The Selby Is in Your Place
A unique and inspiring look into the lives of artistic tastemakers.
Inspiration is ever-present…ongoing. It’s not just a matter of looking, but a matter of seeing…discovering.
Most of us see things as they are, or as they are presented. A few of us look, and then say, “What if?” What if this were painted yellow? Or hung sideways? Why can’t my front door be a garage door? It’s at that moment that the individual emerges and the new is exposed. Deviations from the norm create options…and from options, we find opportunities.
Todd Selby is a photographer and illustrator who possesses just this type of vision. In June 2008, he started the website The Selby, where he posted photo shoots he took in his friends’ homes. Soon, his ability to capture the living spaces of some of society’s most creative individuals – to capture a sense of their vision in a few carefully chosen shots – gained him an international following, and soon, he was bombarded with requests from others who wanted to be featured through his lens.
Most recently, Todd has come out with a new book, The Selby Is in Your Place. Through attention-grabbing visuals, an eye for details and an acute knowledge of the tastemakers who matter, he has given us a glimpse into the homes and minds of the likes of Olivier Zahm, Jonathan Adler and Simon Doonan.
It’s all in the presentation; most of us react to visuals. It’s the most successful way to communicate a message or idea succinctly…in a space, a merchandising display. We all have to consider presentation daily.
Design always has been exciting to me. As I have matured, so have my tastes, but all the research I have done on periods and styles remain in my mind. Those images shape my design process today.
I have learned to focus on things that speak to me, personally…as I’ve become more comfortable with my design perspective. I know how I want to live and what I want around me…and am no longer burdened with a desire to gain quick acceptance with what is safe. Even if others don't approve of your design perspective, or if it's not one they would choose personally, at least you've set out with your own viewpoint. Say something.
The journey of discovery ultimately is becoming comfortable with your own voice, and The Selby taps into that ideal…individuals with a strong sense of personal expression. Designers, artists and business people ultimately succeed by conquering the unique, then harvesting it. That was how Stew Leonard, the Four Seasons Hotel chain and Whole Foods were born….from a unique perspective of divergent ideas.
I enjoyed The Selby Is in Your Place very much, and the groundswell of 50,000-plus unique visitors a week to his website confirms that he’s onto something with elite, in-the-know types. People are hungry for different…and that’s what he provides with each snap of a bedroom or kitchen, and each of the handwritten note from subjects that accompany each interview.
These portraits spotlight the avant-garde living among us…the fearless. Selby celebrates their conviction and personal style in this book. Gerald de Cock, an Oribe loyalist and session artist, was featured on the site just this summer. Check out his art, his home…his colorful space in the Chelsea Hotel.
I highly recommend this book….there is inspiration aplenty, and not just for new ideas, but also to prove that it’s all right to take a divergent path, to question established views in design, to blaze new trails…to be comfortable with your perspective.
Gauging from the success that Selby has had, it can only increase your business.