Editor Frank Scott (FS) from DesignPRWire has interviewed designer Todd & Marlon Llc (TL) for A’ Design Awards and Competition. You can access the full profile of Todd & Marlon Llc by clicking here.
Interview with Todd & Marlon Llc at Tuesday 19th of April 2016
FS: Could you please tell us more about your art and design background? What made you become an artist/designer? Have you always wanted to be a designer?
TL: I'm not a professional design but creativity and passion for jewelry has always been in the family DNA. My grandfather was crafting jewels the old way. I still remember him using cuttlefish bones to prepare the molds for rings and my father helping him out with the stones. This passion seems to hold also with the new generation and one of my sons once asked me for his own watch so this is how I ended up designing watches.
FS: Can you tell us more about your company / design studio?
TL: In fall 2015 one of my sons asked for a watch for Christmas. I took my first watch, fixed and proudly gave him as a gift. My son looked at it and told me "dad. this is your watch. I want my own watch". For this reason I established Todd & Marlon as a new luxury watch brand. In fact, Todd and Marlon are the names of my two sons who are very passionate about watches and highly involved with the development despite their young age (6 y.o. and 2 y.o. respectively).
FS: What is "design" for you?
TL: Design is a multi-sensorial experience. It is what sets apart an object capable of bringing people into new worlds from an object that just does the job.
FS: What kinds of works do you like designing most?
TL: I'm not a professional designer, but my passion resides into the jewelry world.
FS: What is your most favorite design, could you please tell more about it?
TL: Alexander McQueen designs are among my most favorite. He has been uniquely able to combine natural elements and shapes with modern, sometimes cold and for some disturbing vanguard lines.
FS: What was the first thing you designed for a company?
TL: My first design was a very functional "lock & key" element capable of letting fluid go through.
FS: What is your favorite material / platform / technology?
TL: Natural and malleable materials are my favorites
FS: When do you feel the most creative?
TL: I'm an early bird often awake at 4:30 and in the office around 7:00. Most of my ideas come to life during my early commute to the office.
FS: Which aspects of a design do you focus more during designing?
TL: The design needs to look familiar and recognizable yet should have some "disturbing" elements to make it unique.
FS: What kind of emotions do you feel when you design?
TL: It is like a waterfall getting through you. Those are the ideas that flow from your brain through your heart down to the piece of paper.
FS: What kind of emotions do you feel when your designs are realized?
TL: Knowing that people might touch and feel my ideas makes me feel more in touch with society
FS: What makes a design successful?
TL: Design is the ultimate results of the fight between "thesis" and "anti-thesis". Only if the designer is capable of combining them into "synthesis" than you have a successful design.
FS: When judging a design as good or bad, which aspects do you consider first?
TL: One needs to look the design for a fraction of sec, close the eyes and analyze emotions. If there are no emotions the design is bad.
FS: From your point of view, what are the responsibilities of a designer for society and environment?
TL: A designer as the same responsibilities as every common person. We need to preserve the environment for future generations and we need to support society.
FS: How do you think the "design field" is evolving? What is the future of design?
TL: Design is becoming over-thought. In the past people were making great design without calling it design. Nowadays people deign in order to call an object a piece of design. We are loosing the authenticity and even more with the evolution of computers, apps and similar.
FS: When was your last exhibition and where was it? And when do you want to hold your next exhibition?
TL: I'm not a professional designer and never exhibited the work I did.
FS: Where does the design inspiration for your works come from? How do you feed your creativity? What are your sources of inspirations?
TL: Ideas comes when you expect them the less. One just need some quality time for self. When short in creativity I need to see water. It could be a lake, a river, the sea. I need to listen to the water and I need to feel it. Then ideas will come naturally.
FS: How would you describe your design style? What made you explore more this style and what are the main characteristics of your style? What's your approach to design?
TL: I love simple things and I love authentic things. I'm a down to heart and humble person. I don't have a style - I'm in search of a style.
FS: Where do you live? Do you feel the cultural heritage of your country affects your designs? What are the pros and cons during designing as a result of living in your country?
TL: I currently live in NYC but I come from Sicily (Italy) and my heritage affects my design without any sort of doubt. The colors of my first collection of watches are inspired by Sicily: the red of the lava from Etna, the blue of the Mediterranean, the rose of the pink of the flowers of the almond trees and the black of the volcanic landscapes like Pantelleria.
FS: How do you work with companies?
TL: I work for myself
FS: What are your suggestions to companies for working with a designer? How can companies select a good designer?
TL: If you want a designer to do serious design then don't give him/her a paper brief. Just tell him/her which kind of emotions you want to generate
FS: Can you talk a little about your design process?
TL: There is not really a process. Design comes naturally and no one has a say on it.
FS: Could you please share some pearls of wisdom for young designers? What are your suggestions to young, up and coming designers?
TL: Work for others just the team to learn the job and then set yourself free.
FS: From your perspective, what would you say are some positives and negatives of being a designer?
TL: Not sure as I'm not a professional designer.
FS: What is your "golden rule" in design?
TL: create a conflict and then synthesize
FS: What skills are most important for a designer?
TL: do not listen to others but just to your soul
FS: Which tools do you use during design? What is inside your toolbox? Such as software, application, hardware, books, sources of inspiration etc.?
TL: All my designs are done with a very simple tool - not really professional but very powerful for the creative people. The design #YOURTIME watches has been entirely done on powerpoint. Would you believe that?
FS: Designing can sometimes be a really time consuming task, how do you manage your time?
TL: Discipline is instrumental for time management immediately followed by the ability to say "NO". every time you say "yes" to something you are also saying "no" to something else. Understand what's most important to you and then make sure to say "yes" to that.
FS: How long does it take to design an object from beginning to end?
TL: Design is an idea a very fast conflict. It happens in seconds. What takes time is to put it on paper and visualize it. Make it so clear that the people who will manufacture can understand and bring to life the exact idea - this is the time consuming part.
FS: What is the most frequently asked question to you, as a designer?
TL: I'm not a designer so no one ask me design questions.
FS: Who are some of your clients?
FS: Do you work as a team, or do you develop your designs yourself?
TL: All designs are done by myself with hints from my sons and wife.
FS: Do you have any works-in-progress being designed that you would like to talk about?
TL: We have just released our first collection of watches and I'm already working on the next one but too early to reveal anything about it. I'm also working on some other categories but also this one is confidential.
FS: How can people contact you?
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