Designer insights with Helen Strevens

Helen Strevens is the founder of HMS Studio, where she offers “architectonic” designs, ceramics, and designs from New Zealand. Helen is an architecture honours graduate, who established her design firm in 2011 as an outlet for her drawing fluency and designs. She also worked as a set designer on the epic film trilogy Lord of The Rings, as wells as Lion, Witch and the Wardrobe. This even earned her a number of prestigious awards and nominations. So we are proud to bring you the Designer Insights of Helen Strevens.

Designer Insights - Helen Strevens

Image Credit: 1) Angela Paterson 2) Designtree 3) Oliver Harmer 4) V&A Bathrooms 5) Empire of Genius

- Transcript -

1) In your own words describe your unique style and creative aesthetic?

I would describe my style as architectural, graphic and classic. I love images and objects that have graceful proportions and a sense of play.

2) When starting a new project, what is your creative process?

I think of my process a bit like a cat who like to circle around a few times before sitting down. Research, absorb, imagine and then draw!

3) Out of the creative people you have worked with, who is it that you respect and admire the most?

The most wonderful creative I have worked with is Alan Lee. He is an illustrator and I met him while set designing for The Lord of the Rings films. Alan Lee is the most incredible draughtsperson I have ever met. He could bring the wonderful and complex ideas to life with his pencil. Often he would start in one corner and the image would just unfold beneath his hand.

4) When looking for inspiration is there a particular thing you do to get inspired?

Everything inspires me. I have so many ideas all the time that the really challenging thing is to focus on one to develop before I go off in my head chasing another.

5) What has brought you to this point in your career? And what is your advice for people looking to follow in your footsteps?

I have had a varied career working on Film, Architecture and Design. It has been such a zig zag path that I am not sure I could even quite explain it let alone give advice. For myself I aim to stay true to my style and add something of value to the world.