Last month, we got some inspiration from Victor Sanz, Creative Director at TUMI. This month, as we face the end of summer blues, we’re featuring our favorite creative director and founder and Principal of AJC Design, Alicia Cannon. In this blog, hear about Alicia’s pandemic shifts, NYC hot spots, and lessons learned along the way. (The featured image and sapphire blue sofa is from the lobby from the Riverwalk Westin project in San Antonio, Texas.)
AJC SOCIAL MEDIA TEAM: Are there any new projects from AJC Design that you are excited to launch (and can share with us)?
AJC: We are excited for the roll out of the renovation at the Hotel Nyack which is a JDV by Hyatt. We also just secured a fabulous hotel renovation on Bethany Beach, Delaware.
AJC SOCIAL MEDIA TEAM: How has your creative process been modified with your WFH situation?
AJC: Not having a material library was a massive challenge as well as not having the latest and greatest materials at my fingertips. So now, I read more email blasts about product launches along with doing more product searches through Material Bank and social media outlets. All in all, I’ve learned to be creative about how I work and where I work. My dining room table and chairs are getting a lot of use, doubling as my home office.
AJC SOCIAL MEDIA TEAM: I’d love to know if you find yourself stuck in the creative process, how do you reset?
AJC: I reset by taking a walk or working out. Sometimes, I just need to get a good night rest. As I have gotten older I have understood the importance of sleep to your health, productivity and resilience. Amazing what 8 hours can do for your body and mind.
AJC SOCIAL MEDIA TEAM: Where do you pull inspiration?
AJC: I gather inspiration from recent as well as past travel; next, it comes from being in nature and observing texture and shadows. Finally, it comes down to social media and design books. I like to give myself the creative freedom to explore radical approaches to the design problem, so that I can be more forward and find new sparks.
AJC SOCIAL MEDIA TEAM: If you weren’t an interior designer, what would you do and why?
AJC: This may surprise some but by day I would braid hair on the beach and by night I would be a bartender. Braiding would relax me and help get my 1:1 time. Bartending would provide a social and a creative outlet without having to sit all day. Being creative can be mentally exhausting and the beach is a great place to refuge and recharge.
AJC SOCIAL MEDIA TEAM: If someone was traveling to NYC for the first time what restaurant would you recommend?
AJC: Hearth in the East Village. It’s a cozy, unpretentious place with amazingly fresh food. I recommend the burrata with a dirty martini, no olives, to go with!
AJC SOCIAL MEDIA TEAM: Any words to live by?
AJC: Creativity is Everything! is central of course to my brand and values. It can be applied no matter what industry you work in. Aside from that, it would be to treat people with kindness. We are living in a new world of inequity, abuse, global warming, corruption and so much more. We should all remember that being kind is priceless and is what helps keep our communities and families strong.
AJC SOCIAL MEDIA TEAM: What advice would you give to someone starting out in your industry?
AJC: Seek out internship opportunities at companies of various sizes either before you graduate or right after. It wasn’t until I found internships at Gensler and at Mason during my years at Pratt, that I found the type of work culture I collaborate best with and that I found my passion for hotel design. I would encourage new designers to be curious and ask questions and know that you’re not going to get your dream projects as a designer right from Day 1. It takes time to develop your niche and understand how you can best serve others!
AJC SOCIAL MEDIA TEAM: How do you describe your fashion aesthetic?
AJC: I appreciate fashion and all the ways it changes and comes back through the decades. My style is clean and tailored with a splash of color and above all, comfortable. I also love to dress-up on occasion and wear my Laboutins. But everyday, I tend to wear my Frye sneakers so I can walk around the city and run after my 4 year-old daughter.