Owner and Designer of Straight Line Designs Inc.
I have owned and operated my own business, Straight Line Designs Inc.(www.straightlinedesigns.com) for over 15 years, and employ 8 full-time craftspeople. I mainly design Limited Edition Furniture, complete environments and "hyper" custom commissions. With a passion for "something different" I am always searching for a new way to make people question the objects around them. The challenge is to design pieces that are new, inspiring and always highly functional.
Research What's Out There and Do Something Different Develop Your Own Style
Art School taught me that I could come up with my own ideas instead of building off of established designs. I looked at what was out there, and I started to bend it and twist it and shape it. A person must dare to drift away from the tired and true in order to give a piece energy and interest. Be influenced and inspired by the norm, and then challenge it, change it, melt it, stretch it, alter it for the better.
Do Not Be Afraid to Experiment Try New Things
Inspired by cartoons, I started to play with shape and color. I soon found a ready audience for my offbeat designs, which usually look as if they've been distorted in a funhouse mirror. Why does everything have to be straight? The name Straight Line Designs developed out of the need to be taken seriously, but I marketed quite the opposite. It might be a bed, a desk, a cabinet just about anything that will be unusual or witty, with a sense of fun.
Be Open to Change - To Be Influenced
Initially I produced traditional tables and shelving units. The decision to exercise my whimsical side sprang from a friend's request to build a bookshelf for a friend's new born baby. Once I had the opportunity to experiment with color and shape, there was no going back. My interest in childlike imagery is influenced daily by my kids and their liberal acceptance of the bizarre. There are enough people out there doing "grown up" items. People's reactions to my furniture only inspired me more.
Find A Market
The majority of Straight Lines work is commercial and includes store fixtures, trade show booths, commercial and movie props, and play areas for childrens hospitals. But the company also builds custom pieces for private residences. I found a lot of adults who don't want to grow up either. They like to have fun stuff, too.
Love and Value What You Produce
Although developing mass-produced furniture brings additional revenue and exposure, I truly value the creative freedom in making one-of-a-kind pieces too much. The key is to love your work. I make whimsical furniture seem like childs play, for my heart is in it.
Communication Is The Key
Whenever possible, I like to involve clients from the initial sketching stage and color selection to the point just before the installation. Both verbal and visual communication is very important, even for commission work, a toy soldier display looks a lot different on paper than it does standing at a completed height of 9 feet. Straight Line Designs creative services encompass every aspect of creation from concept and design to building, shipping and installation. Straight Line Designs works closely with other companies, designers and institutions to create custom features and environments. Each design is specific to its space, built to reflect a desired image. Communication enables the company to address the needs of the people interacting with it.
You Are Who You Hire
The shop floor is equipped with a full woodshop, sculpture and paint department. I am currently employing eight full-time craftspeople. The working environment, the teamwork aspect, is an amazing thing to experience. I love it when people say "You can't do that" and together as a team we do.
Judson Beaumont was born in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan in 1960. He studied art in Vancouver BC at Capilano College and graduated from the 3D program of Emily Carr Institute of Art and Design in 1985. Judson resides in Vancouver BC, Canada with his wife and two children, where he founded Straight Line Designs Inc. in 1986.