INTERVIEW: LEE BRENNAN

Posted on August 10, 2011

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If you are like most people who find it hard to live in the moment you might want to read this. We chatted with Lee Brennan who is an Australian born carpenter by trade and thriving artist. His designs are eco friendly, made with passion and are inspired from his travels. Watch out for Lee’s next big move and if you see him on a plane,  order him a  Scotch…..Neat.

What is the first drink you order when you sit down on a plane?
Scotch, neat.

Describe your self in 5 words?
Stubborn, friendly, scary, happy, grumpy.

You worked ten years in the construction industry. What made you decide to become a designer?
There was very little creative freedom in construction, I dont particularly enjoy working from a plan especially when it’s not my plan. I found I had all these ideas rattling around in my head and they really needed to take on a physical form.

When did you first discover your creative talents?
Well to say creative talents would be subjective but when I returned home from a few years on the road I really needed money but could not face another building site. I had a lot of ideas built up so I just improvised and hav’nt looked back.

What inspires your projects?
It depends on what Im working on, I burn through loads of books and magazines, sometimes if Im building a table I will take a piece of architecture Ive seen and adapt that into the furniture.

Mostly it is the raw materials that triggers the ideas, I go searching for something that grabs me then leave it to the imagination, unless Im working directly to a clients requests.

How would you describe your style for both your furniture and art?
I don’t know if they could be put in the same category.The furniture is very natural but sometimes bordering on undustrial.
The art is a much more emotional beast, a little lonesome feeling going on, but the moments when your really glad to be alone. I strive to create a mood with the art where the furniture is more proportional.

What types of materials do you use and what’s the importance of using sustainable products?
Most of the materials I use have had previous jobs.There is just so much beautiful reclaimed materials aroundthat has so much more character than a piece from the hardware. It’s too good to pass up. I hope to at least be a little less of a menace to the planet. Ive seen some horrific wastage on building sites, heartbreaking things that I am glad to have stepped away from.

If I can give people a decent product without contributing as much to the evil then that’s great.

What is the history behind your logo?
The logo I use is an old branding iron my family used when they bred horses. Works well on timber.

You have done lots of travel. Have you been influenced by those experiences?
I think travel has a huge impact on what is going on. Its on more of a subconscious level though. The brain is just absorbing so many images when your moving around and it’s not until I finish a piece of work and think shit that’s really sante fe or some other place thats emerged from the depths of the mind.

What are the business challenges you face as you begin to build your company?
At this point I work mostly alone with some help from friends. As demand grows I find challenges with managing all areas of the business from designing and pricing to sourcing materials, construction, delivery and installations, it’s a major juggling act. And as every piece is a one of design it is very hard to train staff to read my mind, as usually I don’t even know what’s going on until it’s finished.

Where has most of your work been showcased?
A handfull of stores are currently stocking my work along the coast from Noosa Heads ( Queensland) to Byron bay in (New South Wales).

You have some jewelry designs coming soon. What are the plans for that part of the business?
The jewellery is something a buddy and I started messing around with years ago. It has always been on my mind to persue so I recently just went for it . The first collection is still under construction. All pieces are hand made and one of a kind.

What is your main goal for LJB Design?
The main goals are to be able to wake up in the morning and feel excited for the next project, make enough money to eat and keep travelling, hopefully work with overseas customers, and save the universe.

Check out more of Lee Brennan’ work at www.leebrennandesign.com.

 

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