Jeff Shelton is an architect that designs with a touch of whimsy to appeal and relate to everyday people, working from his own firm, based in California. Jeff is a strong advocate of developing Mediterranean based architecture in Santa Barbara, so works frequently with local artisans with the same vision. His goal has been to enlighten Santa Barbara by creating a strong sense of freedom, in a similar vein as Gaudi achieved in Barcelona. So we are proud to bring you the Designer Insights of Jeff Shelton.
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1) In your own words describe your unique style and creative aesthetic?
In general, the patterns that I create are asymmetrically symmetrical. The patterns are developed in tiles first, then arranged to work in fabric. The number of repeat combinations is infinite.
2) When starting a new project, what is your creative process?
When the design wants to emerge, I let it. In general, I lean towards a certain mathematical rhythm and don’t stop until I see something that works.
3) Out of the creative people you have worked with, who is it that you respect and admire the most?
My three brothers. We think different enough to go down different paths but similar enough to understand intent and direction. I do most of my work with my brother David. The two of us don’t have to discuss too much, as the design solution is usually quite apparent. A few dimensions, a scribbled sketch and we are off and running.
4) When looking for inspiration is there a particular thing you do to get inspired?
I’ll find inspiration if I sit down with pens, pencils and a blank piece of paper. Creating the time to focus on the stuff I love is the important task. If you’re not inspired by everything you shouldn’t design.
5) What has brought you to this point in your career? And what is your advice for people looking to follow in your footsteps?
As a designer, it is hard to see how someone could not be completely turned on by the possibilities of design, whether it is architecture, tiles, fabric, furnishings, graphics…..it is endless. Desire and persistence has got me to this point. Advice: Always be curious, and do something about it.