Surmelis: I begin by looking at what is already part of the angelo:HOME Collection . As I design new products, it’s important that they have a connection to the existing line. It always starts with color. It’s the driving force of my line. Once a color story has been narrowed down, then I work on defining shape, scale and details.
For me, form and function have to play equal parts in the design equation. I’m designing items that are intended for daily use. They have to function as good as they look. I’m sketch-driven all the way. I was a fine arts major in college and had very strict professors that made sure the pencil was a natural extension of our hand. I feel lost without it.
My favorite thing to do in order to give the creative process a jump start is to walk. A large rambling city, like New York, is perfection. The combination of walking and looking at everything around me gets all of my gears turning. Everything I see is fodder for inspiration. Usually, different elements from various things wind up working together, in a Frankenstein’s-monster sort of way, in creating the perfect piece — a shape from a building, a detail from a man’s shoe, a texture from a farmer’s market, etc.
The Fulton five-light chandelier in Grape was inspired by literal grapes at a New York farmer’s market. I wanted to bring color and fun to the traditional chandelier and make it affordable. The Fulton was designed to be bright, playful, easy and practical. Personally, I had been searching for a plug-in swag chandelier in color and could not find one. So I designed it in a variety of jewel-fruit hues.