James Schnauer is the principal designer and creative director of Glow Studio, an exhibition design and management firm based in California. Originally from New Zealand, James has worked all over the world creating award winning work in Europe, Asia Australia and America for over 20 years. He is an expert at designing large-scale exhibitions and retail development projects, utilising intelligent and engaging experiences for each target audience. So we are proud to bring you the Designer Insights of James Schnauer.
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1) In your own words describe your unique style and creative aesthetic?
Being a true chameleon. The ability to work with numerous different brands giving each a different point of view without imparting your own personal style. I save that for home.
2) When starting a new project, what is your creative process?
You always have to start with the brand. Understanding what it is they do, what makes their products or services different and how they should be positioned or perceived in the marketplace.
3) Out of the creative people you have worked with, who is it that you respect and admire the most?
My parents. I spent hours watching my mother create custom clothes, either with knitting needles or on the sewing machine. That, coupled with a healthy stack of French Vogue got the creative juices flowing. Working with my father on construction projects or building furniture or even a boat gave me the practical skills to execute to the ideas I had in my head.
4) When looking for inspiration is there a particular thing you do to get inspired?
You often have to look much further afield for inspiration. That’s the only way to develop a unique perspective. I’ll find inspiration across a number of varied sources like art, industrial design, automobiles, film and nature is always the most abundant source.
5) What has brought you to this point in your career? And what is your advice for people looking to follow in your footsteps?
Take the opportunities that lie in front of you, take risks with your design and don’t be afraid to fail. Making mistakes along the way helps to build a greater knowledge and understanding.