My desire for the creative life has led me to the streets of Paris, the boroughs of New York, the galleries of Berlin and always to the shores of the West Coast. I am inspired by living a simple life, rich in culture. I am drawn to cities where dogs sleep below cafe tables, where books and art grace the walls of homes and where the world slows down for a meal shared with friends.

I've made my home on beautiful Vancouver Island. My studio and home, a hundred-year-old character house, acts as the canvas for every photograph, recipe and dinner party. 

I invite you to read my blog, view my portfolio and please get in touch if you're interested in working together.

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Creative Q&A: Marcus Hay, Studio Marcus Hay


Name, Location, Occupation
Marcus Hay/ Studio Marcus Hay & Co, Inc
Chelsea, Manhattan, New York
Director, Stylist, Interior, Set Designer and Brand/Trend Consultant for Studio Marcus Hay

Please describe your workspace:
My workspace is in London Terrace in Chelsea, A large 1929 building with a long history and well known in the area of Chelsea and Manhattan, New York. My studio is actually located in the building I live which is super convenient. I only have 14 floors to travel each day. It is located on the Commercial floor of the building and is a compact space with 2 rooms and a bathroom. It is on street level so I have a lovely little garden outside the window and many passers by even if it is on a quiet block for Manhattan.   


What are you working on right now?
At the moment I am working on a large 3-month project for the Design/Retail Company Design Within Reach. We are working on a number of catalogs for them, which will encompass the summer and fall months. We shoot these in many locations and are busy coordinating for the different locations Artwork, Props and Schemes for the Photos featured. At the same time I am designing a space for a client in Connecticut and also working on a line of product to be launched next year. We are also busy also working on our new site coming soon. Always multi tasking at SMH.

What has been your most rewarding project to date?
I love designing spaces for clients, Last year we worked on a home/office duplex space in a lower Manhattan Wall Street location for Kess Agency. I know my client Kimberley well so it was great to tailor a space that reflected her personality and the needs of her business. She has a fun and glam approach to life and business so we I pushed ourselves into a world untouched before, lots of pink and sparkle which we handled with a sophisticated approach but with also a spirit of playfulness. I also have had the opportunity of working with Design Within Reach this last year and have enjoyed working with many silhouettes and product that I admire and respect. 


Which designers and artists inspire you?
Too many to name but here I go: Alexander Girard, Gio Ponti, Donald Judd, Paul Rand, The Eames, Eero Saarinen, Max Huber, Piero Fornasetti, Edith Heath, Jens Quistgaard, Antonio Gaudi, Alvar Aalto, Bjorn Wiinblad, Ettore Sottsass, Eva Zeisel, Diana Vreeland, Frank Lloyd Wright and Jean-Paul Goude.

Has there been a defining moment or turning point when you realized what you wanted to do for a living?
My family have been a big influence, My mother is an Interior Decorator and my Uncle an Interior & Food Photographer. I spent school holidays with my Uncle in a kind of internship where I would assist him on a variety of Interior, Car and Food Shoots for many Commercial and Editorial clients. I know pretty much from a young age I wanted to be a Designer of Sorts, I loved the process of Photography and I still love being part of that process. I studied Visual Communication at The University Of Technology in Sydney where we studied Graphic Design, Illustration, Film and Photography.

What do you think is the most difficult aspect of working in design?
In this day and age, It can be budgets and helping a client realize a vision on funds that can be challenging to work with a times. Expectations have not changed but purse strings have been pulled many years ago. Creativity does not always equate with money but it certainly helps! Sometimes small budgets produce great work because you have to be inventive with what you have but I work out of New York, one of the most expensive cities so it’s challenging to run a business in New York and to have to manage the expense that comes with that if always delivering a high standard of work at a discount.


What are you reading at the moment?
I always read books like I am flicking TV Stations, Right now I am reading “Empress of Fashion, The Life of Diana Vreeland” by Amanda Mackenzie Stuart. “Paris I Love You But You’re Bringing Me Down” by Rosecrans Baldwin and “The Passion And The Paradox/Marilyn” by Lois Banner. I really like reading biographies.

What websites do you visit for inspiration?
I spend a lot of time on line blogging but also researching product and unusual items for our jobs so I am always looking at eBay, Etsy and Ist Dibs, Right now I am actually kind of addicted to Pinterest, It’s such a great resource for imagery and also I love the process of collating and discovering new work by new and old Designers and Artists. From it you can really get a vibe of someone’s aesthetic, it fascinates me the way others see the world through images, I also like the following:



What are your simplest daily pleasures?
I like to make a latte first thing in the morning and email my family, they are all is Australia so I like to take the time out and email them while my mind is fresh and uninterrupted. I also love walking the streets of Manhattan and taking in all its wondrous sights and sounds.

Where do you see yourself in ten years?
In 10 years time I hope to have published many books and to have designed much product, many places and sets that resonate with people and stay in their minds and hearts for years to come. I want to have felt I offered a distinct viewpoint on how to see the world and to have helped people by showing them how to embrace a visual identity and not to be afraid to express it. 

All photographs taken by Jonny Valiant

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