Today I am so thrilled to introduce to you Aaron Christensen, the amazing artist and designer behind some of my favorite pieces on RosenberryRooms.com! Inspired by vintage details, Aaron Christensen is especially known for his boys’ art that feature themes such as sports, racing and rock & roll. His style is also perfect for girls who want princess themed rooms with an antique twist! We are so lucky that Aaron has agreed to become one of our ‘Creative Contributors’ because his work is so innovative, detailed and well, creative! Father of two, Aaron also owns his own design company known as Embellishments Kids, where he creates his unique art pieces which are also published by Oopsy Daisy, Fine Art for Kids! Check out some of his awesome work below as well as an inside look into the inspiration for his designs.
My two and a half year old son who loved cowboys and my daughter whom was still in the oven at 6 months. I was a blanket fort and theme park builder, as a kid and wanted them to use their imaginations just as I did. I don’t remember my room being just a room, I always had some walk though attraction for my friends and siblings to experience. Haunted houses were my favorite, with all the toilet paper ghosts hanging from fish line. There were pirate ships made from chairs and blankets, trips to outer space with cardboard box rocket ships and plenty of superhero adventures whizzing around in capes and underwear to rescue friends. As, I matured….not really, I found that the skills and training I gathered through the years being in department store design, specifically window display and prop building could be combined with my love of art to create rooms for my own children. And this time, I wouldn’t be using blankets and toilet paper. I built a cowboy room for him and a cute little bird nursery for her. Those two rooms caught the eye of a magazine publisher and the rest is history. It’s been 14 years and I’m still playing like a kid.
What is your favorite part of your daily work … when you reflect on the day, what is most rewarding?
Most days, I start with drawings or rough ideas, whether they are of custom items I want to create in the studio shop or art I’m rendering. Minute, by minute and hour by hour they turn from ideas into something real, you can touch, hang on the wall or experience. While it’s not David Copperfield “poof” magic, it sometimes feels that way. The feeling is just as thrilling and rewarding with every project.
What is your most memorable design project?
There are so many great memories, but the one that sticks out in a humorous way is the time we created a truck bed for a client. This was to be an entire truck sculpted in three dimensions to look like a shrunk down vintage truck, rust and all. The client’s house was still in the rough framing stage. We remembered the old adage and measured twice, referenced the blueprints and consulted the finish carpenters on the final door openings. After all, we had to make sure the truck could fit through the door in parts to be assembled in room. Well, despite our diligence the manufacturer had sent doors with a slightly different clearance. There we were on installation day with a truck bed that wouldn’t fit in through the door. Cutting the door frames was not an option. Luckily, removing the second story window was. So utilizing two extension ladders like a sloped track, tying rope onto the truck we drug and pushed it up the precarious system and into the room. It was quite the sight, two guys pushing what seemed to be a truck up two ladders. We were obviously preoccupied, so taking pictures was never on our mind, but I’d give anything to see the pictures passers by were snapping. Luckily, everything went smooth from there.
If you could design a room for anyone in the world, who would it be?
I can honestly say, I’ve never thought about it that way. I’m so grateful to design for any child. They are young for such a brief moment, it’s rewarding to have my work or art be part of their childhood memories and nurture their imagination. Although, if Katy Perry and Russell Brand are ever expecting, I’d love to be on the short list for a tricked out nursery.
What thing/place/event were you most recently inspired by?
With most projects I get to meet a new child. My goal is to design for that child and the moment they realize I’m there to facilitate their ideas and not just those of their parents is the event that inspires me. It’s tangible and moving. They love to be heard and appreciate it when their daydreams, of how they want their room to be, are included in the grander picture. Artistically, I was recently inspired by our family summer vacation. We visited Southern California, my old stomping ground. Seeing familiar sights from my childhood brought fond memories to the forefront of my mind. I wouldn’t be surprised if a SoCal sun, sea, sand and surf influence appears in my forthcoming art.
Where is your favorite place you have traveled to?
While I love big cities and the urban art and design culture, my heart and creative soul longs for the beach. My wife, Angela and I fell in love with a little spot in Cerritos on the outskirts of Mazatlan Mexico. It’s rustic and simple with only a neighboring coffee shop, a few restaurants and miles of beach. It’s the quality of our down time that makes it so appealing.
Where in the world are you dying to go next?
I have yet to visit Europe. Antiquing in Paris, junking in London, the history, the sites, the people, I’d be in heaven.
What is your favorite Rosenberry Rooms product?
Right now, Russell & Mackenna‘s furniture has my full attention. Their pieces are a handsome blend of vintage styling and modern aesthetic. Also, Jamie Young’s Steam Punk lighting has me inspired. I’ve always loved the Steam Punk culture. The pieces would shine in a boy’s room with antique maps, repurposed industrial accents and of course vintage styled art. As far as bedding goes, New Arrivals’ Stella Gray crib set is gorgeous. It would be a great foundation for a chic urban nursery.
Do you have any news that you would like to share, perhaps about upcoming events or projects?
I’ve teamed up with several manufacturers and retailers in my continued effort to reach out beyond wall art and am launching a collection of accessories and decor. While some of the products are not specific to the children’s market they follow my neo-vintage style and could be used in kid’s spaces. They will be debuting with a national craft store and with retailers in late fall and into 2012. I’ve also partnered up with one of the top Mom children’s room designers, in the industry, to work on branching out into new media, collaborating on projects and some top secret stuff that is oh so exciting.
Here are just a few more of Aaron’s amazing designs and art pieces. To see his entire collection, visit RosenberryRooms.com or click here!
Now, just for fun:
Anything spicy, five star hot! As of recent, I’m hooked on roasted hot peppers bedded on a smear of cream cheese and rolled in a spinach tortilla.
Favorite TV Show-
While I’m an intrigued haphazard watcher of Design Star, I am a faithful fan of American Pickers and Modern Family.
Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory. As a child Roald Dahl’s books nourished my imagination. The movie versions, while they interpret the book differently, both speak to my inner child. It’s all about being the good kid, being true to one’s values and family and maybe someday you’ll get your share of the chocolate!
Favorite Weekend Activity-
I have a true love of gardening and plant collecting. I live in complete zonal denial landscaping our yard with tropical plants that I have to baby through Portland, Oregon’s winter wet and cold. What good is it to have a hammock without two palm trees to hang it from? Ha, Ha.
When I’m painting in the studio, I enjoy creating playlists that inspire and correspond to the art I’m working on. Right now, my itunes play count would say my favorite is the swedish band Movits! Which is funny, because I’m certainly not working on swedish swing art.