an interview with Sharilyn Wright, creator of lovelydesign, June 2003

In regards to the Journey book, what was the genesis of this idea?
i needed to do something with the stacks of paper i have been accumulating for a long, long time.

what need/problem does this object address? what is the answer it presents?
this object is selfish. it addresses my need to do something with al the papers and envelopes and other all-sorts i collect and begin to clutter up my space. i had to clean up.

Sometimes, however, i like to think what happens if a note-book has a personality of it's own and you must adapt to it's character? The average note-book is just a big fat blank, looking up at you. But this book nudges you to keep up with where it's going (and already been).

Most people i hear from who have one never actually use these note-books, "it's too nice". what crap! I much rather like it when people send me drawings or collages that they've made with the book or even people who've ripped out pages and added to their own creations.

I feel somewhat, when people never use their note-book, that they (the note-books) aren't inspiring or functional or in a day-to-day kind of way. And then what i like most in the world—when people create lovely things for the pure happiness of it and it inspirers others—well, it's ended with me.

what drives you as an artist and what inspires you?
i don't really consider myself an 'artist'. I am inspired most by found objects and those who create from enjoyment rather than ego.

Other inspirations include: (in no particular order) thrift shops, bargain bins, alleyways, community gardens, chinatowns, public transit, fold-up bikes, one hour photo labs, the cbc, rushmore, old world globes, stamp collecting shops, canada, girlfriends abroad, handwriting, human five, libraries, mail, maps, journals, pet-sitting, polaroids, postage stamps, japanese magazines, postcards, pulp, reading, raodtrips, wes anderson, rubber stamps, school supplies, hayao miyazaki, sewing machines, stationary, manitoba, sweden, tea, the velvet underground, the cure, trees, typewriters, vancouver, the royal tenenbaums,the hidden cameras, erlend oye, old level magazines.

what message do you hope to convey with this object?

what challenges did the execution of this design present to you?
they're a big hassle to make. people get irritated when i'm not pumping them out like some book-making machine.

how does material and manufacturing technology influence the direction of your design?
material is random and everything. if i can't find more papers, then i can't make more books. Sometimes i grow concerned that i will use up all the found papers in the world. but then i just take a break for a while.

what do think comprises "good" design?
it works well, and is appealing in the most satisfying sense. if something is well designed—whether it's a map or a blender or a bus route or a home—you wouldn't ever wish to replace it. Therefore, good design is relative.

what is the overriding philosophy behind the work you produce?
i got enough philosophy in art school. for now, i am just humming along.