Reflecting the “more” made capable by Samsung’s new Galaxy Z Fold3 5G*, we caught up with rising musicians and artists who show us another side of themselves rarely seen by others. New sides can come from a new hobby or secret passion.
Sean Brown thinks of himself as more of a creative jack-of-all-trades than a singular artist or designer. The multihyphenate made a name for himself with his first solo exhibition in 2018 showcasing archival ephemera and process work, which became the impetus for Curves by Sean Brown — a line of contemporary homeware and everyday objects.
Besides delving into homewares, Brown has been known for his creative-direction work and is one of Daniel Caesar’s go-to visual collaborators. Before quarantine orders shut down life as we know it, the Toronto director and photographer was prepping for Caesar’s Coachella performance. The festival, like most other public gatherings at the time, was canceled, which gave Brown some much-needed clarity in deciding his next career move.
“That led me to look around my own space — what did I want? I wanted rugs, and incense holders, a new couch, and all of this stuff,” he tells us. “When I couldn't see the things that I was looking for, or what I really felt would complete my space, I was like, ‘I should just make them.’” His passion for great design extends beyond furnishings and he appreciates premium craftsmanship in all its forms, including Samsung's next-generation foldable smartphone — the Galaxy Z Fold3 5G. "Seeing a screen that can fold and still be super functional when you open and close it; it looks like they solved the problem," Brown says.
When he’s not beautifying homes, Brown is focused on a more ambitious effort to democratize urban developments with his new venture Hypatia Space. “We started asking questions like why aren't places that are well-designed considering people with disabilities? As if people with disabilities don't care about design,” he says.
We caught up with Brown to get a glimpse into his background, his newfound hobbies, how it’s affected his career, and more.
Tell us a little about yourself.
Depending on the day of the week, I'm a designer, photographer, director sometimes, or fashion designer. I started in fashion design [and] dropped out of school after one year. Started interning at different places, and then ended up in the music industry. Through the music industry, I ended up in home decor.
How's quarantine life affected your creative endeavors?
That's kind of led me to home decor because I was on my way to Coachella. We had a huge thing planned. The artist I was working with had a concert there, was headlining. And we just had to pivot, because there was no Coachella. It just seemed like there was no end in sight for something that was as big as a global pandemic. I had moved into an apartment just before everything closed.
That led me to look around my own space, what did I want? I wanted rugs, and incense holders, a new couch, and all of this stuff. When I couldn't see the things that I was looking for, or what I really felt would complete my space, I was just like, "I should just make them."
And that's kind of how I pivoted. Quarantine did that for me. It forced me to kind of look at my dwelling, get in touch with my space, and just evolve in that way. Things I wasn't paying attention to before. Just my space, and the proximity of where my bedroom was to the living room, and the layout. I had been running around on tour, in all these hotels, but I really started to see how space and function with objects worked for me. That's what quarantine did.
Talk to us about the process of bringing these home goods to life.
We just looked at quality concepts and found people who could do it, who could bring it to life in larger quantities. I had liked Persian rugs a lot when I'd go into different stores. I would see them in retail [and] in other people's homes, but I never thought to buy myself a rug, or make a rug until I was just inside the house.
What else are you cooking up?
Everything started with the rug, and from the rug that led to incense hands. From incense hands that led to throws, and bedding, and shower curtains. Now it's led to mirrors and lighting. It was just a very interesting time for quarantine to do that. Everything in my career has always happened as a result of something else, or a life event. I wasn't setting out to be a photographer or a director, but that was in necessity to the artist I was working with.
That led me into directing or even getting into the music industry. I was interviewing [Daniel Caesar] for a newspaper I was doing for my men's sportswear brand. Then he ended up getting famous, and that led me into going on tour and becoming his creative director. Everything has always just been the right thing at the time.
Are there any other design projects you’re working on now?.
The mirrors are coming out shortly. We got lighting coming out, and I'm designing a chair right now. I had started this business of space making called Hypatia with an architect in London. We have this idea to modernize urban development. Now that I'm so focused on space, I know that there are some key things that spaces need.
It started with the idea of spaces for creatives, and the approach to that. But now it's really about anyone, because the more we got into it, we started asking questions like why aren't places that are well designed considering people with disabilities? As if people with disabilities don't care about design. It’s crazy to think that we are in a pretty progressive stage in the future.
It's always about making special things for them instead of integrating them into society. That's the next evolution of where I'm headed next. Home decor is my every day right now, but I'm very much headed in the direction of space-making development. That's what I'm really interested in right now.
What were your first thoughts on the Samsung Z Galaxy Fold3 5G*?
It looks like they solved the problem — seeing a screen that can fold, and still be super functional when you close the phone, functional when you open it.
*5G connection and availability may vary. Check with your carrier.