Jude Heslin Di Leo
1. Where were you born and where are you from ?
San Francisco, CA. I grew up between River Edge, NJ and Bridgehampton, NY.
2. What is your first memory connected to the art world ?
My father’s parents lived in the East Village of NYC, we used to go in and visit them weekly. At that time, in the late 80’s early 90’s, Keith Haring’s graffiti art was all over the city. I remember feeling inspired to make art and have fun with it.
3. Have you always worked in the art/design field ?
4. What led you to the design creation ?
I studied Industrial Design at Pratt Institute. I was drawn to it because it seemed like a way to channel creativity into purposeful, function art.
5. How would you describe your creative process and it influences ?
I like criteria, parameters, and obstacles, which is probably a result of studying I.D. They provide a framework to question and create in. Sometimes they are created by concepts or clients, and other times by materials and their properties. I enjoy the journey of searching for the balance between all these things. When you strike the perfect harmony, it’s unmistakable.
6. Could you describe a typical day of your work ?
I used to be a workaholic, I didn’t know how to relax and let go. It took me a long time to realize there is harmony in a work/life balance. Making time to care for yourself and spend quality time with family and friends is something that gives back tremendously. There is rarely a typical day for me, but an ideal day is meditation, exercise, breakfast with my family, creative time, shop time, and ending the work day at dinner.
7. Why did you choose the specific materials you work with ?
For the Amplifier Table specifically it started with a remark. I was working on a project with crystal and Feng Shui expert Colleen McCann. She was placing a crystal grid, and in dialogue commented that Quartz is a natural amplifier of energy. I loved that idea and wanted to channel it into a piece of work. I felt making a meditation altar out of Quartz would be a way to amplify intentions. Once I found the material the rest just fell into place.
8. What are the technical particularities of your creations ?
I really enjoy figuring out how to make technology work for me. I try not to design thinking about fabrication because I don’t want it to stunt the idea. Once I create a form however my aim becomes to keep it’s purity, and balance that with manufacturing techniques. Sometimes the real creativity comes in the manufacturing process.
9. What advices could you give to beginning artists who would like to create sculptural design works ?
It’s best to have a concept, but if not just start making something and the journey will unfold.
10. If your works had to belong to a design movement, in which one would you define it ?
A mix of Modernism, Streamline Moderne, and Minimalism.
11. What designers have influenced you ?
In no particular order; Charlotte Perriand, Pierre & Charles Edward Jeanneret, Jean Prouve, Eileen Gray, Gerrit Rietveld, Paul Kolm, Finn Juhl, Alvar Aalto, Eero Saarinen, Bruno Mathsson, Carlo Scarpa, Dieter Rams, Norman Bel Geddes, Raymond Loewy, Hans Wegner, Gino Sarfatti, Ettore Sottsass, Achille Castiglioni, there are many more..
12. What contemporary designers do you appreciate ?
Marc Newson, Konstantin Grcic, Barber & Osgerby, the Bouroullecs, Max Lamb, Linsey Adelman, Patricia Urquiola, Stephen Burkes..
13. What contemporary artists (in any kind of art) have you been inspired by ?
Olafur Eliasson, Martin Puryear, Blair Thurman, Clintel Steed, Andy Goldsworthy, Richard Serra, Luke Diorio, Judd, Francis Bacon..
14. If you had to summarize your creations in one word or sentence, what would it be ?
Refine, refine, refine.
15. Is there anything you would like to add ?
I am not my mind.
Proust Questionnaire with very short answers (one or a few words) :
(The Proust Questionnaire is a set of questions answered by the French writer Marcel Proust. Other historical figures who have answered confession albums are Oscar Wilde, Karl Marx, Arthur Conan Doyle, Stéphane Mallarmé, Paul Cézanne…)
1. What is your idea of perfect happiness?
2. What is your greatest fear?
3. What is the trait you most deplore in yourself?
When I’m not living in the moment.
4. What is the trait you most deplore in others?
5. Which living person do you most admire?
possibly Will Smith..
6. What is your greatest extravagance?
7. What is your current state of mind?
8. What do you consider the most overrated virtue?
9. What is the quality you most like in a man?
10. What is the quality you most like in a woman?
11. Which words or phrases do you most overuse?
Like, like, like, like, like.
12. Which talent would you most like to have?
a constant source of humor.
13. If you could change one thing about yourself, what would it be?
14. What do you consider your greatest achievement?
Realizing I don’t have to know the answer.
15. If you were to die and come back as a person or a thing, what would it be?
16. Where would you most like to live?
Canada is moving up on the list.
17. What is your most treasured possession?
My grandmother’s wedding band.
18. What do you regard as the lowest depth of misery?
19. What is your favorite occupation?
20. What is your most marked characteristic?
I guess it depends on who you ask, I hope it’s honorable.
21. What do you most value in your friends?
22. Who are your favorite writers?
Jersey Kozinski, Ram Dass.
23. Who is your hero of fiction?
I don’t have one.
24. Which historical figure do you most identify with?
25. Who are your heroes in real life?
Anyone who made their dreams a reality.
26. What are your favorite names?
It depends on the subject.
27. What is it that you most dislike?
Product disposability, pollution, waste.
28. What is your greatest regret?
cancelling a vacation to take a job. Don’t do it.
29. How would you like to die?
30. What is your motto?
Go with your gut.