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Dan Funderburgh, The Magic is in the Details

Poketo for Target contributor Dan Funderburgh is most easily described as a wallpaper designer, but he does much more than that. Dan’s work shows his love for the decorative arts, and he is always finding new applications for his distinct patterns, everything from clocks to bags to journals. Dan started out as a textile designer for Ecko Unlimited, and decided to leave the apparel industry to pursue other interests–designing wallpapers, making art and more. We first met Dan at Faesthetic and Scion’s art show last year and found that he is not only extremely talented, but, also a super down to earth person.

From start to finish, could you take us through your creative process when you make a wallpaper pattern?
The first and most time consuming part is trying to hunt down an idea. This is tricky as good ideas are scarce and rarely emerge at opportune times. Then I do a couple scrappy little sketches, to make sure it will work on paper. After I’m reasonably convinced I generally sit down in front of my computer and draw it up with my wacom pen. This involves a week or so of listening to NPR or audio books while I redraw photos or elements of design I’ve scanned from books.

You recenty made a gorgeous 3-D mini-diorama for Theme Magazine’s Small is Beautiful show, do you see yourself making more sculptures in the future?
I would love to. In general I have a pretty two dimensional mentality. Wallpapers, prints and laser cuts are all pretty flat and I feel comfortable there. The pro argument is that the depth really forces me to rethink creatively. The con side is that it takes up a shit ton of space. I need to get rid of this piece in order to have enough room to build something else.

What kind of reference materials do you use?
I have a small library on decorative arts and wallpaper. All time favorite platinum books include The Grammar of Ornament by Owen Jones and World of Ornament by Taschen.

Who are your favorite artists, pattern-makers, inspirations?
A short list would probably include Cal Lane, Cody Hudson, Ryan McGinness, William Morris, Hergé, and David Foster Wallace. A longer list would include everybody else.

Are there narratives behind your patterns?
Occasionally. I like to include elements that could hopefully be interpreted in different ways. If I can, I’d rather avoid being too literal or too didactic.

Can you tell us about any projects on the horizon?
I’m currently designing a series of wallpaper based on the TimeLife Science Library books. This is something I’ve been meaning to do for years. The idea is to have them done for a show I’m having this November in Barcelona.

Check out Dan’s designs in the Poketo for Target collection below.
More at DanFunderburgh.com.

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