DESIGNER PROFILE

 

Judith Mackin

A woman of endless talent and creative vision, Judith Mackin is the Principle at the marketing, public relations and design firm PUNCH Productions / PUNCH Interiors. She also serves as a freelance documentary journalist for the CBC and writes ‘Design Driven’, a column in the Saturday arts section of the Province. What’s more, her keen eye for detail, passion for architecture and original art, and conscious support of Canadian design have all worked together to produce an array of stunning interiors. Impressive? Most definitely.

 

Company/Organization: PUNCH Productions / PUNCH Interiors
A marketing, public relations and design firm.
This year launched a new branch in the company offering Interior Design.

 

Website: in development, along with a new blog.

 

Education: School of Osmosis

 

Describe your work: I enjoy designing interiors that have an austere airiness to them, with warm woods, whites and blacks, seasoned with a twist of morbidity. I’m interested in designing spaces under the inspiration/influence of designers and artists who encourage us to rethink our views on beauty, death…irony. I’m always try to include some humour in my interiors, a reminder not to take ourselves too seriously. A room or space should have some tension to it, its elements considered as one might guests at a dinner party. That is, you don’t invite all the same type of guests; consensus, like conformity, is deadly. There should be some lively – and therefore, constructive – divergence in a room; a play of oblique angles.

 

Inspirations: Nothing inspires me more than travel. Getting away from the east coast of Canada does wonders for the creative spirit. I suppose, though, no matter where you live, you rely on travel to keep educated about what designers and artists are doing. Wherever I go I try to visit artist collectives, artist-run centres, artists and designer studios, and independent lifestyle stores passionate about their artists and product.

 

Awards or Recognition: My most recent recognition – an honour I share with my husband and partner in all things, Robert Moore – was being featured on HGTV’s Original Home tour.
Being featured on ROLLOUT means even more! Thank you, Anita.

 

Future Projects/Goal: Robert and I have just engaged the services of ‘the acre,’ a collective run by a young couple (husband and wife) architect team here in New Brunswick that will be designing our new and (hopefully) final home. We plan to downsize from our current 3,500 sq foot heritage home to a modest 1,500 sq foot modern one on a 2.3 acre property in Saint John, a home informed by as many LEED principles as feasible.

I’m also determined and working over the next year or two to open up a design product décor and lifestyle store, featuring product by artists, designers, architects -- the first in New Brunswick!

 

What is one word that describes your artist style? East-Coast-meets-Samuel-Beckett.

 

How did you get started working with ROLLOUT? I spend a lot of time researching artists and designers on line. As art collectors, we (my husband and I) have a very hard time giving up an entire wall to wallpaper, when it isn’t perhaps ‘original’ art. However, I always knew that if I was able to find a wallpaper that was designed by artists who have something to say about the paper then I would be happy to devote a wall or walls to it. When I discovered ROLLOUT I was instantly attracted, not just to the talent and originality evident in the designs, but to the messaging behind the design. I have the WORTH paper in our kitchen as well as the Parrot Fly paper in our bathroom. When we move into the new designed house next year, we hope to collaborate in an even more unique way with ROLLOUT, incorporating ROLLOUT’s new materials and our own designs as they relate to the story of our house and our lives.

 

Please list a few cool or inspirational websites you visit and love:
For pure inspiration of modern contemporary architecture and furniture, I rely upon contemporist.com. The photography is excellent.

Although I’ll probably never get through the whole site at any one sitting, it is always fun surfing through the Campana brother’s site. They change it up often and it’s design – like the design of their products – is consistently brilliant.

Although the cost of shipping can be dear, two art and design sites that are well curated are Australia’s ThirdDrawerDown.com and Amsterdam’s fabulous collective Droog.

 

What resources do you use for creating your work? My eyes and my ear (I’m deaf in one ear, so yes, it’s ‘ear’) are what I most rely upon when it comes to arranging interiors for me or my clients. That is, I try to ensure I ‘see’ everything out there that might provide a source of inspiration or direction; from the occasional ‘Egad! – I don’t ever want that composition of tasteless furniture in my home’ layouts to emailing myself a picture of an inventive storefront display. Listening carefully to a client’s wishes, however unlikely or ostensibly wrongheaded, is crucial. Good design is always a conversation.

 

Can you share any of your secret tips? Be prepared to makes mistakes. Indeed, learn to embrace your mistakes. Nothing teaches like error. Accept you may need to take 4 or 5 steps in the wrong direction before you’re led to the right one.

And maybe most important? Keep a closet relatively empty so you can fill it with your ‘life crap’ when company comes.

 

What did your parents want you to be instead of an artist? My parents were missionaries. I think they would have been happy to see me follow them down that path. That said, they were always supportive of my creative endeavors. As a child, my parents would dutifully ‘ooh’ and ‘ahh’ during the weekly Saturday bedroom tour, where I’d introduce them to my latest rearrangement of stuffed toys, books, and tchotchkes. My parents (now both deceased) were unstinting in their support of my life as an entrepreneur.

 

Is there a piece of art you wished you had created, and why? I’d be perfectly happy if I could have created ANY piece of art! I can’t even draw a paper bag, let alone draw my way out of one.

 

What gets you excited about tomorrow? Pretty much everything: family, community, my Boston-Terrier, the latest issue of dwell...

 

How would you refer to the current artistic style and mindset you live in today? Under the ruling assumption ‘I know nothing and have everything to learn,’ I keep my eyes open. To whatever degree possible, I surround myself with the creative makers and doers of this world.

 

 

PROJECTS BY JUDITH MACKIN

Featured on HGTV’s Original Home tour. Photo: Jennifer MacLean of Hemmings House Pictures.

 

 

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