Thousands of creatives around the world have found success through their art – so successful, in fact, that they’ve managed to build thriving businesses. Their stories are an inspiration to many, and so we at DesignGood have created this new segment on the blog called Business By Design that features designers and their businesses. Learn about their journey, what motivates them and hear their best business advice. Kicking off our new segment is an artist-entrepreneur from Austin, Texas – David Clark of Kartwheel Craftsmanship.
This beautiful, custom furniture has taken the Austin by storm, and for craftsman David, a piece of furniture is more than just an object that fills space. It’s an expression, a feeling that impacts both the environment and all who thrive in it.
This is the ideal that defines his business, Kartwheel Craftsmanship. It’s a custom wood shop that specializes in limited edition furniture, large-scale installations, and made-to-order commission work. David’s work has been featured in several design blogs and publications, all a testimony to his talent and keen eye for detail.
He describes his design approach as a “mashing of aesthetics” where he takes snippets of different sources – details, patterns, and materials – and reforms them to create a unique idea. “Usually, every single thing that I come up with is basically what my brain processes,” he explains. “It’s really how I think.”
To dig even deeper, we sat down with David to get to know the craftsman behind Austin’s finest woodwork.
A designer by heart and spirit
Born into a family of designers, David knew that he was made for design right from the start.
“I knew that I’d really like to design from the get go. It’s something I’ve kind of been born into. My father’s a furniture designer; my mom’s an interior designer; my sister’s a graphic designer working in the fashion industry. It’s something by birth that I’m lucky to have.”
He literally speaks and breathes design. For him, “design is what life is in many ways. I feel stagnant when I’m not creating stuff, so I have to design to help me on and out. Coming from a design perspective, I would say design is the essence of life.” From one designer to another, we couldn’t stop nodding our heads to that.
With such a strong and creative background, David’s path as a designer seemed set in stone. Yet, after acquiring a graphic design degree at the Savannah College of Art and Design and spending five years in the industry, an outdoor field project made him realize his passion for three-dimensional art where he can get out of his computer and work with his hands.
“I had the desire to take things three-dimensionally. For me, it’s less about presentation and more of creating a feeling. It’s more to me about working with my hands, something that’s more tangible and tactile. That spawned the inspiration.”