We had the good fortune of connecting with Foster Cranz and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Foster, Let’s talk about principles and values – what matters to you most?
I deeply value being an artist and designer for a few reasons: I love the process behind making handmade, unique, one-of-a-kind pieces. The discoveries, mistakes and successes are so exciting. There is a lot of problem solving and finding new ways to create. I really enjoy that part. I love improving an environment when I design an interior. It’s so gratifying to make a person’s life more bright, functional and aesthetically pleasing. I love creating something that comes from my heart and soul; always with a lot of blood, sweat and tears involved. This is how I express myself. When someone says they love my work, it’s truly validating. I love being part of a community of other eccentric, clever, fanciful types who support each other. I’m frequently inspired by the incredible work produced by these talented and innovative creatives. Discovering new art makes me a better artist. And I love having a career that’s not all about the money, the fame, or the practicality of it all. It’s really about having fun! I feel lucky I get to share who I am with the world and support myself by doing it. I’m proud to be an artist! It’s a challenging lifestyle but the reward is deeper than anything else to me.
Can you open up a bit about your work and career? We’re big fans and we’d love for our community to learn more about your work.
I’ve learned what my core strengths and weaknesses are from working as a residential and commercial interior designer. I started in residential before moving into commercial design. They are very different animals. Commercial is less emotional, less personality driven work. There are more rules to follow, players involved and stages to deal with. Residential is much more emotional due to demanding clients, short deadlines, and stressful installs. I was forced to be more organized. I learned to be a better listener and function at a fast pace while producing quality work. It can be exhausting! And there is nothing worse than realizing the 9-months-to-make, custom $30,000 sofa was an inch too large to fit. A few inches can ruin your life. You must be detail oriented. You must make sure everything is triple checked and all aspects are considered. (If you’re not strong with details, it helps to have someone with a fine eye to watch your back.) Interior Design can be fun and exciting and scary and irritating. But it is a fantastic career path that teaches you to be a better designer, worker, and amateur therapist.
Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
My favorite hot spots (pre-Covid) were either well designed or quirky local favorites. Here’s a few on my hit list: Cosmic Cafe in Oak Lawn; one-of-a-kind vegetarian Indian restaurant/yoga studio. Plenty of whimsical touches, punchy colors and even a sitar player. The Balcony Club and Mansion at Turtle Creek bar; I’m a jazz vocalist and frequent patron of these local jazz watering holes. The people watching is always a treat. Grapevine Bar in Oak Lawn; local dive perfect for group hangouts. This gem has a basketball court, a roving mariachi band, a mysterious pizza delivery guy and fundraiser jello shots. Twilite in Deep Ellum; with a New Orleans bordello vibe and occasional karaoke night, this bar is a lovely date spot tucked away from the Deep Ellum chaos. Barbara’s Pavillion in Oak Cliff; best karaoke night in town! Don’t miss the duet-ing older couple with matching white turtlenecks and pinky rings. Ten Over Six and Joule Hotel; bougie eye candy for the design crowd. And don’t forget the weird giant eyeball sculpture next door. The Belmont Hotel in Oak Cliff; another unique design-y find and blast from the past with an incredible view of the Big D’s lit up skyline.
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
I have a few people to thank: Mary Boone / Will Cotton – Art gallery owner and artist who were the reason I moved to New York. I was about to graduate art school when I met Mary Boone at a yoga retreat. She was a famous gallery owner in NYC and rep’d my favorite artist Will Cotton. I gushed to her about Will and how he inspired my senior thesis. She said “come to new york and I’ll get you a job with him.” So a few months later and somewhat terrified, I walked into her intimidating 5th Ave gallery and reminded her who I was. She picked up the phone, called Will, and told him to hire me as an assistant. It was the beginning of my art career and exposed me to an exciting world I did not know before. Ron Tomlinson – Fort Worth legend, bon vivant, and brilliant artist who taught me how to be a real painter. He was such a huge influence on my work and portfolio. He was a mentor to a lot of young artists, and a vivacious friend and confidant. The interior designers & architects I worked for in NYC – they were so kind as to induct me into the industry and recommend me to clients for side projects. Lilly Bunn, Young Huh, Chiara de Rege, Carolina George and Robin Henry to name a few. Gregory Ibanez – brilliant Fort Worth architect responsible for my first gig in Dallas with the lauckgroup Architecture Firm. He was a wonderful resource for industry contacts and a talent to work for. His honesty and opinionated nature made me a smarter designer. Kim Darden – a family friend with a connection to Alexa Hampton (an NYC interior design biggie.) Kim went out of her way to help me score my first internship after graduating Parsons. My mom and dad – ALWAYS encouraged my creativity and never questioned my choice of being an artist and designer. I wouldn’t have been able to attend art school, work in New York or follow the creative path I did without their endless support (and patience!)
Other: www.etsy.com/shop/FosterCranzArt www.spoonflower.com/profiles/fossyboots www.pinterest.com/fossyboots
PIC 1& 4: HPA DESIGN GROUP