Seth Minkin and Jeffrey have just started a collaboration, where Seth’s paintings are artfully rendered onto the dials of Jeffrey’s watches. I sent Seth a few questions about their collaboration and will be sharing his responses over the next few days. We will have some photographs of their first completed piece on the final day of the interview.
1.) Your studio is in an office building which is highly unusual for an artist. Can you talk about how you came to be in this situation and how you have collaborated with the firm?
I was initially introduced to this company through the CEO. I met up with him while I still lived in San Francisco and he asked me for some ideas about the art in his office. He was toying with the idea of having a mural of some sort painted on the wall of the office, but wasn’t sure this was the right approach, since the company was growing and they didn’t know how long they would be in the space. We went back and forth quite a bit and, in the end, decided on two large paintings that were related to the company’s brand. A few years later, I moved to Boston and the company had moved into a phenomenal new space. They had just received a multi-million dollar round of funding and were in hyper growth mode. They invited me to sit in on a project they had called “90 Days,” which was basically a collaboration between me, a writer and the rest of the team at the company. The goal of the project was to expose what was going on within the company in relation to getting such a large injection of capital in an open, interesting and transparent way. The framework for the project became a blog, which was based on a painting called “The Bento Box” which I created for the company. Every day, a new blog entry was posted that corresponded to a piece of the painting. It started off on day 1 with the painting being black and white and, as entries were added to the blog, each piece was rendered in color. It was a great opportunity to work with an incredible team of people and to really match visual art with great writing and intellectual capital. At the conclusion of the project, the CEO asked me to stay on board and paint in the office space full time as a way of encouraging creativity in the company’s culture. It has been a great symbiotic relationship. I have filled their space with my art and, in turn, I have been able to work within an amazing environment with very smart and talented people who give me instant feedback on my work.
2.) Have you ever done any other collaborations?
When a client commissions a piece, my process is usually very collaborative in the sense that, having actually selected a subject, they are likely to have an opinion on the details. In many cases, the subjects of commissions are close to the heart of the client and are not necessarily images that I have worked with before. Therefore, it really helps to have an open dialog with a client to be sure that we are heading in the same direction. I have been fortunate to have worked with some extremely talented clients over the years who are very creative in their own right. These kinds of opportunities have been great collaborations and have enabled me to produce works that would have never come to life had these individuals not approached me.